Metro launches state-of-the-art passenger movement trial

29 Apr 2022, James Ireland

Metro Trains is running a state-of-the-art trial to improve crowd management and reduce illegal trespassing to create a better experience for passengers returning to the rail network.

As part of the trial, Metro has installed new camera and laser technology at multiple locations, including Melbourne Central and Richmond stations, and at level crossings at Dendy Street, Brighton and Anderson Street, Yarraville.

The laser and camera equipment monitors station platforms and detects when people cross the yellow line or enter the rail pit, putting themselves in danger.

At level crossings, the system engages when trains are approaching and detects when people ignore gates, signals, and bells, and attempt to illegally enter the rail corridor.

Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “This trial uses state-of-the-art technology to help us better understand how people move around our network, so we can improve crowd management and drive down illegal and disruptive trespassing.”

The new equipment being trialled will not be used to identify individuals and will only collect information which aims to improve safety at stations and level crossings.

The trial locations provide a variety of rail safety environments and are known for their heavy foot traffic.

Through the rapid identification of safety incidents and crowd management issues, Metro security and station staff will be able to quickly respond and take appropriate action.

This trial aims to improve response times and adds to a suite of existing initiatives to drive down illegal trespassing and improve crowd management.

Illegal trespassing is dangerous, disruptive and poses a significant and ongoing challenge for the safe running of the rail network.

In 2021, there were more than 3,000 incidents of trespassing – that’s around 250 incidents every month.

With the return of major events in Melbourne, Metro’s management of platform crowding will prove critical to reduce dwell times and ensure the smooth running of the network.

The passenger movement trial is being led by Metro’s Innovation team and runs from February to April 2022.

The trial is being funded by Metro and the Department of Transport’s Victorian Rail Crossing Safety Steering Committee.

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