Sydney Trains backwards thinking

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It shouldn’t come to much surprise that the last great idea that has come from Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW that attempted to improve the service was in the 1970’s. That’s no joke.

One of the largest problems Sydney siders face is boarding and exiting a train in a timely manner. To help assist, Sydney Trains thought they might implement some cattle prodders to help push people on to trains at the last second. Let’s face it, it’s an epic fail and does not work.

There is as much time as needed for people to exit the train, but only under 20 seconds for everyone to safely board a train. This is simply a dumb idea and could have only come from Sydney Trains.

What needs to happen is a trial of people exiting from one set of doors, while others board from the adjacent set. This frees up the doors allowing for better flow in a single direction.

The idea does not need to be over-engineered. Keep it simple. Mark one set of doors as EXIT ONLY and the other set of doors on a carriage as ENTRY ONLY. Fines apply for idiots who don’t pay attention.

You would think that when you are designing a network there would be a bit of redundancy built-in. Not for Sydney Trains, their network of train tracks is a shambles. One failure acts like a domino effect and is enough to delay most trains on the line for hours, this should not be that way.

What’s needed is a redesign of the network to include:

  • Multiple train lines
  • Slip lanes to be able to move a train from blocking the line
  • Spare trains ready to replace other faulty trains
  • Better maintenance of trains, signal boxes and railroad switches
  • Better training for ground staff to remain professional, friendly and to take responsibility
  • Better communication to passengers on where their next train is departing from
  • Better communication to passengers regarding service delays
  • No half-assing a solution by providing a 4 car train when it’s usually an 8 car train

Other areas that need improvement

Human Dodgeball Anyone?

Anyone who has ever got off a train at a busy station like Central at peak hour knows what it’s like to run the gauntlet of commuters trying to exit the gates.

On top of that, you face wall-to-wall humans on stairwells as you bolt for trains, plummet over packs of people at the bottom of platform stairwells, and run head-first into other commuters around the countless blind-corners.

The design for pedestrian traffic at Central is appalling — it’s one giant game of human dodgeball, not helped by the world’s smallest ‘Keep Left’ signs which are helping no one.

Exits From Hell

Something seriously needs to be done about the underground labyrinth that lies under Central. Im sure some passengers have been trying to get out since the Olympics were held in Sydney.

Top Up your Opal Card from Inside the Train Station

Ever been in a rush, tapped on with your Opal card only to find your balance is too low to tap off? Or entered the train station tapped on from inside the train station only to find your balance is too low.

Well and good if you have an online account and a smartphone to top up but what follows for the rest of us is a journey packed with suspense as we wait to find out if a train guard will fine us on the way. Easily solved with machines inside and outside the gates.

Let’s End the Hot Uncomfortable Trains

It’s not just summertime where all trains need that all essential Airconditioning. It’s in the colder months where Sydney Trains start running heaters that are so hot they overheat passengers.

I’ve had to exit trains on multiple occasions due to heaters on trains being too hot, and no I did not have a jumper on. I literally had to get off the train and vomit.

Summer and Winter Sydney Trains need to keep all trains at a comfortable 22 degrees celcius. If you are cold put a jumper on.
Unfortunately for me, I could not take anymore clothing off without being fined for indecent exposure.

The end of quiet carriages

‘Quiet Carriages’ are a joke, that’s because quiet carriages are rarely ‘quiet’ and in turn, that’s because the ‘quiet carriage’ sign is soooo small, half the people who board the carriage don’t even see it. Not to mention foreign tourists who unless they read tiny signs in English language, haven’t a hope in hell of avoiding the angry glares and telling offs about to head their way.

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