What is the purpose, please?

 
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In recent months Metro has changed the door handles on many Comeng trains from functional 'knobs' to inset recessed whatevers. No doubt this was done at considerable cost. Two questions, please:

  1. What was the purpose of this change?
  2. Did they consider at any stage the much greater difficulty many elderly people who suffer from arthritis or other weakness in their fingers have with these new handles? I have had to help several people in this regard.


Also in the last few weeks I have noticed that some overhead stanchions have been encased in a crude black cardboard looking material from ground level to about 2 metres high.

What is the purpose of these things? (Apart from wasting money and providing yet another canvas for graffiti artists). Does anyone know, please?

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  raudteejaam Train Controller

When I first noticed the new door handles, my first thought was "that will make the doors a whole lot harder to wrench open after they've closed". I figured it'd save on delays and possible damaged to the doors, and further prevent louts from pushing the doors open whilst the train is moving. You can't do either on the Siemens or X-Traps, so maybe it was a sort of uniform-safety approach. I've no idea if that's the reason, but it seems vaguely plausible.

I doubt they've consulted anyone about it at all, whatever the reason is.
  onyx Locomotive Fireman

They replaced the door handles so that people can no longer (make it harder to) force the doors open when the train is moving.

You can read more about it here; http://www.metrotrains.com.au/low-profile-door-handles/
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
42.

(Sorry, just read the thread title on it's own, and figured this was the best possible answer).
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I've seen d*ckheads force open the doors on a Comeng - with the new handles on them. It's still possible - it's just not quite as easy. As my late grand-dad used to say, you'll never stop stupid people from doing stupid things.

It was the Coroner that made them do it; in the future when people kill themselves by smashing their heads against trackside structures using this method Metro/PTV will be able to say "We spent millions of dollars trying to make the doors tamper-proof - see, we did our bit.". In my opinion people are definitely dumber than they were before the war; but maybe we're collectively becoming more stupid but it's more likely that when people did dumb things like exit a moving train they were blamed for their own actions. I guess in this litigious age you can always sue someone else for the consequences of your actions. Once upon a time they could trust the public to only open doors themselves at stations - now they have to actively prevent them from forcing the self-closing doors open. Progress?
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
I think those instructions need to be by the new handles as I didn't know of the second method to use 'em and have issues with the first. Still I prefer human- powered door opening over slow to work push button.

Oddly, I recall when I was younger quite happily travelling in a suburban service that had doors and windows open between stations and the train was moving, but those were the days of being able to travel on a spark to Warragul.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I've seen d*ckheads force open the doors on a Comeng - with the new handles on them. It's still possible - it's just not quite as easy. As my late grand-dad used to say, you'll never stop stupid people from doing stupid things.

It was the Coroner that made them do it; in the future when people kill themselves by smashing their heads against trackside structures using this method Metro/PTV will be able to say "We spent millions of dollars trying to make the doors tamper-proof - see, we did our bit.". In my opinion people are definitely dumber than they were before the war; but maybe we're collectively becoming more stupid but it's more likely that when people did dumb things like exit a moving train they were blamed for their own actions. I guess in this litigious age you can always sue someone else for the consequences of your actions. Once upon a time they could trust the public to only open doors themselves at stations - now they have to actively prevent them from forcing the self-closing doors open. Progress?
don_dunstan
Oh well, just confirms my long held belief that if you want an 'ill conceived' (idiotic) decision ask a Coroner. They cannot decide that ABCXYZ was an idiot they have to do something even if it adversely affects a million other people.
  shaun001 Station Master

We've all heard of "butt covering." This is another good example of it.
Unfortunately we live in a world (or country) where people are no longer responsible for their own behaviour.

The answer? Make this behaviour everyone else's responsibility instead. So, the Coroner says we have to protect everybody from themselves.


Stupid.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station

Also in the last few weeks I have noticed that some overhead stanchions have been encased in a crude black cardboard looking material from ground level to about 2 metres high.

What is the purpose of these things? (Apart from wasting money and providing yet another canvas for graffiti artists). Does anyone know, please?
YM-Mundrabilla
I've seen those black coverings too along stanchions on the Frankston line. I suspect that they have been fitted to protect stanchions during construction activities of which there are several going on along lines at the moment. I could be wrong though...happy to be corrected.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Oddly, I recall when I was younger quite happily travelling in a suburban service that had doors and windows open between stations and the train was moving, but those were the days of being able to travel on a spark to Warragul.
ARdoH
My GOD, how did you not manage to plummet to your death!
Oh well, just confirms my long held belief that if you want an 'ill conceived' (idiotic) decision ask a Coroner.
YM-Mundrabilla

Unfortunately we live in a world (or country) where people are no longer responsible for their own behaviour.
shaun001
I blame the flocks of unemployed lawyers flying around like seagulls looking for a suing opportunity... another unfortunate disease we caught from the United States it seems. The Coroner also seems to think that every single death by misadventure, stupidity etc. is preventable when clearly it isn't.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

It was the Coroner that made them do it; in the future when people kill themselves by smashing their heads against trackside structures using this method Metro/PTV will be able to say "We spent millions of dollars trying to make the doors tamper-proof - see, we did our bit.". In my opinion people are definitely dumber than they were before the war; but maybe we're collectively becoming more stupid but it's more likely that when people did dumb things like exit a moving train they were blamed for their own actions.
don_dunstan

