9News.com.au

New fleet of NSW trains 'so safe' they don't need guards

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 15/08/2018 13:20:00 Julie Snook

It's worth a whopping $2.3 billion dollars and boasts all the modern luxuries - space, Wi-Fi, charging ports and wider seats. 

The New Intercity Fleet is so safe and impressive that it no longer needs guards. 

It's the proud, new, high-tech concept from the New South Wales Government designed to improve the commute to the Central Coast, Newcastle, Blue Mountains and South Coast. 

a group of people in a room: By the end of next year trains will be replaced by the new fleet. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdBy the end of next year trains will be replaced by the new fleet.

But it comes at a cost. The new fleet is a 'driver only' operation, meaning there is no longer a need for the 340 guards working on the current Intercity fleet. 

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union tends to disagree. 

"We accept that there is technology coming, there is lots of technology as we know," Union State Secretary Alex Claassens told 9NEWS. 

"We do not believe that there is any type of technology that you can fit on a particular train, that will be safe enough to say that train can work with one person on it alone." 

a man smiling for the camera: Former train guard Bruce Gail says they are the eyes and ears of the network. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdFormer train guard Bruce Gail says they are the eyes and ears of the network.

Guards themselves worry about safety and say it is the guards on the ground who are the "eyes and ears" of the network. 

Bruce Gail worked on the Sydney Rail Network for seventeen years and know the risks associated with the role.  

"The guard's role is vital - it's customer service, first aid, its communications, you're the eyes & ears of the network," he says. 

"Nothing against passengers, but you can't rely on passengers to come to your aid. It just doesn't happen. The only thing between safety & passengers is the guard. The drivers down the front, he can't help you." 

The government says they will increase efficiency and safety. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdThe government says they will increase efficiency and safety.

NSW transport Minister Andrew Constance is confident the advanced technology the New Intercity Fleet offers will improve customer service and safety. 

"The technology does exist to provide customer safety in terms of what has been the traditional function of guards," Mr Constance says. 

"Particularly the cameras and the ability for the drivers to have full vision and sight of passengers - how they embark and disembark on the trains - that's the key. We're trying to deploy technology in a way that provides greater safety and support to the movement of commuters." 

The government is introducing the new trains across the rail network in a move it says will improve safety and efficiency. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdThe government is introducing the new trains across the rail network in a move it says will improve safety and efficiency. The New Intercity fleet is being built in South Korea and comprises of more than 500 new carriages that will start rolling out late next year. 

15. elokuuta 2018 16:20:00 Categories: 9News.com.au

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