I’ve long thought the signage on Comeng and Hitachi trains about walking between the carriages was unclear. Going back a while, they talked about using them for “communication” but not “travel” — confusing to most.
Recently they’ve said “Please do not travel on platform between carriages”, which implies people should not use those doors to walk between the carriages at all. That’s not quite right.
They now appear to be replacing it with a more detailed version, seen here in red and white, below the older sign:
I think it makes the situation a little clearer.
“Please do not walk through gangway whilst train is in motion.” — In other words, it’s okay to use the door and gangway to move between carriages, but not while the train is moving — it’s less safe, after all, particularly when lurching across junctions and so on.
“Please do not travel on the platform between the carriages.” — It’s not okay to stand on the platform as the train moves along, having a smoke or whatever.
In the legislation there are a couple of points which appear to be relevant here:
- 34A. Vehicle in motion: A person must not, without reasonable excuse, enter onto a part of a rail vehicle not designed for the purpose of carriage while the vehicle is in motion.
- 46. Operating doors: A person must not, without reasonable excuse … open or hold open any door on any rail vehicle or road vehicle while the vehicle is in motion if the door provides access to the outside of the vehicle.
Of course on Siemens trains, there’s no door; the carriage space is almost continuous (and thus, it seems, “designed for the purpose of carriage”). On X’Trapolis trains (which I think have the same notice) there are sliding doors, but the area between the carriages is entirely enclosed (making the warning seem overly cautious).
There seems to be repeated talk that future models of trains will have completely continuous carriage space for passengers, to maximise capacity, and it sounds like they’ll most likely be in permanent six-carriage formation, with no centre cabs. Time will tell, of course.