Train guards in firing line from NSW's $2.3 billion intercity fleet renewal

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 27 Sep 2016 11:34
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
From SMH:
The jobs of scores of train guards on NSW's intercity rail fleet are under threat from the purchase of new trains from South Korea that can be operated solely by drivers.

The proposal to shed guards highlights an increasing automation of the state's train network, a trend that will intensify when the first driverless metro trains begin running between Sydney's north-west and Chatswood in 2019. T

hat same year, the first of more than 500 double-deck train carriages from Korea for the intercity fleet will begin to replace the decades-old V-set trains that run from Sydney's Central Station to the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, and the Illawarra.

Tender documents for the new fleet for NSW TrainsLink show one of the requirements for each train is that it "must support driver-only operation". Drivers will be "responsible for monitoring the train-platform interface using the CCTV system, responding to passenger intercoms, passenger information and passenger assistance".

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union fears the jobs of up to 300 of the 380 guards employed on NSW's intercity network are at risk from the proposal.
The union's state secretary, Alex Claassens​, said the removal of guards would raise serious concerns because they performed a multitude of safety roles, especially on curved platforms at stations where drivers could not see the full length of trains. "There is no doubt [the government] want it – the minister has made his position quite clear. But there is no way they can operate that [new] train safely in the current network configuration they have today [without guards]," he said.

Mr Claassens said it was possible for driverless trains to operate safely on the new metro line under construction in Sydney because barriers such as screens on platforms would prevent the public from gaining access to the railway line.

However, he said billions of dollars would need to be spent to bring the existing railway network up to a standard that allowed trains to operate safely without guards.

"Every day there is an emergency on the network, whether there is flooding ... or a fatality. I have been working on the railway since 1977, I am a qualified driver, and I can't see how you can do this safely, unless you spend lots and lots of money," he said. "It is just dinky toy stuff."

TrainsLink said a driver-only option for the new trains would be introduced only "where it is safe and appropriate to do so". "Under a driver-only proposal, guards would have continued employment until the new intercity fleet is progressively introduced from 2019. Even then we would still need guards on our current diesel fleet," it said.

The government-run operator said it had been meeting staff representatives "well in advance of 2019 so all options can be explored". Retraining and redeployment within the state's train network would be available to guards, and TrainsLink would work with them to "better understand their individual career intentions".

TrainsLink said a driver-only operation would not be unique to NSW as it had been in place for many years in Melbourne and Perth, as well as on railways overseas. However, Blue Mountains Labor MP Trish Doyle described the proposal as appalling because train guards performed key safety roles at platforms, between stations and in emergencies. "There are significant and systematic problems with anti-social behaviour, passenger safety and comfort on our trains right now that will be made worse with the abolition of train guards," she said.

The proposal to reduce train guards is also likely to emerge as a key point of contention in labour negotiations next year when enterprise agreements covering thousands of staff across Sydney Trains and TrainsLink expire. When the government awarded the contract for the new intercity trains last month, TrainsLink chief executive Rob Mason emphasised that they would have automatic door settings to ensure passengers could not exit carriages when they were not alongside platforms.

The 512 new carriages will be delivered over three years from 2019.
SMH
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/train-guards-in-firing-line-from-nsws-23-billion-intercity-fleet-renewal-20160922-grm1c0.html

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Are there any metro systems in Australia other than cityrail where guards are deployed?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Shoudn't this thread be moved to the NSW section, as interurban/proposed "intercity" trains are not Sydney suburban trains?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Are there any metro systems in Australia other than cityrail where guards are deployed?
bevans
Only Brisbane and Sydney. However Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide run shorter trains than Sydney and their stations are not as curvaceous nor anywhere near as many on a curve of any description. Many of Brisbane's stations are also on very tight curves such that the platform has to be lower than the train to reduce the gap. The guard is also used to put ramps out for disabled and prams etc although I will say from personal observation not all are providing a service for the later.

While I agree the guards can provide an inbetween station service, I think many would agree this is not universal however I will speak highly of a few guards waking me up in my Central Coast commuting days coming home late and slept past my stop. The on board security to me is better dealt with police/Roving security who will arrive in numbers and with suitable training. The trains on board camera's can be monitored from a central location.

