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Author Topic: Planning for restoration of services  (Read 7550 times)
grahame
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« on: April 24, 2020, 06:43:47 am »

From The Guardian

Quote
Train operators start devising plans to restore services

Government and operators thought to be aiming to increase services by as early as 18 May

Train operators are making plans to restore around 80% of services from next month, should the government decide to partially lift lockdown measures in May.

Rail unions have said they will tell members to stop work unless the contingency plans address safety concerns.

Passenger numbers on trains are about 5% of normal levels, with only key workers supposed to travel. Most parts of the network are operating Sunday levels of service throughout the week.

However, with the rail industry requiring four weeks’ notice to amend schedules, preparations are starting for a potential Saturday-style service, roughly 80% of weekday timetables.


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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 07:00:54 am »

From The Guardian

Quote
Train operators start devising plans to restore services

Government and operators thought to be aiming to increase services by as early as 18 May

Train operators are making plans to restore around 80% of services from next month, should the government decide to partially lift lockdown measures in May.

Rail unions have said they will tell members to stop work unless the contingency plans address safety concerns.

Passenger numbers on trains are about 5% of normal levels, with only key workers supposed to travel. Most parts of the network are operating Sunday levels of service throughout the week.

However, with the rail industry requiring four weeks’ notice to amend schedules, preparations are starting for a potential Saturday-style service, roughly 80% of weekday timetables.

There are a number of issues that need to be resolved to increase the train service to 80%,

50% of the seats on a train could be removed out of use maintain social distancing.

The embarkation and disembarkation is having to be considered, even having doors for embarkation only and doors for disembarkation this will obviously increase dwell times 

Passenger flows at stations with controls on the numbers allowed on a platform

Queue management at ticket machines and offices

Staff protection Covid screens at ticket barriers

The management of transport interfaces (busses Tubes etc)


So an increase to 80% of trains running will not mean 80% capacity 
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 07:12:44 am »

Specific GWR inputs - http://www.passenger.chat/23306 - in the "Transport Scholars" area.  If you are not a member there (where we get into dispassionate detail on occasions) please message me, or like this post, and I can add you in.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 08:20:18 am »

From the BBC

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Commuters could be asked to take their temperature before leaving home as part of proposals to make public transport safer.

It is understood to be among measures being considered for when the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

It makes sense, assuming that commuters have a suitable device at home.  And I suspect that "commuter" in the article is used once again to refer to all public transport users.
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 12:00:08 pm »

And from the London emergency planners https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-london-underground-tube-buses-overwhelmed-lockdown-report-a9491756.html
Quote
It said the capacity of the Tube and bus services would be cut to 15 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, compared with normal levels, if a two-metre space between passengers is enforced, according to the BBC.
Would similar apply on railways and buses outside London.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 04:37:36 pm »

Given that GWR are unwilling/unable to manage boarding/loadings on even one or two of the busiest services of the week under normal circumstances, I really can't see this working very well in practice.
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stuving
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2020, 07:03:40 pm »

And from the London emergency planners https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-london-underground-tube-buses-overwhelmed-lockdown-report-a9491756.html
Quote
It said the capacity of the Tube and bus services would be cut to 15 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, compared with normal levels, if a two-metre space between passengers is enforced, according to the BBC.
Would similar apply on railways and buses outside London.

The tense in that article was a bit odd. In the middle of April, there were several reports of public transport, especially the underground, being still crowded in the rush hours, mostly with building workers (allegedly). Since then I've not heard this was stopped, nor that it's continued, though the Mail had a picture of pretty full trains from last Thursday morning. So the context is that nothing has really been done to apply the rules as they are now - so why would that be different?

Of course the rules - or measures - for using public transport might change. However, there's been very little sense talked about this, not even in other countries that have announced relaxations. I saw a report about the Lyon Métro showing them marking half the seats as out of use, putting metre marks on platforms, and deep cleaning trains overnight. There was also a hand-washing machine and I got the impression their use was going to be compulsory before entry. But in fact this was a promotional installation by a little local company that must think their big opportunity has come.


