Automated Trains: Good Idea/Bad Idea?

The NSW government has flagged intentions to make sections of Sydney’s Cityrail network fully automated, marking the first use of this kind of automation for Australian commuters, although it’s quite common in many overseas cities. What’s your take on the idea?

Photo: zackary1360

I’ve travelled on plenty of automated train systems over the years without notable incident, and a lot of the coverage so far has focused on the jobs impact of using automated services, especially with the prospect of automation spreading out across the network. The first announced use will be for the North West Rail Link, which isn’t due for completion until the end of the decade, so it’s some time off yet.

Automation can be a win or a loss for commuters, though. On the one hand, there’s less reliance on staff so potentially fewer delays in that aspect, but equally the use of automated gates and self-running trains can lead to commuter crushes if not carefully managed, and there’s some reluctance to the idea of having computerised train systems.

I can’t say I’m bothered by the prospect, but what’s your view on introducing automated public transport to Australia?

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