What year were DVA's introduced in Sydney?

 
  act_railfan Station Master

I was watching a video in youtube circa 1991, showing Town Hall, Museum and North Sydney stations.
Still using human announcements .

When did Grant Goldman's DVA start appearing at stations??

Cheers?

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Wot?
Wot is a DVA.
I don't speak NSW!
  sunnyyan Station Master

Dva = Digital voice announcements
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Dva = Digital voice announcements
sunnyyan
Thank you Sunnyyan
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller



When did Grant Goldman's DVA start appearing at stations??

"act_railfan"


a bit hard to say ..as first versions where laser disc systems, even when installed they may have been turned off..  ie Redfern station had been a test site for most of the tech ideas...
  Kamz Assistant Commissioner

I was watching a video in youtube circa 1991, showing Town Hall, Museum and North Sydney stations.
Still using human announcements .

When did Grant Goldman's DVA start appearing at stations??

Cheers?
act_railfan

This was from March 1991 featuring Grant Goldman



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppvCLPksVA0
  act_railfan Station Master

cheers kamz Smile

those light up information boards, seemed to work pretty well.
(which are now LCD screens)

also did you see how fast that red rattler pulled into the station?  lol
  act_railfan Station Master

also, who were those numskulls walking across the tracks at 3:56???
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

Who is Grant Goldman please ?

Many years ago I used to subscribe to Modern Railway ( Ian Allan, UK ) and stopped when it became an expensive PR exercise , that nutter Dr Deltic did not improve matters either.

Any way there was a report about a station announcement at London Liverpool St ( x GER ) to the effect

" welcome passenger the xx.xx am train has arrived on time for the first time in living memory "

That coupled with the odd expletive or disparaging comments about certain Managers due to the button being left / jammed ON probably explains the desire for DVAs.

At Flinders St Melbourne our first ( tape ) recorded messages were done by a young lady . They were activated by the staff, so the Cabin staff could still make announcements if need be. It always intrigued me why we utilised heavily accented European migrants , coupled with an atrocious PA system , for train announcements . Even though I worked at Flinders St and knew a lot of these blokes , I had a hard time trying to work out what they were saying, so Joe and Joanne Public had Buckley's chance.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman

PS / some time later in the mid1960s the Signalman at London Liverpool St brought the service to a standstill due, allegedly, to spilling his morning cup of tea and shorting out a portion of the Signal Control Panel. Radioman
  shaved and dangerous Locomotive Fireman
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
cheers kamz Smile

those light up information boards, seemed to work pretty well.
(which are now LCD screens)

also did you see how fast that red rattler pulled into the station?  lol
act_railfan

Those indicators were another in-house solution that worked very well. Passengers could instantly assess whether the next train stopped at their station. It was not necessary to wait for the list of stations to scroll through. Sadly, it seems they were not sexy enough for the Olympics.

The high approach speed of the single deck suburban was awesome! I don't think modern drivers even know how to do that.
  Re-Unification Express Station Staff

A number of years ago after a cleanup at Fairfield Station, a very early form of DVA was discovered based on, would you believe, a Commodore Amiga 600 computer! It had been damaged by water so didn't work as far as I know. It had a State Rail logo stuck on the top with sticky tape. As the particular model of Amiga wasn't released until the early 90's I presume that's when the first experimental systems were setup.

When I worked at Central before the Olympics, they were still using the big boards with individual lights beside each station. The globes often didn't work so passengers sometimes weren't sure if the train actually stopped at their station or not! I believe manual announcements were still in vogue. There was a scrolling paper sheet in the control room which you read the stations off and also a big switch board. You switched the appropriate switches on the board to light up the platform indicator board outside. They weren't in very good nick, presumably because the PICS system was about to be introduced.

Before the Olympics they started installing the first versions of the PICS system which included DVA. Things didn't always go to plan. I remember the PICS indicators on Platform 19 showing the next train arriving from the City Circle and the following train arriving in the opposite direction (from Redfern) both at the same time!