Obviously the union has a self interest, but there are some valid points that need to be addressed. However the obvious pathway forward for both Sydney and Brisbane is to go DOO and to do that you need to start somewhere and usually that is with the trains so buying trains with DOO capable in their design is commonsense and they cannot crucify the govt for doing so. The alt is a costly retrofit later. Brisbane uses the same rolling stock as Perth which has no guards. The path to DOO started in Sydney with the A sets, removing the guard from the centre of the train and putting them at the rear.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Guards are not their for mothers with a pram or the disabled except at stations that don't have station attendants. They are there for the safety of passengers and the train and having the driver do their job will be extremely dangerous on the existing Sydney trains system. Metro is different as it is a completely new system with straight platforms and screen doors protecting people from the trains. It does not need a driver or a train but the existing system does need them.

The waratah has nothing to do with removing the guard. It has all the function for opening and closing the doors in a guards console out of range for the driver. Not only that but removing the guard will slow the system down. Sydney's trains have traction interlocking and having the driver do all of the guards work will reduce frequency significantly if it was ever applied to the Sydney system. All previous trains didn't have the guards post in the middle of the train. They had them at the end of a 4 car set. The Waratah just introduced a full 8 car set is all.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Guards are not their for mothers with a pram or the disabled except at stations that don't have station attendants. They are there for the safety of passengers and the train and having the driver do their job will be extremely dangerous on the existing Sydney trains system. Metro is different as it is a completely new system with straight platforms and screen doors protecting people from the trains. It does not need a driver or a train but the existing system does need them.

The waratah has nothing to do with removing the guard. It has all the function for opening and closing the doors in a guards console out of range for the driver. Not only that but removing the guard will slow the system down. Sydney's trains have traction interlocking and having the driver do all of the guards work will reduce frequency significantly if it was ever applied to the Sydney system. All previous trains didn't have the guards post in the middle of the train. They had them at the end of a 4 car set. The Waratah just introduced a full 8 car set is all.
simstrain
8 car suburbans always utilised the guards workstation in the middle of the trains. Prior to the introduction of the A sets the only sets that the guard occupied the rear work station are the V sets. Up the mountains (and possibly Illawara line) on 8 car sets the middle position is occupied by a repeater, when the stations are unstaffed.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Guards are not their for mothers with a pram or the disabled except at stations that don't have station attendants. They are there for the safety of passengers and the train and having the driver do their job will be extremely dangerous on the existing Sydney trains system. Metro is different as it is a completely new system with straight platforms and screen doors protecting people from the trains. It does not need a driver or a train but the existing system does need them.

The waratah has nothing to do with removing the guard. It has all the function for opening and closing the doors in a guards console out of range for the driver. Not only that but removing the guard will slow the system down. Sydney's trains have traction interlocking and having the driver do all of the guards work will reduce frequency significantly if it was ever applied to the Sydney system. All previous trains didn't have the guards post in the middle of the train. They had them at the end of a 4 car set. The Waratah just introduced a full 8 car set is all.
8 car suburbans always utilised the guards workstation in the middle of the trains. Prior to the introduction of the A sets the only sets that the guard occupied the rear work station are the V sets. Up the mountains (and possibly Illawara line) on 8 car sets the middle position is occupied by a repeater, when the stations are unstaffed.
nswtrains

Since when was a guards compartment in the middle of a 4 car DD set.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

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.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I'm very surprised that any rail system outside the third world still has guards. As a non Sydney person, to me it looks like nothing more than feather-bedding enforced by an overly powerful union to preserve jobs for their members. (I'm not generally against unions, but this is absurd!)

Okay, a few Sydney platforms have curves, but there are many systems in the developed world with curvier platforms than Sydney and almost none of them have guards, instead they have old fashioned mirrors combined with cameras and other modern technology to give drivers a view of the whole train at stations. Do the guards do anything important that couldn't be done better by replacing them with customer service / security people?
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Are there any metro systems in Australia other than cityrail where guards are deployed?
The trains on board camera's can be monitored from a central location.
RTT_Rules
A few questions as a passenger...

In the longer runs and the more remote locations, would the central location have access to onboard camera's via the CCTV network?

What about when the trains are in the Blue mountains for example? Would this be hooked up via the new GSM network?

Do the existing guards have the ability to monitor the carriage camera's in between stations?

While I'm sure the new trains would have modern CCTV, for example monitoring all the carriage exits, a four carriage train would have 8 doors to monitor plus the rest of the platform. Is it practical for the driver to check all these locations whilst concentrating on driving?