EverCleanHand have been trying to drum up interest in their machines for four years, with little success. As they point out:
Quote
EverCleanHand is dedicated to save lives and protect people’s health by reducing infections transmitted by hands, which are the main vector of transmissions of viruses and bacteria.  In developed countries, lack of hand hygiene has a real impact on public health: it causes, in France only an annual cost of 14.6 billion euros and causes nearly 15,000 deaths (linked to infections such as influenza, gastroenteritis or nosocomial infections).   We address the world of catering (to protect guests), corporations (well being of employees and reduction of sick leaves), as well as hospitals (limitation of Health Associated Infections). Our innovation combines a new device, attractive, user-friendly, connected (IoT) and a 100% natural lotion, organic, which protects skin and health.

Of course in France wearing some kind of face mask will be compulsory on trains, though the basic notion that this is more to keep you hands clean that to stop aerial transmission has not been promoted.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2020, 11:49:03 am »

...
Of course in France wearing some kind of face mask will be compulsory on trains, though the basic notion that this is more to keep you hands clean that to stop aerial transmission has not been promoted.

Belgium's deputy prime minister obviously needs some practice: YouTube

Today's Sunday Times printed four stills, the last one of which made me wince. It looked as if he was using his fingers and thumbs to position the mask, with some of his digits apparently under the mask and very close to to his mouth and nose. Any benefits of wearing masks will be reduced if people do not know how to put them on.

Similarly with home tests, for which, I gather, a fairly diligent implementation is necessary. I wonder how many people will make a token effort and get negative results that might give false reassurance.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2020, 04:17:27 pm »

It was pointed out on Andrew Marr this morning that to maintain social distancing at safe levels on buses and trains, capacity would be restricted to approximately 12% - how on Earth would this be managed?

Grant Shapps seemed to have no answer other than suggesting people cycle or walk to work, when Marr asked how queues/boarding would be managed there was little information forthcoming.

I get the idea of shifts, flexible working etc but practically speaking at these levels it isn't going to work, is it?
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2020, 05:05:17 pm »

The Guardian is reporting that the rail unions are concerned over safety on trains. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/may/03/uk-coronavirus-live-doctors-had-prepared-to-announce-boris-johnsons-death?page=with:block-5eaec5c68f087d47c77887ce#liveblog-navigation
You will need to scroll to 14:01


Quote
Rail unions warn against lifting lockdown to run more trains
Three rail unions have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, saying this is not the time to lift the lockdown and run more trains.
The joint letter – signed by the heads of ASLEF, RMT and the TSSA– says it is ‘completely unacceptable’ to put the lives of passengers and rail staff at risk.
They warn:
 
We have severe concerns over attempts by operators to increase service levels. First, it sends out a mixed message that it is okay to travel by train – despite official advice suggesting otherwise. This mixed messaging could be dangerous and lead to the public flouting the rules on travel and work.
Second, there is no agreement on how actually services can be increased whilst protecting workers and passengers. This includes protections through social distancing, adequate and appropriate PPE, and determination of essential and non-essential tasks.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2020, 05:14:46 pm »

The Guardian is reporting that the rail unions are concerned over safety on trains. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/may/03/uk-coronavirus-live-doctors-had-prepared-to-announce-boris-johnsons-death?page=with:block-5eaec5c68f087d47c77887ce#liveblog-navigation
You will need to scroll to 14:01


Quote
Rail unions warn against lifting lockdown to run more trains
Three rail unions have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, saying this is not the time to lift the lockdown and run more trains.
The joint letter – signed by the heads of ASLEF, RMT and the TSSA– says it is ‘completely unacceptable’ to put the lives of passengers and rail staff at risk.
They warn:
 
We have severe concerns over attempts by operators to increase service levels. First, it sends out a mixed message that it is okay to travel by train – despite official advice suggesting otherwise. This mixed messaging could be dangerous and lead to the public flouting the rules on travel and work.
Second, there is no agreement on how actually services can be increased whilst protecting workers and passengers. This includes protections through social distancing, adequate and appropriate PPE, and determination of essential and non-essential tasks.

For the first time in my life I find myself in agreement with The Grauniad and the rail unions...………..I think I'd better go and have a lie down  Shocked
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2020, 05:36:20 pm »

I guess you can argue as to when it is sensible to 'lift the lockdown' in whatever progressive stages that takes place, but it will obviously have to happen as some point. 

