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I'm not fluent in English conversation, so I have a question.

For example a normal train stops at station A, and a following express train is passing the same station, so the normal train have to wait for the express train to pass the station first.

In this case, Is there any adequate expression in English to announce this situation to passengers? (especially 1-3 word will be great)

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  • Isn't this literally side-tracking the non-express train?
    – user150753
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 4:35
  • Thank you very much for your comment, is it okay to use the word in official occasions? and should the express train be subject in the structure of the sentences? Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 6:42
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    (On a British train) I can imagine the announcement going something like "We need to wait for the express to pass before we can enter X station." Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 12:39
  • @Kate in addition, the wrong kind of leaves need to be cleared. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 16:25
  • If I were you, I would take the bus.
    – David
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:09

2 Answers 2

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passing loop (UK) and passing siding (US)

Passing siding Main article: Passing loop A particular form of siding is the passing siding (U.S. and international) or passing loop (U.K.). This is a section of track parallel to a through line and connected to it at both ends by switches (U.S.) (points in international usage). Passing sidings allow trains travelling in opposite directions to pass, and for fast, high priority trains to pass slower or lower priority trains going the same direction. They are important for efficiency on single track lines, and add to the capacity of other lines.

siding on Wikipedia

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    This should really be a comment, unless you are suggesting the announcement "We are currently in a passing siding." Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 20:40
  • That's exactly what I want to know. Thank you. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 21:26
  • 1. in the sentence, "We are currently in a passing siding," the subject 'we' is for the train passing the station? or for the train waiting in the station? Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:14
  • In case of east asian language, the words meaning 'a train waiting for a one in opposite direction to pass' and 'for fast, high priority trains to pass slower or lower priority trains going the same direction. ' are separated. the former one is 交行, the later is 待避. Is there any expressions like this in English? Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:26
  • The technical terms and what is said to passengers are two different things. You can also use: southbound, northbound, eastbound and westbound. "We are waiting for the northbound train to pass." For example. Please don't say East Asian language. Say what the actual language is. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 14:31
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If a train is stopped for whatever reason, it's normal to hear an announcement that says, "We apologize for the delay."

[Merriam-Webster]
1 a : the act of postponing, hindering, or causing something to occur more slowly than normal : the state of being delayed
// get started without delay
1 b : an instance of being delayed
// apologized for the delay
// a rain delay
2 : the time during which something is delayed
// waited out a delay of 30 minutes

There is no expression that means a delay caused by waiting for another train to pass.


Putting the pieces together, the actual announcement would be something like the following (and it is announced in this way on the trains that I take):

We apologize for the delay as we wait for another train to pass.

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  • Dealy is absolutely not right here; it is applied to unscheduled stops, whereas the timetable is calculated to allow the fast train to pass the slower at a station. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 20:06
  • @TimLymington Even if the stop is scheduled (and the question doesn't make that clear), it's normal for the announcer of a train to apologize for the delay anyway. I've been on trains where stops have happened, both scheduled and unscheduled, and the announcement is still the same. Polite language doesn't necessarily follow the kind of logic that you are pointing out. If a train stops at the same place at the same time on every single trip, then there might not be an announcement at all. Or it might be we are waiting for another train to pass. . . thank you for your patience. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 20:36
  • This does not answer the question. In the U.S., at least, sometimes the announcement will include the reason for the delay. What would the announcement say in this case? Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:31
  • @PeterShor "We apologize for the delay as we wait for another train to pass." Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:43
  • I've heard U.S. railroaders use the word "overtake," as in "the express will overtake the local," but I don't think I've heard it in announcements made to passengers. On a commuter train I might hear something like "We are waiting for an Amtrak train to pass us, and then we'll be moving."
    – Literalman
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 19:56

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