Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watch out for the broadcasters!

Dutch railways is currently in the news because of another poor show of performance during two weeks of frosty weather that's no behind us. I saw this sign at the WTC Amsterdam stop, which confused many people on the platform who don't speak Dutch. It means "please listen for announcements" over the station's public address system, because the current train schedule has been suspended. The current criticism in the Dutch parliament is that Dutch railways are probably the worst in the country when it comes to informing people about what's happening during an emergency (weather) situation. Planned engineering works are well documented and shouted out. But when the system fails, for whatever reason, then you can wait in vain for any form of announcement. In Schiphol you'll get them in English, German and Dutch. But on most stations you'll get them in Dutch only, if at all. I'm rather furious that the coordinated bus/train schedule system which is supposed to explain how to get from A to B has disintegrated into fantasy land. Best advice is to go to the bus-stop and/or train system and hope for the best. I took the picture because it could be taken out of context to imply that Dutch railways cares about the future of broadcasting. But the creative collapse of some areas of broadcasting is something for another post.

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