Most suburban stations had some form of DVA by the early 2000's but unlike the modern system, they were manually operated by clicking on the appropriate train on a computer screen. Manual announcements were also still popular with station staff, particularly in an emergency, or you could create your own announcements on the computer by piecing together words and phrases from a dictionary (as per the DVA simulation software available on this board) .

Now of course with the dumbing down of station jobs by management and the introduction of the LICS system, station staff have no control over DVA announcements or indicators, and can't create their own, though they can still make manual announcements.

I understand that train announcements were switched from (then) Grant Goldman to a female voice because management thought that a female voice would be more 'soothing', though safety and emergency announcements remained male because they were believed to be more "commanding". I understand the original female voice was that of Belinda Green, but whether she is still involved I don't know.
  albert3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: Werrington, NSW
The first pre-recorded announcements (not really digital, but still the first step) were recorded on radio station style tape cartridges.  One for every stopping pattern of train.  These started to be used in the mid 1970s at City stations and Redfern.  They continued to be used until the mid 1980s.  The system was cumbersome - particularly back then - where just about every single train leaving Central in the afternoon peak on the Western Line had a different stopping pattern!
  brentmc1 Beginner

A number of years ago after a cleanup at Fairfield Station, a very early form of DVA was discovered based on, would you believe, a Commodore Amiga 600 computer! It had been damaged by water so didn't work as far as I know. It had a State Rail logo stuck on the top with sticky tape. As the particular model of Amiga wasn't released until the early 90's I presume that's when the first experimental systems were setup.

When I worked at Central before the Olympics, they were still using the big boards with individual lights beside each station. The globes often didn't work so passengers sometimes weren't sure if the train actually stopped at their station or not! I believe manual announcements were still in vogue. There was a scrolling paper sheet in the control room which you read the stations off and also a big switch board. You switched the appropriate switches on the board to light up the platform indicator board outside. They weren't in very good nick, presumably because the PICS system was about to be introduced.

Before the Olympics they started installing the first versions of the PICS system which included DVA. Things didn't always go to plan. I remember the PICS indicators on Platform 19 showing the next train arriving from the City Circle and the following train arriving in the opposite direction (from Redfern) both at the same time!

Most suburban stations had some form of DVA by the early 2000's but unlike the modern system, they were manually operated by clicking on the appropriate train on a computer screen. Manual announcements were also still popular with station staff, particularly in an emergency, or you could create your own announcements on the computer by piecing together words and phrases from a dictionary (as per the DVA simulation software available on this board) .

Now of course with the dumbing down of station jobs by management and the introduction of the LICS system, station staff have no control over DVA announcements or indicators, and can't create their own, though they can still make manual announcements.

I understand that train announcements were switched from (then) Grant Goldman to a female voice because management thought that a female voice would be more 'soothing', though safety and emergency announcements remained male because they were believed to be more "commanding". I understand the original female voice was that of Belinda Green, but whether she is still involved I don't know.
Re-Unification Expressbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
I worked with the Public Transport Commission then City Rail and then RailCorp from 1980 to 2007 in non technical positions I actually started as a laborer on freight rolling stock at Rozelle yard and here I have a little history on the City Rail DVA and the Amiga 600 DVA.

Back at around 1989, 1990 City Rail ran early DVA's at Redfern, Central and the City Circle stations. This form of DVA was about the size of a small bar fridge and made up of plug in cards and dozens of EPROM chips. Each EPROM chip was programmed with a station name or small phrase such as "the train on platform" or "goes to" and so on. A small three digit thumb wheel was used to select the desired announcement which would then play via numerous EPROMS and over the P.A.
I was to discover in time as you will read that the announcements made by Grant Goldman were supplied to City Rail on cassette tape and it was via cassette audio that each EPROM was programmed.

