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boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned

Interesting, finally we are getting some platform staff to help passengers.

Marshals hired to ease squeeze on train times

Date

October 19, 2012

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Jacob Saulwick

Transport Reporter

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On you get … a Tokyo attendant pushes in commuters. Photo: AP

IN TOKYO subway companies hire ''pushers'' to help cram commuters onto trains.

Sydney is not there yet. But next month the city's train operator will trial posting two guards per train door on the most crowded morning platform at Town Hall Station to help marshal the worst of the peak-hour crush.

The guards, hired in the past fortnight, will try to reduce the amount of time it takes for trains to stop, pick up and unload passengers before leaving the station.

Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

But the flipside is that some passengers running late will find it more difficult to get on if that risks delaying the train.

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From November 19 at Town Hall's platform three, RailCorp will start treating weekday mornings like a special event.

The station will be separated into three sections, with dedicated zones for passengers waiting for a train, getting off the train and getting on. And marshals at each door will try to move people on and off more quickly.

After the Herald learnt of the initiative, the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, explained the thinking behind the trial. ''Keeping trains moving through the peak is important as the most minor of delays can have a knock-on effect to following trains and cause disruptions to customers,'' she said.

''One train delayed by only a few minutes can have a potential impact on dozens of train services.''

Overcrowded trains and narrow platforms ill equipped to cope with the volume of peak-hour passengers mean it can take between 80 seconds and two minutes for trains to leave platforms on stations in the central business district.

This limits the number of trains RailCorp can run. On the western line, for instance, RailCorp's timetable says 20 trains run through the city in a peak hour but in practice only 17 or 18 do.

RailCorp's trial will target 60-second ''dwell times'' at Town Hall's platform three between 7am and 8.30am.

RailCorp has hired 16 marshals to work the part-time, peak-hour shifts. They are now being trained.

A spokeswoman for RailCorp would not say much it had cost to hire the marshals. But one source said it had been impossible to move existing staff from less crowded CBD stations - for instance, St James or Museum - to work at Town Hall in the morning because of restrictions in RailCorp's enterprise bargaining agreement with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

Mick Cartwright, a branch organiser with the union, said cuts in the past few years meant RailCorp had had to hire new marshals.

But Mr Cartwright said the trial would improve safety at Town Hall and should help trains run to time better.

''My understanding is that anyone who tries to run down and delay the train, the [marshals] will ask them to stand back when the doors close so the train's not further delayed,'' Mr Cartwright said.

''Hopefully it will get people to and from work efficiently.''

Close to 59,000 people get off or change trains at Town Hall every morning.

Platform three is particularly congested then as commuters getting off the busy western and northern lines mix with commuters trying to board trains for the north shore.

RailCorp will also try to clear space from platforms by moving vending machines and public telephones to other areas.

It has also taken away a few bench seats.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/marshals-hired-to-ease-squeeze-on-train-times-20121018-27tzp.html#ixzz29etUgmNa/quote

- A user
 
Dungog Diesel Locomotive Driver

Isn't there a bit of a problem with the maths here?


the city's train operator will trial posting two guards per train door on the most crowded morning platform at Town Hall Station
- A user



But...

RailCorp has hired 16 marshals to work the part-time, peak-hour shifts.

- A user



So the article says there's going to be two marshals per door, yet an 8 car train has 16 doors on the platform and they've only hired 16 marshals. I'm assuming the journalist must have meant 2 marshals per carriage (not per door), hence 16 marshals in total? Can anyone confirm this?


Anyway, aside from that reasonably minor issue, it seems like a pretty good idea to me. Anyone disagree? Can anyone see anything wrong with it, or does anyone think it won't achieve what it's designed to do (i.e. decrease dwells, increase tph)?

 
kypros1992 Locomotive Fireman

Location: .....

The media release:
A new initiative at Town Hall Station aims to improve reliability for trains coming into the city and reduce congestion during the morning peak, Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said today.

“As part of the four week trial, rail staff will treat every morning peak on Platform 3 as a major event,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The aim of this trial is to get our customers to their destination faster, keep trains running on time and test a system that helps our customers on and off trains in a safe and swift manner.

“We need to get more out of our rail network – our Sydney’s Rail Future plan outlines short and longer term initiatives and this trial is one of the operational improvements we are investigating to help make our rail network more efficient and reliable.

“Sydney’s Rail Future provides a clear plan for infrastructure investment over the coming years, plus a rewrite of the timetable for next year, so along with operational improvements we will be able to provide more services for customers.”

Trains that are delayed at stations cause longer journey times, unreliability, crowded platforms and customer frustration.  At the moment where 20 trains per hour are timetabled in the peak sometimes only 18 arrive in that hour.

