Sydney Trains Station Procedure

 
  jdennis Junior Train Controller

Just a quick question about the station procedure for a departing train on the Sydney Trains network - what exactly has to happen and how does it work? What are the rules? I have seen a staff member on the platform with a flag, and heard a number of whistles every time a train departs, but I'm not quite sure what it all means. Can anyone offer me any information?

Thanks!

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  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Where they are provided and ready at that time, the train guard is required to wait until the 'Right-of-way' employee gives a right-of-way signal. This is done with the use of a white flag. This signals to the guard that it is safe to begin their departure procedure.

On platforms of strong customer activity (such as the PM peak in City stations) or extreme safety risks such as curved platforms, additional staff member(s) are provided to assist the 'right-of-way' employee to safely give the right-of-way to the guard. These additional staff members provide a 'clear for right-of-way' signal via the use of a blue flag. The use of this flag signals to the 'right-of-way' employee (with the white flag) that their area is clear of boarding/alighting passengers and it is safe to begin the departure procedure.

The purpose behind this is to ensure passenger safety. It is thus safety critical and I will advise that it is not nice to interrupt staff while they are performing these duties. They need to be focused on ensuring the train departs safely.

Re the whistle - I'd hope that it'd be self-explanatory but the whistle informs passengers (iPod drones obviously excepted) that the train is due for departure and they need to get on. Either get on the train or be behind the yellow line.
  jdennis Junior Train Controller

Where they are provided and ready at that time, the train guard is required to wait until the 'Right-of-way' employee gives a right-of-way signal. This is done with the use of a white flag. This signals to the guard that it is safe to begin their departure procedure.

On platforms of strong customer activity (such as the PM peak in City stations) or extreme safety risks such as curved platforms, additional staff member(s) are provided to assist the 'right-of-way' employee to safely give the right-of-way to the guard. These additional staff members provide a 'clear for right-of-way' signal via the use of a blue flag. The use of this flag signals to the 'right-of-way' employee (with the white flag) that their area is clear of boarding/alighting passengers and it is safe to begin the departure procedure.

The purpose behind this is to ensure passenger safety. It is thus safety critical and I will advise that it is not nice to interrupt staff while they are performing these duties. They need to be focused on ensuring the train departs safely.

Re the whistle - I'd hope that it'd be self-explanatory but the whistle informs passengers (iPod drones obviously excepted) that the train is due for departure and they need to get on. Either get on the train or be behind the yellow line.
"Aurora8"


Thanks, that explains a lot. So when there's more than one whistle, I assume that must just be because some idiot is blocking the doors or something!
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Thanks, that explains a lot. So when there's more than one whistle, I assume that must just be because some idiot is blocking the doors or something!
jdennis
yes. come to any station with a lot of students boarding after school. you can hear up to 4 or 5 whistle as idiots hold up the door and other stuff like push and shove inside the train,etc
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
yes. come to any station with a lot of students boarding after school. you can hear up to 4 or 5 whistle as idiots hold up the door and other stuff like push and shove inside the train,etc
fixitguy
Or any Station with high office worker population, who believe that blowing the whistle is a sign to run to the closing doors, regardless of if they get caught in the doors or not.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Where they are provided and ready at that time, the train guard is required to wait until the 'Right-of-way' employee gives a right-of-way signal. This is done with the use of a white flag. This signals to the guard that it is safe to begin their departure procedure.

On platforms of strong customer activity (such as the PM peak in City stations) or extreme safety risks such as curved platforms, additional staff member(s) are provided to assist the 'right-of-way' employee to safely give the right-of-way to the guard. These additional staff members provide a 'clear for right-of-way' signal via the use of a blue flag. The use of this flag signals to the 'right-of-way' employee (with the white flag) that their area is clear of boarding/alighting passengers and it is safe to begin the departure procedure.
Aurora8
The correct name for the train despatch handsignal is right away, also expressed as rightaway. This handsignal predates the introduction of starting signals in the second half of the nineteenth century and is very much a part of ancient railway history. Traditionally, the right away was a "proceed" handsignal from station staff to the guard when it was safe for his train to proceed, typically using the hand only during daylight and a white light at night, since white was the original colour for "clear", green being reserved for "caution" until circa the 1890s. The words "right away" were also commonly bellowed at the guard by station staff.

Where a platform departure signal is provided, station staff are required to ensure that it is showing a proceed indication (by checking the signal directly or the guard's indicator) before giving the right away handsignal to the guard, who must also check the departure signal (or guard's indicator) has been cleared before giving the driver the "ready to start" or "all-right" signal by hand, flag, lamp, bell or buzzer (hand/flag/lamp repeated to driver by station staff where necessary). Naturally, the driver is also required to ensure the signal has been cleared before proceeding. Failures of this triple check that lead to the passage of the platform departure signal at danger may be referred to as "ding-ding, and away" or "Starting Against Signal SPAD" incidents, and can lead to a derailment or collision. In driver only operation (DOO) areas (not at Sydney Trains - yet), station staff communicate directly with the driver by handsignal or by illuminating a miniature stencil 'CD' for close doors and 'RA' for right away beneath the platform departure signal (where provided). Note that there are still many stations without platform departure signals and many unattended platforms where the guard and driver perform station duties unassisted.

Right-of-way has its own distinct meaning that has nothing to do with the departure of trains from stations. The misuse of right-of-way for train despatch has become widespread in Sydney and is probably rooted in a misunderstanding by a junior or ignorant employee and his familiarity with road rules, where the term is also used with yet another meaning, one most of us would be familiar with. Right-of-way has even found its way onto official railway documentation over the past decade or so, but that does not make it correct.
  darcyj Chief Train Controller

Or any Station with high office worker population, who believe that blowing the whistle is a sign to run to the closing doors, regardless of if they get caught in the doors or not.
Blackadder

Is there any possibility of having attendants at each door with big sticks?  In Japan they use them to cram more people into the train, but the use I envisage is to prevent access.  The crowd control infrastructure at Olympic Park works well, although it does piss me off to be directed to area X of the platform when I want to be in area Y.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
Wishful thinking, the complaints coming in from people being told where to go etc would see them soon back down. I am led to believe there have been a number of complaints about the changes at Town Hall and the marshalls there.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

Flagging trains is fun. Tho haven't done it in a while.


Are any staff NOT wearing their hi-vis vests while flagging? Haven't seen any yet.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Are any staff NOT wearing their hi-vis vests while flagging? Haven't seen any yet.
smithagain
Blacktown Station P1/2 tend not to... But they're not in a place with "high" activity at the best of times and can be easily seen by the guard of most trains...
  parraeel Chief Train Controller

Flagging trains is fun. Tho haven't done it in a while.


Are any staff NOT wearing their hi-vis vests while flagging? Haven't seen any yet.
smithagain

I have seen station staff still wearing the hi-vis vests, they'd be mad not to until something official has been stated
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
Flagging trains is fun. Tho haven't done it in a while.


Are any staff NOT wearing their hi-vis vests while flagging? Haven't seen any yet.
smithagain
Still a requirement, and hopefully will be for a while to come.
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
On the Southern Highlands line some don't wear a high vis vest. Different rules for NSW TrainLink?
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
On the Southern Highlands line some don't wear a high vis vest. Different rules for NSW TrainLink?
bowralcommuter
AFAIK no
  Somewhereondailla Beginner

Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi-vis  vests  are still a  requirement when  doing  Hand signalling whether  Sydney Trains or  NSW Trains

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