On to early 1994 now and a good friend of mine who also worked in the railways as a Booking Clerk on the Bankstown line approached me with an idea, he being fairly computer savvy discussed the thought of using a computer to carry out the task of the cumbersome and non user friendly method of EPROM chips, the Amiga was on it's way but at this time we were uncertain of what it was going to be. We approached City Rail via a contact passed on from a Line Manager back in the day and a trusting gentlemen handed a copy of that cassette over to us.

After some investigation and research it became apparent to us that the windows operating system was not up to the task in those early days, it lacked in sound channel output (one channel only) multi tasking and audio editing software was crude the Amiga met more of the requirements back then. We set about making the idea a reality. We needed to form a company, we needed to invest in software and hardware to come up with a prototype and as we both worked for City Rail in the back of our minds we were always concerned about what they may see as a conflict of interest, after all we were not intending on giving this away.

Throughout 1994 we had made contact with Passenger Information and a few Line Managers who did show some interest and after spending many nights and months digitizing the words and phrases from the cassette tape we finally came up with an Amiga program written by the Booking Clerk and a prototype in the third quarter of 1994.

The program allowed station staff to construct their own announcements with each station name or phrase having a three digit code, staff would use the library provided within the manual such as (the train on platform) (1) (goes to) (Bankstown) (first stop) and so on, each constructed announcement was saved to a run number, when the train arrived they could recall run number and play. It also covered all the other announcements required such as (the next train to arrive) Late, stand behind yellow line etc. The first machine was an Amiga 2000 built into a crude aluminium box complete with the old CRT monitor and an external key board, why the aluminium box you ask? We thought it was better that it not be seen as just a home gaming computer.

In early 1995 we got a look in and gave a very nervous presentation to numerous Managers and Line Managers in the green house at Wynyard and waited for further if any contact. Contact came and with a few dust and cooling requirements set down by them the first test unit was installed at Hurlestone Park station, gone was the aluminium box and replaced with an electrical type box sealed from dust and the like. The box was mounted high on a wall with only the CRT monitor and keyboard sitting on their bench. A second trial was requested and machine two comprising of the same specs was installed at Bankstown station with the box mounted under the platform control room is a signal box cavity with the CRT monitor and screen within their work area.

Those first two machines raked us in a pretty penny for the time and it was fairly apparent that to have any shot at supplying dozens of stations (and retiring early) lol we needed to reduce the cost, enter the Amiga 600. We needed to dump the CRT monitor and by using the 600 we already had a keyboard built in. The program was modified to incorporate a small LCD screen which we mounted within the 600 to cover all the information required to operate the thing and with some payed help from an outside source it came to be, we could now sell that machine for one third of the original prototype cost.

So things rolled on with other modifications such as the ability to play not two but four announcements at the same time for those larger stations such as Sydenham. All up 55 Amiga 600's were running across the network with very few breakdowns along the way.

RED TAPE. All of the purchases of those 55 machines were made by local Line Managers that was until the contracts department got onto it and from their point of view as it was an ongoing project it needed to go to Tender. Bigger fish were entering the market multi nationals who probably had the opportunity to delve into our box of tricks and after many long nights applying to the two inch thick tender document and submitting in the tender box we were not selected as the winner.

So that is the story of the Amiga 600 DVA the first self program computer controlled DVA to operate on the network and we didn't get to retire early but it was a great experience.
  aident Locomotive Fireman

Location: Somewhere in the Hunter
A number of years ago after a cleanup at Fairfield Station, a very early form of DVA was discovered based on, would you believe, a Commodore Amiga 600 computer! It had been damaged by water so didn't work as far as I know. It had a State Rail logo stuck on the top with sticky tape. As the particular model of Amiga wasn't released until the early 90's I presume that's when the first experimental systems were setup.

