Concentrated boarding describes the phenomenon when rail passengers congregate in certain areas of the platform, such as at main entrances and staircases. This influences the distribution of passengers throughout the carriages, which can negatively affect passenger comfort, safety at the platform train interface, efficiency of the rail network, and the reputation of rail travel as a whole. This project aimed to determine whether concentrated boarding occur in rail stations in the UK in order to understand its relevance for future rolling stock and infrastructure design and its associated manufacturing research. Video recording technology was used to observe the movements of passengers in Oxford Station, and data was collected for nine trains. By reviewing the recordings, the number of passengers boarding through each door of the trains was determined, and the boarding distributions along the length of the platform were plotted. Several reasons for noted trends were offered, and potential solutions proposed. The use of real time information could be invaluable to minimise concentrated boarding, as it would allow passengers to make informed decisions as to where they could board trains to have a better journey experience. These findings indicate the relevance of a human-centred design process, particularly the user research stages in the process of defining priorities for manufacturing and engineering.
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