16 Jun 2022

Making room for rail

Changing passengers’ behaviour by boosting levels of support surrounding rail travel could ease the problem of overcrowded carriages and encourage use of trains, a study has found. Researchers said rail travel was gaining importance as one of the most sustainable forms of travel. But they claimed passengers’ behaviour was contributing to overcrowding on trains and discouraging use of the mode of transport. 

The team from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science at Southampton University used cognitive work analysis to analyse behaviour surrounding rail travel and related constraints in the environment. They found that “a wide range of informational, navigational and physical support alongside provision of occupancy information could better encourage passengers to select and use less busy carriages and trains”.

Measures suggested included offering real-time occupancy information along with general service details covering departures, arrivals and any cancellation or delays. Reducing crowding on platforms and providing extra support for people with physical challenges and heavy luggage was also seen as key. And promoting offers and discounts to time-flexible travellers to encourage use of less busy services was suggested.

The report added: “Waiting passengers’ physical and psychological needs should also be accommodated.”

Read the full article