When I worked at Central before the Olympics, they were still using the big boards with individual lights beside each station. The globes often didn't work so passengers sometimes weren't sure if the train actually stopped at their station or not! I believe manual announcements were still in vogue. There was a scrolling paper sheet in the control room which you read the stations off and also a big switch board. You switched the appropriate switches on the board to light up the platform indicator board outside. They weren't in very good nick, presumably because the PICS system was about to be introduced.

Before the Olympics they started installing the first versions of the PICS system which included DVA. Things didn't always go to plan. I remember the PICS indicators on Platform 19 showing the next train arriving from the City Circle and the following train arriving in the opposite direction (from Redfern) both at the same time!

Most suburban stations had some form of DVA by the early 2000's but unlike the modern system, they were manually operated by clicking on the appropriate train on a computer screen. Manual announcements were also still popular with station staff, particularly in an emergency, or you could create your own announcements on the computer by piecing together words and phrases from a dictionary (as per the DVA simulation software available on this board) .

Now of course with the dumbing down of station jobs by management and the introduction of the LICS system, station staff have no control over DVA announcements or indicators, and can't create their own, though they can still make manual announcements.

I understand that train announcements were switched from (then) Grant Goldman to a female voice because management thought that a female voice would be more 'soothing', though safety and emergency announcements remained male because they were believed to be more "commanding". I understand the original female voice was that of Belinda Green, but whether she is still involved I don't know.
I worked with the Public Transport Commission then City Rail and then RailCorp from 1980 to 2007 in non technical positions I actually started as a laborer on freight rolling stock at Rozelle yard and here I have a little history on the City Rail DVA and the Amiga 600 DVA.

Back at around 1989, 1990 City Rail ran early DVA's at Redfern, Central and the City Circle stations. This form of DVA was about the size of a small bar fridge and made up of plug in cards and dozens of EPROM chips. Each EPROM chip was programmed with a station name or small phrase such as "the train on platform" or "goes to" and so on. A small three digit thumb wheel was used to select the desired announcement which would then play via numerous EPROMS and over the P.A.
I was to discover in time as you will read that the announcements made by Grant Goldman were supplied to City Rail on cassette tape and it was via cassette audio that each EPROM was programmed.

On to early 1994 now and a good friend of mine who also worked in the railways as a Booking Clerk on the Bankstown line approached me with an idea, he being fairly computer savvy discussed the thought of using a computer to carry out the task of the cumbersome and non user friendly method of EPROM chips, the Amiga was on it's way but at this time we were uncertain of what it was going to be. We approached City Rail via a contact passed on from a Line Manager back in the day and a trusting gentlemen handed a copy of that cassette over to us.

After some investigation and research it became apparent to us that the windows operating system was not up to the task in those early days, it lacked in sound channel output (one channel only) multi tasking and audio editing software was crude the Amiga met more of the requirements back then. We set about making the idea a reality. We needed to form a company, we needed to invest in software and hardware to come up with a prototype and as we both worked for City Rail in the back of our minds we were always concerned about what they may see as a conflict of interest, after all we were not intending on giving this away.

Throughout 1994 we had made contact with Passenger Information and a few Line Managers who did show some interest and after spending many nights and months digitizing the words and phrases from the cassette tape we finally came up with an Amiga program written by the Booking Clerk and a prototype in the third quarter of 1994.

The program allowed station staff to construct their own announcements with each station name or phrase having a three digit code, staff would use the library provided within the manual such as (the train on platform) (1) (goes to) (Bankstown) (first stop) and so on, each constructed announcement was saved to a run number, when the train arrived they could recall run number and play. It also covered all the other announcements required such as (the next train to arrive) Late, stand behind yellow line etc. The first machine was an Amiga 2000 built into a crude aluminium box complete with the old CRT monitor and an external key board, why the aluminium box you ask? We thought it was better that it not be seen as just a home gaming computer.

