Indian Railways will, for the first time in its history, deploy ‘bouncers’ on platforms for crowd management, to ensure smooth entry and exit of passengers in air-conditioned trains soon to be introduced on Mumbai’s suburban network. Japan’s suburban network has similar ‘helpers’ who are around to help doors close during peak-hour rush.
The first fully AC electrical multiple unit (EMU) rakes arrived in Mumbai on April 5 and are currently in the Kurla car shed. CR plans to complete trial runs with passengers before the monsoon. Authorities expect heavy demand for AC trains and are worried about crowd management.
CR’s general manager S K Sood said, “We will deploy bouncers at platforms so that train operation is not affected. We plan to deploy employees from the sports quota to regulate the crowd.” Sources said personnel from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) may also be roped in for crowd management.
A senior CR official said, “The average halt of the train is 20-30 seconds. In an AC train, commuters will have to alight or board the train only when it is static. The train cannot move unless the door is closed and the door can’t be closed if the passengers hang on the footboard.” Another official said, “Imagine the chaos if the train halts for 15 to 30 seconds more at each station because the door is not allowed to close by errant passengers. The cumulative loss of time can have huge impact on punctuality as trains following the AC locals will also get delayed, thus causing overcrowding.”