If this was all done from a central location using remote CCTV monitoring, what about staffing levels at that location? What happens when you have multiple trains at multiple locations arriving/departing all at once?
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

8 car suburbans always utilised the guards workstation in the middle of the trains. Prior to the introduction of the A sets the only sets that the guard occupied the rear work station are the V sets. Up the mountains (and possibly Illawara line) on 8 car sets the middle position is occupied by a repeater, when the stations are unstaffed.

Since when was a guards compartment in the middle of a 4 car DD set.
simstrain
Since never, if you read the post correctly you will see that it says " 8 car sets, or 8 car suburbans" no mention of 4 car DD set.
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

I'm very surprised that any rail system outside the third world still has guards. As a non Sydney person, to me it looks like nothing more than feather-bedding enforced by an overly powerful union to preserve jobs for their members. (I'm not generally against unions, but this is absurd!)

Okay, a few Sydney platforms have curves, but there are many systems in the developed world with curvier platforms than Sydney and almost none of them have guards, instead they have old fashioned mirrors combined with cameras and other modern technology to give drivers a view of the whole train at stations. Do the guards do anything important that couldn't be done better by replacing them with customer service / security people?
Bogong
On the interurban runs they have to assist passengers who require use of the boarding ramp to board and detrain. Seeing as most I/U stations have limited staffing hours and if rumours are true, most stations outside the metropolitan area will have staff removed in the near future, what sort of delays will be factored into the timetables for the driver to secure the train, get the ramp, assist passengers on or off, replace the ramp and return to his cab and initiate procedures to get under way. What sort of time does this take in Melbourne, or have they made it that hard for passengers in wheelchairs or the like that they just dont bother to use the trains?
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Perth has built their system not to need guards.  
Melbourne doesn't need them as all the platforms are dead straight and has a very high number of attended stations.   The unattended stations are very lightly used.   Most stations are at carriage level for far easier access.
Adelaide, the system and trains are so small there isn't any justification for having a guard.  Also fairly low patronage in general.

I would personally like to see guards retained but have them offer a greater role rather than just deploying a ramp and occasionally radioing back to the train operations centre. Would like to see them walk up and down the train occasionally.  Make them a visible presence for customers.  They also do offer an extra level of safety.  
An extra piece of importance is that they remind drivers who think they are running an express to stop after the first missed station.

And finally my biggest reason for retaining guards is that I believe a driver should focus on driving.  Not whether miss old pensioner can safely board the train without assistance.  

Get rid of staffed stations (that aren't busy/major stops).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I'm very surprised that any rail system outside the third world still has guards. As a non Sydney person, to me it looks like nothing more than feather-bedding enforced by an overly powerful union to preserve jobs for their members. (I'm not generally against unions, but this is absurd!)

Okay, a few Sydney platforms have curves, but there are many systems in the developed world with curvier platforms than Sydney and almost none of them have guards, instead they have old fashioned mirrors combined with cameras and other modern technology to give drivers a view of the whole train at stations. Do the guards do anything important that couldn't be done better by replacing them with customer service / security people?
Bogong
Give me a break. Have you been to Sydney because these 2 paragraphs would suggest you haven't. The Sydney system has more then a few curved platforms and most of them tend to be where these new intercity services go.

No security or customer service can't do what a guard does. A guard can drive a train at slow speed if needed. A guard can help diagnose a problem. A guard can bring a train to an emergency stop if some idiot is trying to surf on the back. A guard does many things that relieves the driver of that responsibility. Thus providing a better service to customers.

Melbourne treats disabled people with disdain that I have not seen anywhere else. Disabled people often have to yell at drivers in Melbourne to even be able to get onto a train. When the driver does get out of there seat they are often sprouting obscenities at the disabled passenger. Melbourne's train drivers are much like our bus drivers in Sydney. Over worked, over stressed and generally not very nice to be around while on the job.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
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.
simstrain
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.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
The only issue I foresee with this is the relocation of the disabled boarding ramps to the front of the train for those passengers that require it. They'll need some kind of weather protection for wheelchair bound passengers that is now usually afforded by the station infrastructure generally located toward the middle of the train.