In early 1995 we got a look in and gave a very nervous presentation to numerous Managers and Line Managers in the green house at Wynyard and waited for further if any contact. Contact came and with a few dust and cooling requirements set down by them the first test unit was installed at Hurlestone Park station, gone was the aluminium box and replaced with an electrical type box sealed from dust and the like. The box was mounted high on a wall with only the CRT monitor and keyboard sitting on their bench. A second trial was requested and machine two comprising of the same specs was installed at Bankstown station with the box mounted under the platform control room is a signal box cavity with the CRT monitor and screen within their work area.

Those first two machines raked us in a pretty penny for the time and it was fairly apparent that to have any shot at supplying dozens of stations (and retiring early) lol we needed to reduce the cost, enter the Amiga 600. We needed to dump the CRT monitor and by using the 600 we already had a keyboard built in. The program was modified to incorporate a small LCD screen which we mounted within the 600 to cover all the information required to operate the thing and with some payed help from an outside source it came to be, we could now sell that machine for one third of the original prototype cost.

So things rolled on with other modifications such as the ability to play not two but four announcements at the same time for those larger stations such as Sydenham. All up 55 Amiga 600's were running across the network with very few breakdowns along the way.

RED TAPE. All of the purchases of those 55 machines were made by local Line Managers that was until the contracts department got onto it and from their point of view as it was an ongoing project it needed to go to Tender. Bigger fish were entering the market multi nationals who probably had the opportunity to delve into our box of tricks and after many long nights applying to the two inch thick tender document and submitting in the tender box we were not selected as the winner.

So that is the story of the Amiga 600 DVA the first self program computer controlled DVA to operate on the network and we didn't get to retire early but it was a great experience.
brentmc1
Very interesting to a Commodore nerd like me, Thank you for sharing.
  AheadMatthewawsome Junior Train Controller

Location: Opening Train Lines
A number of years ago after a cleanup at Fairfield Station, a very early form of DVA was discovered based on, would you believe, a Commodore Amiga 600 computer! It had been damaged by water so didn't work as far as I know. It had a State Rail logo stuck on the top with sticky tape. As the particular model of Amiga wasn't released until the early 90's I presume that's when the first experimental systems were setup.

When I worked at Central before the Olympics, they were still using the big boards with individual lights beside each station. The globes often didn't work so passengers sometimes weren't sure if the train actually stopped at their station or not! I believe manual announcements were still in vogue. There was a scrolling paper sheet in the control room which you read the stations off and also a big switch board. You switched the appropriate switches on the board to light up the platform indicator board outside. They weren't in very good nick, presumably because the PICS system was about to be introduced.

Before the Olympics they started installing the first versions of the PICS system which included DVA. Things didn't always go to plan. I remember the PICS indicators on Platform 19 showing the next train arriving from the City Circle and the following train arriving in the opposite direction (from Redfern) both at the same time!

Most suburban stations had some form of DVA by the early 2000's but unlike the modern system, they were manually operated by clicking on the appropriate train on a computer screen. Manual announcements were also still popular with station staff, particularly in an emergency, or you could create your own announcements on the computer by piecing together words and phrases from a dictionary (as per the DVA simulation software available on this board) .

Now of course with the dumbing down of station jobs by management and the introduction of the LICS system, station staff have no control over DVA announcements or indicators, and can't create their own, though they can still make manual announcements.

I understand that train announcements were switched from (then) Grant Goldman to a female voice because management thought that a female voice would be more 'soothing', though safety and emergency announcements remained male because they were believed to be more "commanding". I understand the original female voice was that of Belinda Green, but whether she is still involved I don't know.
I worked with the Public Transport Commission then City Rail and then RailCorp from 1980 to 2007 in non technical positions I actually started as a laborer on freight rolling stock at Rozelle yard and here I have a little history on the City Rail DVA and the Amiga 600 DVA.

