Wolli Creek Incident
Members may have seen the news story on channel 7 regarding the toddler who fell between the train and the platform at Wolli creek station on Monday 24 Feb.
The incident was recorded as it happened by other passengers on the platform, several of whom climbed down between the train and platform and one man collected the child, crawled under the train and proceeded to walk down a running line with the toddler in his arms and back onto the platform where the mother and child were reunited.
This very dangerous situation could easily have ended in disaster and resulted in multiple fatalities. Once again the quick action of the guard and station staff has prevented a catastrophe from occurring and justifies the current staffing levels on trains and platforms in Sydney Trains.
Now let’s look at this incident through the lens of the NSW Trains proposed operating model for the NIF trains. Firstly, there are minimal station staff on NSW Trains with many stations unattended and with future NIF operations utilising CCTV only for the right away process, Station staff will no longer be required which means that incidents of this nature will not even be observed station staff. Secondly, the proposed Customer Service Guard (CSG) on the NIF will be confined to the crew cab with the doors closed and will not hear anyone screaming for help. They will only have CCTV to view a limited area of the platform and with up to ten images to assess at the same time incidents of this nature will be missed.
Lastly, the driver will again only have CCTV to assess the platform with the same restrictions and limitations of this technology as the CSG. In addition to these tasks, the driver will be required to maintain focus on the road ahead, signal restrictions, track workers, level crossing etc so with all the multiple tasks to be performed at once by the driver it is more than likely that he too will miss incidents of this nature.
The sad reality is that it could have ended in tragedy for all five of the passengers involved if the NSW Trains NIF operating model was in place.