No security or customer service can't do what a guard does. A guard can drive a train at slow speed if needed. A guard can help diagnose a problem. A guard can bring a train to an emergency stop if some idiot is trying to surf on the back. A guard does many things that relieves the driver of that responsibility. Thus providing a better service to customers.
"simstrain"
Fundamentally, the Guard protects the train, not the passengers. But of course, let's not forget Waterfall, where the Guard didn't pull the tail. Or more recently, St Mary's, where the Driver buggered off in the Up direction on the Down Main, going head to head with an empty coalie... What was the Guard doing there?
Guards are certainly not essential in this day and age. When was the last time a driver suffered a medical event that required the Guard to actually drive the train?
  Kamz Assistant Commissioner


On the interurban runs they have to assist passengers who require use of the boarding ramp to board and detrain. Seeing as most I/U stations have limited staffing hours and if rumours are true, most stations outside the metropolitan area will have staff removed in the near future, what sort of delays will be factored into the timetables for the driver to secure the train, get the ramp, assist passengers on or off, replace the ramp and return to his cab and initiate procedures to get under way.
Throughwestmail
Suburban Guards do the same. There would be very little if any  time lost as a result of a Driver assisting a wheelchair compared to a Guard. Guards have a similar procedure.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

The whole concept of retaining guards just bewilders us Victorians. Historically, the guard had 3 main functions;

1. Assisting the driver in braking the train (this before continuous automatic brakes).
2. Protecting the rear of the train if it came to a stand (this before track circuited signalling systems).
3. Dealing with van goods (parcels, etc).

George Westinghouse's invention of the 1870's not only made the first function obsolete, it also enabled substantially longer and heavier trains to run. The adoption of track circuited signalling in the early 1900's made the second function obsolete. The loss of van goods made the third function obsolete.

Retention of guards thus appears to be a response to various pressure groups. Sadly, the individuals concerned are left with an almost pointless job, copping mouthfuls of abuse (and at times spittle) from those passengers left behind.

Down here in Mexico, our trains never ran better than they did after they got rid of the guards; the guards whose jobs were lost had the option of a package, or re-deployment (many became drivers). They were respectively treated; their jobs were lost with little industrial disruption, everybody lived happily ever after....no, really!


Safety is a Furphy here; install CCTV for curved platforms (or get station staff to signal drivers when safe to depart). Disabled customers is another Furphy; drivers can manage ramps (if the platforms cannot be brought closer to the train, like a lift opening) if no station staff.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Melbourne treats disabled people with disdain that I have not seen anywhere else. Disabled people often have to yell at drivers in Melbourne to even be able to get onto a train. When the driver does get out of there seat they are often sprouting obscenities at the disabled passenger. Melbourne's train drivers are much like our bus drivers in Sydney. Over worked, over stressed and generally not very nice to be around while on the job.
simstrain

In Melbourne pax know to board at the front of the train.

I can't say I've heard drivers actually abusing pax with disabilities in their attempts to access the train and if I did there would be consequences.

Pax with disabilities that are travelling to/from one station to another, often have a raised part of the platform that means wheel chairs, disability restricted pax roll/walk straight into the car without driver assistance.
If there is no raised part of the platform, the driver leaves the cab, and puts the on-board ramp which is located in a locker adjacent to the door up against the door step, the disability pax walks or rolls on-board and the whole process takes no more than 90 seconds from whoa to go.

Mike.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Today my guard on my train just showed why guards are present.  While the Driver, an automated announcement or a centralised person could have done the same, it wouldn't had the same impact.  
It was along the lines of "we apoligise for this short delay due to a freight train, and why were here you can get a $200 dollar fine for having feet on seats". 1 mkinute later.  "wearing a white hat does not excuse you from putting feet on seats".  Then at Park road, someone in a wheelchair needed to get on while the train is one platform 1. (station staff are only on plat 2,3).   The waiting area here is in the middle of the platform, so you would need to move the disbaled waiting area 75m further down the platform or get the driver to walk 75 to the middle and them 75m back to the cabin.   This would easily be 2 minutes lost in which a station as critical as park road does not have that luxury.  

Those who use the sunshine coast line also know how great having a guard that walks the train is for both property protection and general customer service.  (they walk the train to manually lock the doors for eudlo stations small platform, along here guards do also perform serious safeworking duties like reversing trains backwards onto the mainline out of a loop).

Guards have become obsolete because the unions have let them, not really to do with new technology replacing them.  Station staff are far more obselete.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Today my guard on my train just showed why guards are present.  While the Driver, an automated announcement or a centralised person could have done the same, it wouldn't had the same impact.  
It was along the lines of "we apoligise for this short delay due to a freight train, and why were here you can get a $200 dollar fine for having feet on seats". 1 mkinute later.  "wearing a white hat does not excuse you from putting feet on seats".  Then at Park road, someone in a wheelchair needed to get on while the train is one platform 1. (station staff are only on plat 2,3).   The waiting area here is in the middle of the platform, so you would need to move the disbaled waiting area 75m further down the platform or get the driver to walk 75 to the middle and them 75m back to the cabin.   This would easily be 2 minutes lost in which a station as critical as park road does not have that luxury.  

