One time I had a conductor have a hot mic event on No. 510 going into Canada. It was right after Trump had threatened to cut some national program. It was right after the conductor announced that we had entered Canada so if you don't want to pay for cell roaming charges to turn your phone to "train Mode". His coworker was pointing out to him. "Hey look there is America's national bird taking refuge from the Trump administration" and on the left on the beach there must have been a hundred bald eagles. I didn't take a photo as I was too busy rolling on the floor keeled over in laughter.There was a conductor on the AMTK Cascades that when traversing the coastline south of Bellingham spoke sympathetically of the endangered grey gulls flying outside (seagulls) and announce when we were passing Point Tunga Bunga (his name for the local nudist beach.) Of course, he did this all with a straight face.
Brad played a customer's guitar to entertain while we waited for one of those last minute delays that occurred to Train 5 just before its Denver arrival. He also led the effort to place the fabled Moffat Cup on display in Denver Union Station.Personally I think the announcements are just part of the train experience. I like how a lot of the conductors on the Western trains make announcements about the history of the route, the sites we are passing by, wishing a passenger a Happy Birthday. I had the same conductor, Brad, for three or four trips between Denver and Glenwood Springs; he is so knowledgable about the route that he narrated the route with totally different facts and anecdotes on each trip, and really added to the experience.
This is the best solution. Give passengers the option to turn down the volume. But the SCA would have to be sure to include the safety briefing as part of his welcome talk with each passenger.I ride in the sleepers on LD trips and rarely am I able to hear announcements. I actually enjoy hearing them and wish the sound system was better and controllable by the passengers. I also feel for those who are bothered by them as well.
I think you might be referring to Sheila Heriot, depending on when...she was superb! But everybody's favorite was the late Danny Simmons, whose animated announcements, especially of the Crescent, drew applause, after his longated, "Allllllllllllll, Aboard!"And in Penn Station - the regular live announcer was a master! I think her voice still plays by the escalators.
Most of the responses seem to discuss the existence or desirability of announcements rather than the quality of the sound. If I understood Ferroequinologist correctly, the issue was more the blaring. I agree completely that the announcements should be pleasant as well as informative.[...] The problem was the constant announcements made in a harsh, aggressive voice over a PA system that was so loud that it must have been at maximum volume. [...]
This, over and over. Announcement protocol, both in adjusting the PA settings and in tone and delivery, should be emphasized during the conductors' training. That's my opinion, of course, and I express that opinion knowing full well that there are already many different aspects of the job that require training.I'm had of hearing and low volume is not the problem. Clarity is. I can compensate for low volume by upping the sound in my hearing aids but there is no way to make garbled sound understandable no matter how loud it is. In fact, likely their turning up the volume is what causes the lack of clarity because of poor quality or installation of the amplifiers and speakers.
If you were not a 'commuter' and tired of hearing the same announcements over and over, the so called 'mike artists' were a good source of entertainment for occasional passenger's and tourists. A couple of my favorites were Rio Grande trainman Billings, who ran Denver/Grand Junction on the CZ. He gave both scenic highlights and wild tales about character's along the route. One was of a world famous female swimmer who challenged the Zephyr's engineer, "Mad Dog Schenley" to a race along the Colorado River. Another was that inside the Moffat Tunnel, Amtrak had gone thru much expense to commission the creation of scenic murals along the tunnel walls...he then went on to say that unfortunatley, the lighting was disabled that day, so to ask your seatmate to borrow their flashlight if you didn't bring yours, to view them thru the window....Mr. Billings elected to stay with the D&RGW, and not come over to Amtrak when they took over the Zephyr T&E crews.Brad played a customer's guitar to entertain while we waited for one of those last minute delays that occurred to Train 5 just before its Denver arrival. He also led the effort to place the fabled Moffat Cup on display in Denver Union Station.
The OBSSM doesn’t cover everything. The version available on Amtrak’s website is also a redacted version (says so right in the URL).Reading through the TA-S section of it now. And it seems like some of these are not in regular practice..
"A few new pickups?" Usually, about 100 people board a Northbound Northeast Regional at Baltimore, and more board in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Only about half the train is full when it leaves Washington. But, you're right, they could make some of the announcements on the platform while the passengers are waiting....interrupting the entire train to inform a few new pickups?
Are we both married to the same woman? I've been married close to 50 years but she is 18, blond, with a perfect body ... and I also suffer from bad eyesight.In a lot of cases, I think the person making the announcement is fed up with being ask the same question they just announced, over and over again, hense, turn up the volume. In actuality, as irritating as it is to some, others could be hit in the head and wouldn't hear the message.
Personally, I'm hard of hearing so I ask my wife, What They Say? After a few of those inquiries her voice gets more loud and raspy than the conductor.
Most of the responses seem to discuss the existence or desirability of announcements rather than the quality of the sound. If I understood Ferroequinologist correctly, the issue was more the blaring. I agree completely that the announcements should be pleasant as well as informative.
Correct. There really are too many announcements but what is most irritating is the extremely loud volume and the unpleasant, often poorly enunciated and aggressive tone of the announcer. Why can't all but emergency announcements be pre-recorded by someone with a clear, pleasant voice? Why can"t the PA system be adjusted? Listen to some of these Japanese Shinkansen announcements. They are a pleasure to listen to even if you don't understand Japanese! YouTube
I remember that voice! He butchered some Pacific Northwest place names but how was he to know how to pronounce 'Clatskanie' ?Greyhound Lines recognized that problem in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, and had a professional announcer, Jack Kerry do them. They had jukeboxes in each terminal, with a prerecorded first and last call for each departure. The driver or dispatcher would push the appropriate buttons when ready to load.
He also made this training recording to teach the drivers announcing techniques...
I happen to have one of those 45 rpm departure announcement recordings for an Omaha to Los Angeles trip somewhere in my 'archives'...