The trial from 19 November includes:

  • Event-style marshalling on Platform 3 at Town Hall between 7am and 9.30am
  • Attempts to reduce dwell times – the time trains wait at stations - to 60 seconds
  • Announcements on trains and stations when the train is approaching the platform 
  • The platform segregated into three distinctive sections
  • Improving passenger flows to and from the platform.

“Keeping trains on time through the peak is important as the most minor of delays can have a knock-on effect to following trains,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“For example, one train delayed by only a few minutes can have a potential impact on dozens of train services behind it.”

The weekday morning peak is the network’s busiest period and there are close to 59,000 people who alight or interchange at Town Hall every single morning. Platform 3 at Town Hall is the location for the trial as it is one of the busiest parts of the network.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/fixing-trainskeeping-trains-moving



 
 
jaseee Chief Train Controller

Excellent idea! Highly supportive of this. I'm tired of the morning crawl to Wynyard every morning...I hope it does have an improvement on the flow of trains.

 
s3_gunzel Deputy Commissioner

So, lemme get this straight...

To ease congestion, They're adding 16 people to the congestion and expecting the "masses" to listen...

 
boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned

So, lemme get this straight...

To ease congestion, They're adding 16 people to the congestion and expecting the "masses" to listen...

- s3_gunzel

Well, crowd management seems to work at major events...

 
Dungog Diesel Locomotive Driver

So, lemme get this straight...

To ease congestion, They're adding 16 people to the congestion and expecting the "masses" to listen...

- s3_gunzel

If the platform already has several hundred people waiting on it, then I'd say adding a mere 16 extra people will have a pretty negligible effect in terms of making the congestion worse. This is especially the case given their sole purpose is to reduce congestion by speeding up the flow of people on and off the train (and hence on and off the congested platform as well).

As for whether or not people will pay any attention to them, I take your point there. So what would you suggest instead?

 

Sounds like this has been done before. Around five (maybe more) they had staff herding people around platform 1 & 2 at Town Hall in the PM peak, they had those extendable barriers that are put infront of disabled escalators to block off the platform in front of the stairs.

Seeing into the future theirs going to be a delay the platform will overflow, someone (who may have attended "gladdy's school for customer service"? will overstep and get their head punched in. And the whole situation will go straight to hell.

 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

Sounds like this has been done before. Around five (maybe more) they had staff herding people around platform 1 & 2 at Town Hall in the PM peak, they had those extendable barriers that are put infront of disabled escalators to block off the platform in front of the stairs.

Seeing into the future theirs going to be a delay the platform will overflow, someone (who may have attended "gladdy's school for customer service"? will overstep and get their head punched in. And the whole situation will go straight to hell.

- Last Train to Clarksville



Barriers and shepherding people where they don't want to go is a bit foolhardy IMHO.  I remember this from the Olympics: barriers everywhere and well meaning volunteer nazis ordering people left right an centre - often in completely counter productive ways.

But where this might work well is to stop new PAX boarding - or attempting to board - a train that is already full or has already exceeded it's allotted dwell time.

As I understand it, not all dwells, indeed not even the majority of dwells are >60 seconds.  It's just on occasions PAX queue to board a door, and the combination of people standing in the doorway *and* blocking the exit on the platform delays unloading.  If the marshals can say (metophorically) "OK, that's it - the rest of you lot are on the next train in 2min time" at a delayed door, the train can leave on time.

 
australiz Beginner

Location: Sector 1. In gods country

Well maybe they can atleast help spread the passengers along a bit more. The biggest problem seems to be people all wanting to get into the same set of doors, well from my experience anyway.

 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

I agree with djf01. It's to reduce the few trains that exceed their dwell time. You'll find most trains don't blow out, but the few that do bring the house down. Frankly, this is overdue.

Well maybe they can atleast help spread the passengers along a bit more. The biggest problem seems to be people all wanting to get into the same set of doors, well from my experience anyway.

- australiz



This is another major problem, but it should be remembered that Town Hall's layout results in passengers waiting in different areas than normal (e.g. at the first position car on Platform 4).

 
abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNE-LjNbcr0

 
bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on an L90

This may have been discussed before, sorry if it has. But what about having doors at the platform that lock when the train is due to depart so passengers can't do a run onto the train when the doors are closing? When the guard blows the whistle, the platform attendant locks the doors so no-one else can get on.

 
Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL

This may have been discussed before, sorry if it has. But what about having doors at the platform that lock when the train is due to depart so passengers can't do a run onto the train when the doors are closing? When the guard blows the whistle, the platform attendant locks the doors so no-one else can get on.

