Before the waratah we had never had an 8 car set. We had 2,3 and 4 car sets and they were coupled to make 6 and 8 cars. A waratah has the same setup as a Tangara, Millenium and Oscar in the drivers cab with the only difference being fact it is 8 cars long instead of 4. Going to 8 cars had nothing to do with DOO and all to do with getting more people onto the train, standing or sitting in the 4 and 5 cars to help reduce dwell times.
The button for opening/closing doors are near the entry door of the driver compartment on the wall and not near the drivers console. The screen to see the passenger entry doors is also there.
When the A-set came out there was a minor outcry about removing the guard from the middle of the train where they could easily see most of the train (No, guards cannot see all of the train on all stations, they do not provide 100% safe visual clearance of all the doors and especially once they walk back to the train from their location of vision on the platform).
While the A-set design was an outcome of a number of things including the Waterfall crash and the fact trains are now permanently operated in 8 car sets, it did break the mold of having the guard at the middle of the train and thus reducing the guards vision to only 3-4 cars on many stations. Thus if the guard can only see part of the train on some stations, what happens if there is no guard at all?
Again I'll repeat there are some serious issues with many stations in the Sydney and Interurban networks in getting rid of guards and potentially many of these can be overcome with technology. However to me the biggest issue is that many of the functions they claim they do, they do not. They are not visible for the purposes of security, they rarely walk the train, they do not protect revenue etc.
Where as guards in other countries on equivalent interurban trains, such as Italy (personal observation) walk the train, check and sell tickets clear the train at the station from any door, very much assist passengers needing any form of physical assistance including women with prams (helped to her location in the carriage) and what I saw where a severely physically disabled young women who (walking) was aided to her seat by the guard and the guard asking other passengers to move for her and the person with her. Would you get any of this in Sydney Suburban or Interurban services? I'm sure there would be some, but how many?
How frequent do guards take over from drivers?
Overall for interurban trains, I think the guard has a role, but not what their doing now. Get them off their arses and into the cabins, provide security, revenue protection and passenger service. However the trains should still be DOO compliant so as to future proof against future technology.
As for monitoring of CCTV, this function needs to be extended to a central location that monitors both rolling stock and stations. The Interurban trains obviously have geographical challenges, but how much is this?. As CCTV is not always continuous live, rather a serious of still shots, often at 1 sec or better intervals I'm sure its doable and as mentioned by others in another thread Sydney trains may already have the infrastructure to provided in tunnels etc.
Within the Suburban area I think there are a few locations for DOO to reduce costs and I'm the Carlingford line could be done very easily with no impacts on safety.