Those who use the sunshine coast line also know how great having a guard that walks the train is for both property protection and general customer service.  (they walk the train to manually lock the doors for eudlo stations small platform, along here guards do also perform serious safeworking duties like reversing trains backwards onto the mainline out of a loop).

Guards have become obsolete because the unions have let them, not really to do with new technology replacing them.  Station staff are far more obselete.
tazzer96
Spoken like a real Queensland hick and with all the authority and knowledge of Pauline the fool.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Someone mentioned a rear view mirror but on our trains they would be useless on the multitude of curved platforms we have and the extra length of our trains. They would also most likely strike the walls of tunnels and other trains on the network as well.

CCTV Cameras are in place on the inside and outside on the modern trains but not on a Tangara or anything older although the Tangara is supposed to be getting this in the upgrade. A guard can access the live feed immediately through these screens and attend to any security issues happening on the train immediately by calling the police which is not something the train driver can do unless he stops the train. A Sydney train guard is doing a security job and it is Sydney trains / NSW trainlink policy that staff do not confront criminals or violent situations directly and call for police assistance immediately.

As for the disabled situation. The guard can get a disabled passenger on or off the train significantly faster then a train driver ever could. Generally he is rarely used for this as in most instances the disabled use major stations with attendants, accessible lifts and ramps. On the rare occasion he is needed to assist a disabled person at a station with no staff he would be able to do so much more efficiently then a train driver would.

As for safety, Sydney has traction interlocking which is something that Metro doesn't have and this requires a guard for proper safe working. It is not a good idea for a driver to be in charge of such a system. In Melbourne you can pull open the doors to the train while the train is in motion. I have been on a vlocity at 160km/h with a door wide open.

How about all of your level crossing incidents you have south of the border. I recall one incident were a child was stranded at a station because the driver was in such a hurry that he took off before the child's mother could get off the train. So if your a Victorian, I would shut my mouth when it comes to safety and the train guard. You guys have no idea of what a decent train system is.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Today my guard on my train just showed why guards are present.  While the Driver, an automated announcement or a centralised person could have done the same, it wouldn't had the same impact.  
It was along the lines of "we apoligise for this short delay due to a freight train, and why were here you can get a $200 dollar fine for having feet on seats". 1 mkinute later.  "wearing a white hat does not excuse you from putting feet on seats".  Then at Park road, someone in a wheelchair needed to get on while the train is one platform 1. (station staff are only on plat 2,3).   The waiting area here is in the middle of the platform, so you would need to move the disbaled waiting area 75m further down the platform or get the driver to walk 75 to the middle and them 75m back to the cabin.   This would easily be 2 minutes lost in which a station as critical as park road does not have that luxury.  

Those who use the sunshine coast line also know how great having a guard that walks the train is for both property protection and general customer service.  (they walk the train to manually lock the doors for eudlo stations small platform, along here guards do also perform serious safeworking duties like reversing trains backwards onto the mainline out of a loop).

Guards have become obsolete because the unions have let them, not really to do with new technology replacing them.  Station staff are far more obselete.
Spoken like a real Queensland hick and with all the authority and knowledge of Pauline the fool.
nswtrains
Please don't ever put me in the same category as pauline.   I can tolerate most sorts of banter that that crosses a line.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Someone mentioned a rear view mirror but on our trains they would be useless on the multitude of curved platforms we have and the extra length of our trains. They would also most likely strike the walls of tunnels and other trains on the network as well.

CCTV Cameras are in place on the inside and outside on the modern trains but not on a Tangara or anything older although the Tangara is supposed to be getting this in the upgrade. A guard can access the live feed immediately through these screens and attend to any security issues happening on the train immediately by calling the police which is not something the train driver can do unless he stops the train. A Sydney train guard is doing a security job and it is Sydney trains / NSW trainlink policy that staff do not confront criminals or violent situations directly and call for police assistance immediately.

As for the disabled situation. The guard can get a disabled passenger on or off the train significantly faster then a train driver ever could. Generally he is rarely used for this as in most instances the disabled use major stations with attendants, accessible lifts and ramps. On the rare occasion he is needed to assist a disabled person at a station with no staff he would be able to do so much more efficiently then a train driver would.

