Newmarket West Trains Cautious After Fatality


DSCN1662.JPGDSCN2466 Western line trains are being extremely cautious at the Newmarket West station after this week’s fatality in which an elderly man was dragged under a train after he had disembarked and stumbled and apparently leaned against the train while regaining balance.

I’ve been through the station about six times in the last few days and staff have been almost over-protective in their checking to make sure everything is clear before the doors close and the signal given to depart the station. The train has halted for several minutes while the guard pops in and out of the door making sure people have definitely left the train area . The speed of the train leaving the station also seems to have greatly reduced. There is still considerable track work being done in the vicinity of the temporary Newmarket West station, which remains in operation until the new Newmarket station opens around January.(below Opus design)  newlook

It’s no surprise the tragedy has left guards and drivers nervous but if there is a positive in this, it’s that’s it a realisation for all of us, including passengers, that we shouldn’t take boarding and disembarking casually. A student on the train yesterday was mentioning how his jacket had got caught in the closing doors when leaving the train the other day and he had to rip it to get it out.

You may recall that Stagecoach has been fitting door sensors after a series of similiar incidents. A 12-year-old North Shore schoolboy died after his school bag was caught in the back door of a bus. He was thrown underneath the vehicle and dragged a short way before being run over. Then a man was trapped in the door of a moving bus and dragged along an inner-city Auckland street. An interlock system was also being put in so a driver could not open the rear doors if a bus was moving.




  1. Sandy says:

    You’re right. We forget the dangers. I’m going to be more careful from now on.

  2. Commuter says:

    Of course in slightly more sophisticated rail environments there’s either a mirror or a video monitor mounted at the driver’s end of the platform so that the driver too can check that there no stray passengers at risk when the train pulls out. Needless to say, I am unsurprised by the fact that no such precautions exist here; odd when you consider that Ontrack were recently recognised for their safety regime. Or is this an operator issue?

  3. William M says:

    @ Commuter:

    Purely an operator issue. Ontrack manages only the ‘below-rail’ infrastructure - they do not manage the locomotives/carriages on the rail, only the rails and the land they sit on. Kiwirail/Veolia drivers are often situated in too much of an awkward part of the cab to have view of the platform 100% of the time. The onus is on the guards and the train manager at the time to ensure that doors are clear and that passengers have fully disembarked from the carriages. Those who are not embarking should stay well behind the yellow lines/tactile dots. Perhaps the CCTV can be a little more closely monitored for those who are not staying safe on platforms.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>