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Belgian rail trials smart tech for drivers and conductors

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The national Belgian railway company, SNCB/NMBS, has launched a trial of a new departure system by which train drivers and attendants will communicate using smart technology.

The new departure system, called LINDA (Location-Based Intelligent Departure Approach), will use either smartphones, smartwatches, or tablets to improve communication, reduce misunderstandings and reduce the number of cases where passengers try to jump onto the train at the last minute.

SNCB is testing out different media platforms, including smartwatches, which are the preference of some train attendants who say that the watch would be best because they often already have their hands full.

“Nothing is definitive, and everything will depend on the results of the tests. The options we are considering to improve our departure procedure are aimed at improving the safety of our passengers and train staff,” said Elisa Roux, SNCB spokesperson.

It is anticipated that testing of the new departure procedure will be completed by 2020.

In the past, a whistle signal was used by train attendants to signal to passengers that they could no longer board the train. Afterward, all doors would close, except for the one used by the train attendant, who would keep watch and manually close the door once the train departed.

This changed in June 2019, when a new rule that all train doors had to be closed before departure was introduced.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

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