The thump at Glenhuntly made me look up.
Further up the train carriage, passengers were milling around. One of them had taken a fall — tripped in the doorway, it appeared. It was
an old man a senior gentleman. Others helped him up and into a seat.
The train doors had shut and we were starting to move. They conferred, and agreed to use the emergency intercom. One of the ladies went for it.
The driver responded with the business-like demeanour of someone who has responded to too many false-alarms. The lady explained what had happened and asked that an ambulance be called. The driver said he’d get one, to meet the train at Caulfield. A few minutes later this was confirmed by Metro’s Twitter team:
@danielbowen Ambulance has been called to meet train at Caulfield.
— Metro Trains (@metrotrains) June 10, 2013
On arrival at Caulfield, two passengers helped the injured man, who I’m going to guess looked at least in his 70s, and quite dazed, off the train and over to a bench. Intercom lady went up the platform to speak to the driver, who came down to check. We waited, and — since it appeared everything was being handled well — I pondered if I should jump ship and change platforms to another train to get to work.
After a couple of minutes a station staff member approached and went to sit with the man until the ambulance arrived. The train then departed.
Some thoughts on this…
Well done to the numerous passengers who helped him, and the driver and other staffers for getting the ambulance. I hope the gentleman was okay, but it heartens me that people immediately came to his assistance. I would have helped too, but with half-a-dozen closer doing so, didn’t need to.
People sometimes talk about our city getting bigger and that with this we lose our humanity. I don’t think it’s true.
It’s lucky Caulfield is a staffed station. If not, the driver being the only staff member present would have had to have minded the injured man until the ambulance arrived — something I’ve previously seen happen at Gardenvale. In peak hour traffic, who knows how long that might have taken.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some train networks such as Perth are engineered to a high standard, and at most stations don’t have a significant gap or step up into the train. As yet there appears to be no system-wide plan to fix this in Melbourne.