Sunday, June 17, 2012

Up the platform and down dale

While they are not bad now, railway station announcements used to be quite unintelligible in Melbourne. Often it was because of the announcers strong accent, but not always. The point is illustrated that it may have been a world wide problem, if you check out this clip from Monsieur Hulot's Holiday.

I was recently reminded of the scene by a friend who did a bit of up and down platform running at Flinders Street Station. Very M. Hulot, said the other friend.

Have you done the up platform, down platform dash to catch a train after a poor announcement or staff advice?


  1. Yep, i just shook my head and groaned because i remember those days very well when i used to catch the train to Newport Workshops and back home in the 70s Grrrrr :-).

  2. That is a brilliant clip. I really must sit down one day and watch Jacques Tati's films. They look to be wonderfully comic.

  3. Flinders St was notorious for swapping platforms at little notice, causing everyone to have to run to the new platform. More than once they then changed it back resulting in much eye rolling.

  4. Anonymous12:29 pm

    Ha, that clip's very funny! V.

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  6. What came over the loudspeakers at Flinders Street was unintelligible. Train Not Going Platform Nine became "Tree no gong plat for boyne," and you'd get on, get ushered off and feel a total idiot.

  7. A lot of the problem seems to be from announcers holding the mike too close to the mouth as well. We have the same thing happening here in store when people are called over the PA. Everyone looks up from their lunch and says "did anyone know what that was about?"
    Ha Ha.

  8. Good grief, waddyamean "used to be unintelligible" ?
    We have to dash up and down platforms like a bride's nightie for vline trains which can become buses in the wink of an eye.

  9. Flinders St is a problem?! Southern Cross Station is the epicentre of white noise. ABSOLUTE SHOCKER!

  10. @ Victor. One must not die before seeing the Tati classic 'Mon Oncle'.

  11. 1] Mon Oncle is the best of Tati's films, I agree.

    2] This is a great clip too, and spot on, Andrew.

    3] I agree... "used to?"

    4] Yes River, something very strange happens to [most] people when they have a mike near their mouth.

    5] If you travel on Melbourne's Metro trains don't trust announcements, overhead signs, the advice of uniformed staff or ticketsellers. Just be afraid. Very afraid. Do not relax, do not open your book or newspaper until you are past the last station where a train could be diverted. Then check occasionally the train has not started a return journey before reaching your station.

    6] Do not run. Sit and wait. It ain't worth it. It's all random anyway.

  12. Windsmoke, I have heard some tales but not experienced it myself.

    Victor, especially Mon Oncle and the above mentioned one.

    It is funny to watch Fen, but not to participate in.

    You not seen Tati films V?

    RH, you picked up more of the words than I did then.

    River, some basic training in mike technique would help many, not that I am very good.

    Jayne, just go to the Southern Cross Coach Station. It is quite some distance.

    LS, while I haven't really tuned into the announcements, I don't mind the station.

    FC, intuition is all you can rely on then.

  13. OMG it's midnight in Perth and I'm sitting here laughing like a drainpipe, that was sooo funny and I'm definitely coming back when I have time to look at some of the other linked vids! Thanks for that Andrew and yes I have done this many times also.

  14. Good exercise I suppose Grace. I will put a few more clips up in the future.

  15. what Jayne said, and Victor, and Sedgwick.
    no announcement has ever been heard on any platform of SoCross, and one waits in the enclosed Passenger Lounge (No Reclining please) in order to hear. One then gets an announcement at 3:28 that the 3:30 train is now a coach departing Bay 62 (about 2 city blocks away).
    Complaint receives the response "they want people to miss their service so they spend money while trapped here". I despair.

  16. That's exactly how it was ! Only the clothing and the train had changed hahaha !

  17. I thought it was quite funny Gattina, and true.