metraRI wrote:Human or not, there will always be flaws, but I'd take the pre-recorded announcements over a mumbling conductor any day.With you on this one. I've noticed the PA systems on the older cars (the Budds) are pretty sub-par in comparison to the newer ADA cars and manual crew announcements (delays, "first three cars only," etc), when made from those cars, are extra crackl-y (seems that the microphones are the cause). Better to just automate the whole thing and keep the voice hard wired and at a constant volume. Also, some of the lines' short station spacings (< 3 minutes between stops) make manual announcements impractical and an inconvenience better left in the past. RI Beverly Branch, much of the MED, and some BNSF rush hour locals come to mind.
Also, I don't think the satellite system operates the in-station announcements, and suspect they may instead be tied in with the track circuits used to actuate the crossing gates and signal blocks (or maybe it's tied in with both?). Correct me if you know I'm wrong, though.
That old car might be worth money!