For my money, when it does:

1)  It will be decided that there will be no way to effectively marshal passengers to ensure social distancing on trains but passengers and staff will be 'strongly encouraged' (possibly mandated) to wear masks and be as sensible as possible in terms of spreading along the platform and waiting for a following train.
2)  The 'Saturday' levels of service timetable will come in to coincide with more people being allowed to go back into work, but there will be several stages to try and judge how effectively the network is coping.
3)  The numbers of people going back into work will still be a small fraction of the pre-virus numbers of people travelling, especially to 'the city', as most of the large employers will still want the majority of their staff working from home because their office space will be difficult to suitably adapt for that many staff to be accommodated anyway.
4)  Press will be on hand to record scenes on any services that are overcrowded (mostly on the underground), though generally most trains will not be too bad.

To sum it up.  Entering lockdown was pretty straightforward.  Exiting it won't be.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2020, 06:08:25 pm »

It was pointed out on Andrew Marr this morning that to maintain social distancing at safe levels on buses and trains, capacity would be restricted to approximately 12% - how on Earth would this be managed?

Grant Shapps seemed to have no answer other than suggesting people cycle or walk to work, when Marr asked how queues/boarding would be managed there was little information forthcoming.

I get the idea of shifts, flexible working etc but practically speaking at these levels it isn't going to work, is it?

If we get some more coherent information from HMG next week (I'll keep breathing), it will be about relaxing social distancing (i.e. going out more) and whether we can relax physical spacing rules too or not. So this confusion about what "social distancing" means ain't going to help. But, as you say, keeping even 1 m apart in trains would be a severe limit whatever the other rules are to be and whatever it's called.

What I haven't heard from anyone is that the objective is (presumably) to relax the restrictions for the bulk of the population while keeping the overall R (the infection's reproduction rate, and not R0 in this case) well below 1.0. Where we now have reduced R mainly by having far fewer contacts with other people, and making those more distant, we will now partly replace that with other measures. We could also scrap any of the current restrictions that have little effect - if we now have better data on what they do, which I fear we don't.

The 'X' factor we can add is targeted isolation and quarantine, based on large-scale testing. So far we all have to act as if we are infectious (but still necessarily going shopping), lacking any way to detect who is. If we can identify a few (say 1%) who are most likely to have the virus, and subject them to stricter confinement (quarantine), that reduces R. If we test everyone who has symptoms we can let those without the virus out of isolation; this doesn't reduce R at all but just puts them back into the less-restricted majority. It also allows people with only minor symptoms (e.g. no fever) to be picked up, where  before they would be missed - this does reduce R. Making a big impact on R this way needs a lot of assiduous contact-tracing and quite possible enforced quarantine in (for example) requisitioned hotels. Acquired immunity, even at the current levels of 5% or so, also pushes R down a bit - and every little helps, plus this effect only grows.

Since people going out more will use trains more, these (and buses too) need an R-reducing magic wand all of their own. I suspect the powers we've ended up with are considering facemasks, partly for want of any alternative, and partly because most of the world thinks this helps. But, given half of France have been crouched over a hot sewing machine for a month trying to make enough for their coming-out party (11th May, at least in Brittany), I can't see how it could be made to work here. And of course it may not actually work anyway.
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2020, 06:24:36 pm »

3)  The numbers of people going back into work will still be a small fraction of the pre-virus numbers of people travelling, especially to 'the city', as most of the large employers will still want the majority of their staff working from home because their office space will be difficult to suitably adapt for that many staff to be accommodated anyway.
One of the big UK banks commented a week or two ago that if you have offices on, say, the 10th floor, you need to take the lift to get there and social distancing means only one person in the lift at a time. In effect it will take till lunchtime to get everyone in the office and then people will immediately have to start leaving to get out at a reasonable time!
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2020, 08:44:47 pm »

3)  The numbers of people going back into work will still be a small fraction of the pre-virus numbers of people travelling, especially to 'the city', as most of the large employers will still want the majority of their staff working from home because their office space will be difficult to suitably adapt for that many staff to be accommodated anyway.
One of the big UK banks commented a week or two ago that if you have offices on, say, the 10th floor, you need to take the lift to get there and social distancing means only one person in the lift at a time. In effect it will take till lunchtime to get everyone in the office and then people will immediately have to start leaving to get out at a reasonable time!

Question - does the rush hour and 9 to 5 date from times when daylight was needed for travel and activities - before the electric light came between 100 and 150 years?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52519340 :

Quote
Businesses could be asked to stagger employees' working hours when the coronavirus lockdown eases, the transport secretary has said.

Grant Shapps told the BBC that the move would help to prevent crowded commutes.

Utterly sensible.   I'm happy to catch the 05:33 ... even on a Sunday
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