As for safety, Sydney has traction interlocking which is something that Metro doesn't have and this requires a guard for proper safe working. It is not a good idea for a driver to be in charge of such a system. In Melbourne you can pull open the doors to the train while the train is in motion. I have been on a vlocity at 160km/h with a door wide open.

How about all of your level crossing incidents you have south of the border. I recall one incident were a child was stranded at a station because the driver was in such a hurry that he took off before the child's mother could get off the train. So if your a Victorian, I would shut my mouth when it comes to safety and the train guard. You guys have no idea of what a decent train system is.
simstrain
Lets focus on modern rolling stock replacement rather than dealing with the stuff designed before the internet or smart phone.

- Cameras can and are be placed in suitable positions along the train and platform for the driver to see from his seat. Modern rollingstock will also not close the door on someone and allow the train to leave unless its closed.
- Mirrors fold away automatically on many late model cars when you turn the engine off
- Cameras on the train and more effectively monitored in a central location and as you said only the police can attend a criminal issue as they are suitably trained, so guards presence is limited here
- The number of DAA passengers at non DAA stations is very limited and in peak where timetables are more critical stations are more likely to be staffed
- DOO or not, someone prying open the doors on a moving train with interlocked traction will have the same outcome. Holding up a train to leave will likely see the video of the person being pushed off the train by commuters on Youtube with all the others. Again a Guard will have no influence.
- LX incidents are irrelevent to the Guard being on train or not, so why raise it?
- I'm sure Melbourne is not the only city in the world where a child and its parent were separated at a station, although it is still a very rare event and again good still happen on a train with a guard.

Overall the average mid priced car handles many of the above situations using modern technology.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Today my guard on my train just showed why guards are present.  While the Driver, an automated announcement or a centralised person could have done the same, it wouldn't had the same impact.  
It was along the lines of "we apoligise for this short delay due to a freight train, and why were here you can get a $200 dollar fine for having feet on seats". 1 mkinute later.  "wearing a white hat does not excuse you from putting feet on seats".  Then at Park road, someone in a wheelchair needed to get on while the train is one platform 1. (station staff are only on plat 2,3).   The waiting area here is in the middle of the platform, so you would need to move the disbaled waiting area 75m further down the platform or get the driver to walk 75 to the middle and them 75m back to the cabin.   This would easily be 2 minutes lost in which a station as critical as park road does not have that luxury.  

Those who use the sunshine coast line also know how great having a guard that walks the train is for both property protection and general customer service.  (they walk the train to manually lock the doors for eudlo stations small platform, along here guards do also perform serious safeworking duties like reversing trains backwards onto the mainline out of a loop).

Guards have become obsolete because the unions have let them, not really to do with new technology replacing them.  Station staff are far more obselete.
tazzer96
A couple of points Tazzer
- Monitoring CCTV via a central location and calling on PA can and is done
- The DAA person could have contacted the station on arrival and asked for assistance on P4.
- DAA assistance on driver only trains is normally via the front door to save the driver from walking
- The modern rolling stock to be supplied has platform sensor's so it will know not to open the doors if the platform edge is not there. I'm also suprised QR goes to the effort to lock the doors? NSW doesn't
- Guards have become obsolete not because the unions won't let them, but because they choose to not change with the times. Technology is catching up and the many of the functions of the guard are fast being removed.

However in regard to Qld, Brisbane does have an exceptional issue with platform gaps and height differences and unless you have used a fair bit of the network outside the new stations built from mid 80's onwards you won't understand.

Overall I suspect that to make all stations DAA compliant is an excessive cost and that some lessor used stations simply don't justify the cost and there are alternatives. For example

- The driver can aid the DAA on a un manned station, but of the person is getting off at a manned station the driver could call ahead to request platform assistance.

- Stations could be deemed non DAA compliant and the few DAA's who want to use can call a taxi to travel from that station to the nearest DAA compliant one in the direction of travel for the cost of their train tickets with the govt(taxpayer) picking up the tab. The taxi can be filled with additional passengers all paying their usual fare towards the cost. Installing card readers in the cabs is not hard nor expensive and the cab driver will only accept the train fare ride if at least one person has a DAA (what ever its called) card.

- Waiting on the platforms near the drivers door is exposed to the weather and can prove very uncomfortable and needs to also be managed.

- For interurban services, the guards need to roam the trains for revenue protection and they can clear the train from any door. This happens in other countries, why not Australia?

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