MK4 trains automated announcements information.

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Dear London North Eastern Railway Limited,

May i please make a Freedom Of Information Act 2000 request to you.

I would like to ask about the automated announcements on the MK4 trains. Your fleet of MK4 trains still have the very old automated announcements fitted. I was on one of them just the other week and the very nice Guard was able to get the system working and played a bunch of the announcements for me. There is a whole bunch of announcements such as announcements about safety and ticket checks and the buffet and restaurant and catering and phone cards and welcome onboard messages and ones about delays and lots of other ones. I think there is at least twenty announcements and maybe a lot more. So the system still works on your MK4 trains. These are very old announcements and were clearly introduced in either the 80s or 90s as some of these announcements say "British Rail Intercity" which is long gone and refer to lots of other out of date stuff.

I have a couple questions to ask about these automated announcements please:

1. Do you know what the name of the company that had provided this CIS system on the MK4 is. The control box to play the announcements looks similar to the old one on the Wessex Trains class 158 that was fitted in the 90s which was a Contronics system. But it also looks a bit similar go the one on the First Great Western class MK3 that was fitted in the 90s which was a Gaitrnoics system. So i am wondering if maybe it is Contronics or Gaitronics who provide it. Or maybe it could be another company. I could not see a name or logo on the box so i am not sure. I was wondering if you could advise which company provided this system.

2. To play the announcements you have to enter a code on the keypad on the control box and then it plays the relevant announcement in all of the carriages. Now the very nice Guard i was speaking to who played the announcements did not know the codes so he just had to keep trying various random codes and then it played different announcements. Some other Guards i have spoken to do not know the codes either and told me only the Guards that joined in BR days will probably know the codes. However i think you must hold a list of the codes somewhere. Could i please request if i could have a full list of all of the codes on the system. So a list that shows the code numbers and which announcement that each code number plays.

3. Do you have the script of these announcements or the text copy of these announcements. I think there is at least twenty announcements or so on the system and i would be really interested to see the full list. If so could you please attach this script or text copy of all of these announcements.

4. Do you have all of the sound files of these automated announcements. Considering they still work i think you must still hold all of the sound files somewhere. If so could you please attach them in MP3 or WAV or ZIP format or any other format you hold them in is fine too.

5. Do you hold the names of these two voiceover artists on these MK4 trains. It is both a female voice and a male voice. About half seem to be the female voice and about half seem to be the male voice. They are both very old school RP style voices and i suspect they were likely to be professional voice over artists. I know that they were recorded in the 80s or 90s so i suspect you may not know but i thought i would check in case you know what their names are. I would be very interested to find out who they are.

6. Do you know when these announcements stopped being regularly used. Most of the Guards these days know nothing about them and it is clearly not your policy to use them any more even though they are full working. But i am wondering what year they stopped being used regularly. Could it have been when British Rail was privatised or was it later than that.

Thank you so much in advance for any information you can help with regarding this and i am very much looking forward to hearing back from you.

Yours faithfully,

David Smith

FOI, London North Eastern Railway Limited

6 Attachments

Dear David

It looks like we've had an email issue and the email I attempted to send to you a couple of weeks ago did not leave our outbox.

Please see attached

Kind regards


show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

Thank you very much for the information and the attached documents. That is perfect. I really appreciate that. That is really helpful and those documents answer a lot of questions i had about the system. That is really interesting to read those documents. Thank you for your help with this.

Yours sincerely,

David Smith