The Coroner can't make anyone do anything. They simply investigate deaths and make recommendations as to how similar deaths could be avoided in the future.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The Coroner can't make anyone do anything. They simply investigate deaths and make recommendations as to how similar deaths could be avoided in the future.
historian
It's an incredibly powerful court of law in its own right though - they can recommend charges to the DPP, they can have you de-registered if you are a professional person dealing with the public. I personally know of someone who was called before an inquest in their professional capacity who was torn to shreds over the death of a client whom she had absolutely no control over... you'll have to PM me if you want the details because I don't feel it's appropriate to discuss on an open forum. But needless to say they can rip you to bits if they think there was anything you could have possibly done to prevent a death, even where the death was by suicide, stupidity or mis-adventure. And they regularly name and shame people/organisations in the media.

That's why Metro/PTV were pressured into making this change to Comeng doors - initially they were told that they would have to retrofit all Comengs with solenoid devices that actually locked the doors on closing but that would have cost tens of millions for a type of rolling-stock which (frankly) doesn't have a long time left on the tracks anyway. So the change in door handles was a compromise that doesn't quite work but nevertheless cost a lot less than the overkill solenoid idea.

If someone wants to force open a train door and hang their head/body out at speed then it's Charles Darwin's desire that they should be punished for that action, possibly removing them from the gene pool. The Coroner and their ilk seem to think that everyone, regardless of the inherent stupidity of their risk taking behaviour, can be saved from themselves. Nanny state, pure and simple.
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
Oddly, I recall when I was younger quite happily travelling in a suburban service that had doors and windows open between stations and the train was moving, but those were the days of being able to travel on a spark to Warragul.
My GOD, how did you not manage to plummet to your death!
don_dunstan
Well the fact that the train wasn't running a crush load, so everyone had a seat helped. That and there was a guard on duty helping the driver in watching out for Darwin candidates protruding from the carriages.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I went to high school for four years in Taits with the doors and windows open. We were all in the 13 to 17 age bracket (a time at which young males are prone to bravado and stupidity), but I never saw anyone fall out, or even go close to it. If I had fallen out, I'd get a kick in the bum from my old man (after any injuries healed) and, if the cops charged me, I'd have been firmly told it was my own stupid fault.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

Also in the last few weeks I have noticed that some overhead stanchions have been encased in a crude black cardboard looking material from ground level to about 2 metres high.

What is the purpose of these things? (Apart from wasting money and providing yet another canvas for graffiti artists). Does anyone know, please?I've seen those black coverings too along stanchions on the Frankston line. I suspect that they have been fitted to protect stanchions during construction activities of which there are several going on along lines at the moment. I could be wrong though...happy to be corrected.
jdekorte
No they are on the Craigieburn line too.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Oddly, I recall when I was younger quite happily travelling in a suburban service that had doors and windows open between stations and the train was moving, but those were the days of being able to travel on a spark to Warragul.
My GOD, how did you not manage to plummet to your death!
Well the fact that the train wasn't running a crush load, so everyone had a seat helped. That and there was a guard on duty helping the driver in watching out for Darwin candidates protruding from the carriages.
ARodH
I have travelled on many a crush loaded Tait with passengers protruding from doorways and hanging on to the external handrails and roof guttering!
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I remember as kid in the 50's riding the old Red Rattlers around Sydney packed to ceiling in peak hours with the sliding doors usually stuck half open unless it was pouring rain or mid winter and amazingly,  no one seemed to want to fall out unless they were drunk and even then, most failed.
It just didnt seem to be an idea to hang out of the carriage to see how close to or hard you could hit a stantion or other line side structure but it did happen but the general attitude was 'How stupid can a person be?'.

I remember when they introduced power operated doors as a result of passengers complaining about the draft and interlocked them with the Safety System, this seemed to trigger some deformed gene in some who had to either put something in the way to stop them closing or force them open when the Train was moving.

For some, a very poorly maintained Live Stock wagon with no seats is all some passengers deserve to be carried in.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
It just didnt seem to be an idea to hang out of the carriage to see how close to or hard you could hit a stantion or other line side structure but it did happen but the general attitude was 'How stupid can a person be?'.
gordon_s1942
The open doors certainly made it easier to jump on a train if you were running late, or jump off the train at your destination while it was still moving. Never did get the knack of doing that, seemed like you had to hit the ground running. The only time I tried that I fell flat on my face.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
It just didnt seem to be an idea to hang out of the carriage to see how close to or hard you could hit a stantion or other line side structure but it did happen but the general attitude was 'How stupid can a person be?'.
The open doors certainly made it easier to jump on a train if you were running late, or jump off the train at your destination while it was still moving. Never did get the knack of doing that, seemed like you had to hit the ground running. The only time I tried that I fell flat on my face.
apw5910

You always had to land on the platform with your left foot first. I got quite adept at alighting from Taits before they came to a stop at Flinders St. If you landed right foot first, chances were you'd fall and bowl along the platform making a right goose of yourself.

Moreover, if you ever see old footage of a Tait arriving at Flinders St in peak time, due to their many doors a lot of pax and not necessarily youths will have alighted the train before it actually stopped at the platform.

Mike.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I always landed on the foot furthest from the train after hanging on with hand nearest the train, and took a step or two on landing. I did the same when shunting in my volunteering days.

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