Metro has been trying modified carriage layouts on the trains. Some Comeng trains have had seats removed near the doorways, and now a Siemens train has shown up with a similar treatment.
My immediate reaction (from a quick ride a few minutes ago)…
The pros: the larger doorway area should help speed up loading and unloading, and provide space for more people in crowded conditions. Based on how people have reacted to the Comeng layout, this seems to work.
The cons: still very few hand holds away from the doorways, especially in the middle of the carriages.
Fewer seats overall of course; about 16 removed per carriage, including many (all?) of the “priority” seats.
Note below the special needs seats all seem to be now located near the driver’s cab. This would obviously be an issue for someone with limited mobility, even assuming they know those seats are there. If it were me, I’d encourage people with a need for a seat to always speak up and ask someone else to give up theirs, even in the absence of such designated seats.
What do you think?
For the trainspotters, it’s carriage 832M and friends.
Update: Here’s a couple of snaps from December of the similar Comeng train layout.
- Fewer seats? – How many seats do we want on our trains?
- Trainspotting: The different types of Melbourne trains
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) March 16, 2015
The change will be rolled out to the entire Siemens and Comeng fleets, and it’s hoped this will help the train system better cope with growth until the next order for high capacity trains is rolled out, presumably sometime later this decade.
The seat reduction is said to be around 15% — about half the comparable changes on the B-class trams recently. I think this is a reasonable balance — the first problem is just fitting people onto the train; hopefully once they’re on board, most people travelling a long distance can get a seat at least part of the way.
Currently some modified trains have no allocated Priority Seats for those who specifically need them. Obviously it’d be nice if someone who needs a seat was always offered one (no matter if it’s a special Priority Seat or not)… but in any case, the Priority Seats will be re-allocated — apparently they ran out of stickers!
And by the way, the feedback I’ve heard from passengers has been very positive, especially those who board having to stand. “Spacious!” I heard one exclaim the other day.