Sunday, January 28, 2007

Those PDP-11s again

Following on from last week's not particularly surprising revelations that Connex doesn't know where its trains are, The Age is now highlighting the fact that their technology is prehistoric

As it happens, I covered this issue almost two years ago

And a year later they announced a plan to upgrade/replace the PDP-11s that was discussed here in this very blog

Funny that we've heard no more of that since, nor is it mentioned in the recent article, which you'd have thought would be an opportune time to mention any plans that might exist to get them out of this mess.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, just dropped in after reading all the troubles on trains these days. Am I glad I now ride a scooter to work? Very. Its paid for itself. No stress, just cruise.

My sympathy to all train travellors.

Thanks CW, i had a read of the old posts... It reminded me how mind boggling rubbish connex were. Well worth ditching the trains.

29 January, 2007 20:53  
Blogger The Met said...

I'll take your sympathy - i'm still rather satisfied.

But I tend to focue more on trams - more frequent, and usually more reliable.

30 January, 2007 18:21  
Blogger RalX said...

Theres a cheap off the shelf solution, use vehical tracking sysems, plug one into every carriage, and presto its all working on a damn $1800 dell PC, not a $2m PDP11.

Get to do it. or anyone. Hell, even Siemens have tracking solutions in Germany if Connex will be willing to pay. Oh but maybe their employees need 36 months training.

31 January, 2007 07:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Met,

your satisfied?

Why are you getting trains then you moron!

31 January, 2007 08:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Age Headline today: Trains a death trap, says official

31 January, 2007 10:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Age article today has the PTUA suggesting running more frequent trains. A Connex spokeswoman says that this is impossible:

"We would have to change all our timetables, notify all our customers, change our signalling, (make changes) to level crossings.

"We would have to change all the information on our computers and on screens at stations.

"All of that would take months," she said. "We have over 1800 services a day. It's an absolutely ludicrous suggestion."

Now while I can understand that notifying everyone of the changes would take a _little_ while, is anyone else scared by the fact that changing signalling, information displays, and level crossing timings would take MONTHS????? Aren't these all connected to a PDP-11 somewhere and updated based on a state of the system, not hard coded!!?!?!?!?

31 January, 2007 13:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now you got Connex frightened! That's a word that is not in their Train Operators Manual, Edition 1, published 1813.

Let's keep it the way it is and stop complaining. (I am not serious, just sarcastic.)

31 January, 2007 14:02  
Blogger The Met said...

Connex - thankfully, have never existed since 1831.

Otherwise Stephensons Rocket would have never left the station.


i'm rather satisfied. Well i'll gladly explain, that luckily the railway shambles haven't affected me (majorly).


2nd last anonymous.

The PTUA are stupid.

How can Connex even think about running more frequent services, if they can't keep up providing the current ones, and let alone reliabley.


ralx - why Dell... could always go for an IBM...

The monetary values have no consideration for the truth. You neglect to count the cost, of installing this of the shelf solution, installation, and maintenance.

Working on one single $'1800' computer! - Good luck running the network then, I might have better luck trying to wave down a helicopter.

and plus Connex didn't pay for the trains, they're leased from the government.

06 February, 2007 21:49  

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