We were commissioned to study the causes and behaviours that contribute to incidents at the Platform-Train Interface (PTI), in context of a number of high profile PTI-related incidents in the last decade. By applying our expertise in understanding human factors in transport research alongside our technical knowledge, we provided insight to inform Network Rail’s approach and communications to help prevent future incidents. 

The challenge

Our remit was to explore all aspects of incidents at the PTI, and provide advice and recommendations to minimise accidents occurring in the future.

From a human behavioural perspective we needed to fully understand what people do at the PTI, why they behave that way and how likely their actions would contribute to an incident. On site studies needed to focus on the physical features of platforms and train stations and their role in incidents.

Our approach

We used a combination of research methods to explore interaction at the PTI. To observe how passengers behave our team visited train stations and viewed CCTV footage. We audited train stations to examine the PTI and identify if and how particular characteristics contributed to incidents.

Through focus groups and surveys we engaged with passengers and stakeholders to understand their perceptions and opinions of the risks at the PTI and their attitude towards these risks.

The results

We provided Network Rail with a ranked proposal of recommended methods to reduce the risk of PTI-related incidents.

To help target efforts to reduce PTI risk, we segmented our research to identify specific passenger groups that were more vulnerable or likely to be involved in a PTI-related incident.

Our work formed the insight for communications material produced by Network Rail to help staff and passengers understand the risks at the PTI and how to avoid unnecessary accidents.

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