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How to identify English trains?

Washington DC
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326 posts
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How to identify English trains?

I've purchased my point to point tickets. I have the departure time and my destination. I'm concerned about getting on the correct train - do English trains have numbers? Is the only way to identify them by departure time and platform?? Are the stops or calling points listed on a board near the train? Thank you. -katie

Bodmin, United...
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for Cornwall
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1. Re: How to identify English trains?

At most stations there is an electronic departures board on the platform the train is leaving from, which tells you what the next three trains are going to be, and in which order. It also lists the calling points of the next train to depart.

There are also announcements made, ie, the next train to arrive at platform 1 will be the 10.15 First Great Western train to Penzance, calling at Lostwithiel, Par, St Austell, etc etc.

The announcement sometimes gives you other information, such as how many carriages there are.

On the windows of the trains is usually a sign saying where the train is going and where it is calling.

London
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for London
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2. Re: How to identify English trains?

... and there is usually someone you can ask.

Stirling, United...
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for Stirling
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3. Re: How to identify English trains?

You should know the final destination[(s) - sometimes trains split en route) as this is what will be put up first.

Also note that sometimes there will be two trains to that final destination at about the same time; one will be an express (limited stops) and the other a local (all stops).

Platforms can be changed at short notice so pay attention especially if everyone standing around you suddenly stampedes off ...

All stations have live departure boards accessible online/mobile eg

http://livetrains.co.uk/noJS/

http://livetrains.co.uk/ (javascript version of above)

www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ldb.aspx

Cotswolds
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11,381 posts
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4. Re: How to identify English trains?

English trains do have numbers - but they are for internal use only and not displayed to the public.

What's actually displayed varies a lot with the size of the station - at the larger ones there will be a large one listing all departures (with platform) in the next hour or so.. The individual platform will have a display with at least the next departure and sometimes the next two or three.

Right down to a small station with one platform where there will be a poster listing all departures - if it's not been vandalised

If you keep your wits about you it's difficult to go wrong.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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5. Re: How to identify English trains?

Typical departure board:

http://tinyurl.com/oslpybq

And if in doubt, ask! There are sure to be station staff around to point you in the right direction.

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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6. Re: How to identify English trains?

Many small stations in the UK have no staff but at all the larger stations will.

Electronic information boards are to be found at all but the tiniest stations.

(Interesting example of a departures board used above - something that will probably never happen!)

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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7. Re: How to identify English trains?

Of course, cubsur, I didn't really consider that!! I just looked for a picture of a good selection of destinations and platform numbers. But for the purposes of this thread it's good enough.

(ThomasO, this is for a line that doesn't exist yet; but that's what departure boards look like.)

Stirling, United...
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for Stirling
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8. Re: How to identify English trains?

Of course, if the service is 'bustituted' then all bets are off

http://i.imgur.com/ofxYk.jpg

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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9. Re: How to identify English trains?

Indeed! Usually only at weekends though. ( I am currently in France where 'busstitution' is from 9 - 5 on weekdays to allow for essential engineering work!)

Washington DC
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10. Re: How to identify English trains?

Thanks very much for all this information. And for increasing my vocabulary with "bustituted" . --katie