- bowralcommuter



If all carriages were the same length it would be possible  (although $$$$$$$$$$$$), but considering different rolling stock have different length carriages, how are they going to line up the doors.

 
boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned

This may have been discussed before, sorry if it has. But what about having doors at the platform that lock when the train is due to depart so passengers can't do a run onto the train when the doors are closing? When the guard blows the whistle, the platform attendant locks the doors so no-one else can get on.

- bowralcommuter



If all carriages were the same length it would be possible  (although $$$$$$$$$$$$), but considering different rolling stock have different length carriages, how are they going to line up the doors.

- Blackadder

Fear not, I've read in some of the PPP documents that the Waratah trains are  designed to be compatible with platform screen doors... that is when they are all delivered!

 
bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on an L90

This trial is only in AM peak, I'd of though PM peak would benefit more? I watched the report on the ABC, one of the people interviewed said the solution is "get more trains", feel free to suggest how mate! Laughing

 
abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network

I watched the report on the ABC, one of the people interviewed said the solution is "get more trains", feel free to suggest how mate! Laughing

- bowralcommuter


And here is that report:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2I-Q33lccU&feature=youtu.be

 
moonetau Junior Train Controller

I watched the report on the ABC, one of the people interviewed said the solution is "get more trains", feel free to suggest how mate! Laughing

- bowralcommuter


And here is that report:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2I-Q33lccU&feature=youtu.be/quote

How?
I would suggest placing an order now for delivery and payment after the Waratah rollout is finished.
But this time carriages with 3 wide doors per carriage like the MI09 on the Paris RER.
Reduce dwell time in the crucial two stations of TH and Wynyard.
Marshalls sound OK in short term however.

- abesty1
 
simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane

Which also reduces the capacity of the trains.  Cityrail carriages are shorter than the RER carriages too so the penalty is more severe.  And the curved platforms which Cityrail deal with will make bigger gaps.  Not sure if RER has all straight platforms, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I think the Marshal plan might be a bit pointless if it doesn't also include Central Platform 16.

 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

This may have been discussed before, sorry if it has. But what about having doors at the platform that lock when the train is due to depart so passengers can't do a run onto the train when the doors are closing? When the guard blows the whistle, the platform attendant locks the doors so no-one else can get on.

- bowralcommuter



If all carriages were the same length it would be possible (although $$$$$$$$$$$$), but considering different rolling stock have different length carriages, how are they going to line up the doors.

- Blackadder

Fear not, I've read in some of the PPP documents that the Waratah trains are designed to be compatible with platform screen doors... that is when they are all delivered!

- boxythingy


Betcha their spacing is different to the OSCARs though.

 
moonetau Junior Train Controller

Which also reduces the capacity of the trains. Cityrail carriages are shorter than the RER carriages too so the penalty is more severe. And the curved platforms which Cityrail deal with will make bigger gaps. Not sure if RER has all straight platforms, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I think the Marshal plan might be a bit pointless if it doesn't also include Central Platform 16.

- simonl




The MI09 carry the equivalent of 1,820 pax, or 36,400 per hour at 3 minute headways.

A standard MI09 consist on RER line A is 112 metres long. Each of the 5 carriages is just over 22m long. Total passenger capacity is 1300, with 475 seats. (An equivalent consist on the Sydney network would be made up of 7 carriages for a total length of 155m - Sydney suburban platform standard length is about 160m ). The MI09 would have the equivalent of 21 doors per side on the Cityrail network.

On really curvy platforms like Wollstonecraft, you could open only the centre doors, to avoid the gap if it became a problem. Are there  many others like that.

A-Set (Waratahs): 20m long

 
simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane

So in other words a significant reduction in seats per hour for the line for a small benefit in capacity.

 
moonetau Junior Train Controller

So in other words a significant reduction in seats per hour for the line for a small benefit in capacity.

- simonl



I think the Waratah has a capacity of about 1,600 total (seated and standing, not crush load) for 160m long train or 10 per m (can't find an exact figure so happy to be corrected). 
MI09 is total 2,600 passengers, 948 seats over 225m or 11.5 per metre.

Ref: http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_58810/the-new-rer-a-train-pulls-into-the-station/print/


 
thefatcontroller Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, Australia

So in other words a significant reduction in seats per hour for the line for a small benefit in capacity.

- simonl



I think the Waratah has a capacity of about 1,600 total (seated and standing, not crush load) for 160m long train or 10 per m (can't find an exact figure so happy to be corrected).
MI09 is total 2,600 passengers, 948 seats over 225m or 11.5 per metre.

Ref: http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_58810/the-new-rer-a-train-pulls-into-the-station/print/



- moonetau



There are 896 seats per train which included 16 wheelchair spaces: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CityRail_A_set

 

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