After years of wrecked reading and disrupted conversations or snoozes, rail passengers may finally be able to look forward to quieter carriages. Under plans being prepared by the Department for Transport, train operators will have to cut the “endless torrent” of announcements and recorded messages currently sprayed at passengers.

A “bonfire of the banalities” was promised by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, to reduce the number of redundant announcements played over train loudspeakers, including banal or contradictory messages.

The department will work with passenger groups to decide which can be cut and said that removal would start in the coming months.

However, one rail industry source said that the government does not control what announcements are made by train operators, and that it would be “crazy for it to intervene at that level”. And the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union condemned the department’s proposal as a “PR stunt by this collapsing government”.It said no passengers had complained about receiving too much information [this cannot be true] and it would fight to protect the jobs of people who made the announcements, so revealing its true priorities.