It’s linked with the dot-matrix destination boards over the platforms and a clever little feature is that when the countdown clock reaches ten seconds and the “station starter” signal is clear the dot-matrix board starts flashing “Mind the doors”. If when the countdown clock reaches ten seconds the signal is at danger it will stop the countdown clock and delay the dot-matrix flashing until it clears. So if you see the dot-matrix start flashing then it’s time to go, stop faffing around and get on the bloody train!
If the gap between my train and the train behind is getting too long then Wood Lane can add time to the countdown clock and hold me at a platform for longer in order to "regulate" the service which was what happened yesterday during the evening peak when we had a problem on a train behind me.
If you didn’t know about the countdown clock and the dot-matrix board then you knew as much as 90% of the Station Staff doing SATS who stick the baton up in the air and inform the passengers over the PA that the train is ready to leave when I’m sat on a red signal or when I’ve still got 20 seconds on the clock. Kudos to LIS EB, the only person who got it right between HOL and MIE last night.
Hopefully now I've told you someone will tell them......