Railway passenger numbers had been hit globally because of the Covid-19 pandemic and haven’t returned to pre-Covid ranges.
Eire witnessed a fall in Q1 of 2021 of 85% and Greece 66% in contrast with Q1 of 2020, whereas others – together with the UK – are beginning to see nearly pre-Covid ranges of travellers.
To draw individuals again to the railway community, trade stakeholders imagine that regaining belief is what’s most wanted, assuring the general public that their return to railway journey will probably be as secure as doable.
“Enabling a secure return to railway journey” was the title of an Worldwide Railway Summit (IRITS) convention held on 23 September. Specializing in video-powered passenger safety, the webinar highlighted how know-how and the usage of analytics can enhance railway companies, making passengers extra snug and avoiding congestion and anti-social behaviour.
Here’s what we learnt.
Engineering to revive belief
In response to Madrid Metro head of services and knowledge programs division Isaac Centellas Garcia, engineering has proved basic for coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and it’ll proceed to take action as nations together with Spain return to pre-Covid life.
To protect the well being and security of each travellers and personnel through the peak of the pandemic, Madrid Metro carried out a number of actions, from make money working from home practices for a large number of workers to splitting the employees working within the firm’s upkeep and monitoring operations centre for services and telecommunications to keep away from pointless contact.
“We additionally made enhancements on the app to extend the knowledge that was supplied to our prospects, gathering information to optimise the stream of passengers and ready instances [as well as] offering data on in-coming trains,” defined Centellas Garcia.
To manage passenger flows in stations, Madrid Metro used massive information to match the modelling of stations’ entry stream with the precise community stream, getting the knowledge on trains by way of the centralised site visitors management system community, often called CTC, and knowledge on passengers from the turnstiles.
“These enable us to behave on the entry system and passenger data system so we are able to restrict the variety of individuals accessing stations,” he continued. The know-how reviews passenger data stream in actual time in order that travellers can plan the journey, because the system sends a message to passengers’ telephones, restoring belief.
“From an engineering viewpoint, now we have to ensure that public transport networks carry on being the spine of mobilities in cities, selling intermodal transport programs,” he added. “We’ve got to position our prospects on the centre of our choices, giving them clear communication and real-time data.”
Physique temperature controls
For Carlos Freire Coloma, security and safety supervisor at Spanish public firm ADIF, physique temperature controls would be the approach ahead when coping with Covid-19 and doable future pandemics.
As the corporate accountable for the design of the Spanish railway community, ADIF performed a trial in Madrid’s Atocha and Barcelona’s Sants stations to see if physique temperature controls may forestall passengers with a physique temperature greater than 37.5C and never carrying masks accurately from embarking on high-speed trains.
The physique temperature checks – which have an error margin of lower than 0.5 – are positioned within the high-speed trains’ foyer the place entry is restricted to high-speed passengers and railway personnel.
The system – positioned on the ground – is contactless and will be taken from a distance of three to 6 metres.
“Passengers with a temperature decrease than 37.5C proceed to safety controls and, if every little thing checks, are allowed onto the prepare however passengers with a physique temperature greater than 37.5C are separated from the remainder and brought into for a second measurement,” stated Freire Coloma.
A 12 months and 4 million passengers later, ADIF reported 274 alerts and 14 circumstances of those who weren’t allowed aboard a prepare.
“On the cons facet, there are vital financial prices because of the human and technical assets which might be required along with a restricted performance because of the system not being carried out in all stations,” he added.
“Specializing in the professionals, the detection of doable Covid-19 circumstances works, and it helps forestall contagion on high-speed trains and will increase passengers’ confidence to make use of public transportation,” Freire Coloma concluded.
Video surveillance for safety
Legal incidents have at all times taken place on railway networks, from theft and vandalism to extra extreme ones comparable to assaults or shootings. Within the final 18 months, although, hazards have elevated because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Qognify key accounts senior supervisor Frank Müller believes that as an alternative of placing loads of private effort, the trade ought to rely extra on video surveillance applied sciences that adjust to authorized necessities.
“From our viewpoint, it’s a matter of utilizing merchandise and applied sciences that may meet the necessities of public transport firms,” stated Müller. “This consists of options comparable to environment friendly help for operators in monitoring and researching incidents.”