Railways remind passengers about social distancing

Railway undertakings and infrastructure managers across Europe raise awareness of coronavirus. Among other things, they are calling the passengers to keep the distance between each other. To this end, the railway companies install the special stickers inside the stations and restrict the number of passengers to travel by trains.

Among the latest developments is the installation of the special vinyl stickers inside Manchester Piccadilly station, one of the busiest facilities in the United Kingdom. The signs that depict humans legs have been put on the floor in a two-metre distance among them. With this measure, the British infrastructure manager Network Rail wants to remind the passengers about social distancing in the times of the coronavirus pandemic. “The stickers form a grid leading towards the ticket barriers, as well as marking out spaces for passengers to wait in whilst queuing for tickets or information,” Network Rail stated.

Dutch stickers

The same practice has already been introduced at the train stations in the Netherlands. Since 27 March the national railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and rail infrastructure manager ProRail deployed the stickers on the floor of various large and medium-sized stations.

Vinyl sticker for train stations in the Netherlands, source: Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)

Each sticker has the shape of a circle with a diameter of 3 metres and contains the text “Take care of each other and keep 1.5 meters away”. If a passenger stands on its heart, the distance to the edge of the sticker is exactly 1.5 metres. These signs were placed at the entrances to the station buildings and on the platforms. In addition, NS reminds the passengers about social distancing via its mobile application.

Fewer passengers in trains

The railway operators in Poland also remind the passengers about the distance with the help of special posters installed inside the trains and stations. At the same time, they also focus on reducing the number of travellers to use trains.

Polish poster reminds passengers about social distancing, source: Koleje Śląskie

“It is also worth keeping a proper distance during the journey itself. Therefore, we encourage you to take separate seats on the train and sit, for example, on every second seat. In this regard, the capacity of our trainsets has been adapted to the current frequency,” Koleje Śląskie noted. The similar notifications are being made by other operators in the country.

Staff areas

Another measure to keep the distance is to define the separated areas for the company’s staff. They were introduced by several railway and bus companies in Poland including Koleje Śląskie and Koleje Dolnośląskie in the mid-March. These areas are marked with special straps and signs ‘Separated area’. Due to safety reasons, these areas are available only for train conductors.

Staff area inside the train of Koleje Śląskie, source: Koleje Śląskie

“It is necessary to make every effort and apply every possible solution to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission. Therefore, we ask that all travellers strictly follow the instructions of the conductor teams, also in the regard of separated areas,” Koleje Dolnośląskie addressed to the passengers.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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