Back at around 1989, 1990 City Rail ran early DVA's at Redfern, Central and the City Circle stations. This form of DVA was about the size of a small bar fridge and made up of plug in cards and dozens of EPROM chips. Each EPROM chip was programmed with a station name or small phrase such as "the train on platform" or "goes to" and so on. A small three digit thumb wheel was used to select the desired announcement which would then play via numerous EPROMS and over the P.A.
I was to discover in time as you will read that the announcements made by Grant Goldman were supplied to City Rail on cassette tape and it was via cassette audio that each EPROM was programmed.

On to early 1994 now and a good friend of mine who also worked in the railways as a Booking Clerk on the Bankstown line approached me with an idea, he being fairly computer savvy discussed the thought of using a computer to carry out the task of the cumbersome and non user friendly method of EPROM chips, the Amiga was on it's way but at this time we were uncertain of what it was going to be. We approached City Rail via a contact passed on from a Line Manager back in the day and a trusting gentlemen handed a copy of that cassette over to us.

After some investigation and research it became apparent to us that the windows operating system was not up to the task in those early days, it lacked in sound channel output (one channel only) multi tasking and audio editing software was crude the Amiga met more of the requirements back then. We set about making the idea a reality. We needed to form a company, we needed to invest in software and hardware to come up with a prototype and as we both worked for City Rail in the back of our minds we were always concerned about what they may see as a conflict of interest, after all we were not intending on giving this away.

Throughout 1994 we had made contact with Passenger Information and a few Line Managers who did show some interest and after spending many nights and months digitizing the words and phrases from the cassette tape we finally came up with an Amiga program written by the Booking Clerk and a prototype in the third quarter of 1994.

The program allowed station staff to construct their own announcements with each station name or phrase having a three digit code, staff would use the library provided within the manual such as (the train on platform) (1) (goes to) (Bankstown) (first stop) and so on, each constructed announcement was saved to a run number, when the train arrived they could recall run number and play. It also covered all the other announcements required such as (the next train to arrive) Late, stand behind yellow line etc. The first machine was an Amiga 2000 built into a crude aluminium box complete with the old CRT monitor and an external key board, why the aluminium box you ask? We thought it was better that it not be seen as just a home gaming computer.

In early 1995 we got a look in and gave a very nervous presentation to numerous Managers and Line Managers in the green house at Wynyard and waited for further if any contact. Contact came and with a few dust and cooling requirements set down by them the first test unit was installed at Hurlestone Park station, gone was the aluminium box and replaced with an electrical type box sealed from dust and the like. The box was mounted high on a wall with only the CRT monitor and keyboard sitting on their bench. A second trial was requested and machine two comprising of the same specs was installed at Bankstown station with the box mounted under the platform control room is a signal box cavity with the CRT monitor and screen within their work area.

Those first two machines raked us in a pretty penny for the time and it was fairly apparent that to have any shot at supplying dozens of stations (and retiring early) lol we needed to reduce the cost, enter the Amiga 600. We needed to dump the CRT monitor and by using the 600 we already had a keyboard built in. The program was modified to incorporate a small LCD screen which we mounted within the 600 to cover all the information required to operate the thing and with some payed help from an outside source it came to be, we could now sell that machine for one third of the original prototype cost.

So things rolled on with other modifications such as the ability to play not two but four announcements at the same time for those larger stations such as Sydenham. All up 55 Amiga 600's were running across the network with very few breakdowns along the way.

RED TAPE. All of the purchases of those 55 machines were made by local Line Managers that was until the contracts department got onto it and from their point of view as it was an ongoing project it needed to go to Tender. Bigger fish were entering the market multi nationals who probably had the opportunity to delve into our box of tricks and after many long nights applying to the two inch thick tender document and submitting in the tender box we were not selected as the winner.

So that is the story of the Amiga 600 DVA the first self program computer controlled DVA to operate on the network and we didn't get to retire early but it was a great experience.
brentmc1
This seems extremely interesting, thank you for telling us! Is there any remnants or videos/recording of these lets call 'Classic DVA's'?

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