Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is QR's Quiet Carriage a complete failure?

The Queensland Rail (QR) Quiet Carriage has always been a bit of a joke. Quiet carriages are never really suited to commuter rail lines, rather being suited to long distance journeys. The QR Quiet Carriage is not enforced, other than by angry, obese, aisle seat hogging, middle aged women. Families with screaming kids often end up the carriage as there are no pram spaces in adjacent carriages. Commuters with resonating headphones may end up in the carriage as it may the only one they can get a seat in. Really, it's a complete waste of time.

Just to prove this, BrizCommuter performed a highly scientific study, using a sound meter on his iPhone 6 between adjacent stations on the same train service to measure sound pressure level (dB). The train, just in case anyone cares, was an ageing EMU.

Not the 'Quite Carriage' peak volume - 90dB

'Quiet Carriage' peak volume - 95dB

The Quiet Carriage was actually noisier in both peak volume and max volume. The app used didn't provide average figures, though the it is quite likely that this was also higher in the Quiet Carriage. In this case, this possibly due to the quiet carriage being group of teens with Downs Syndrome, station announcements cranked up to maximum volume, and whining motors. Thus BrizCommuter concludes that the QR Quiet Carriage is indeed a waste of time.

Maybe QR should better spend their time eliminating aisle seat hogs and ladies who think their handbag can have it's own seat?

1 comment:

  1. I hate the quiet carriage because it makes me more annoyed that it isn't quiet than if it wasn't meant to be a quiet carriage. I'm in one right now and there are three groups of people having loud conversations, another two people have just got off the phone after loudly ordering pizzas and checking in with friends. Another person is typing away loudly on their laptop (that's me by the way).

    I agree that it is a complete and utter waste of time and I've also noticed it's consistently the loudest carriage on the Gold Coast/Airport line.

    If it was to work it would need to be:
    - At the end carriage - they picked the carriages that are easiest to board and therefore people enter without any idea it is the quiet carriage.
    - People need to be made aware - quiet carriage stickers need to be placed on both sides of all doors and on the back of each seat.
    - In multiple languages, quite often tourists who have clearly just come from the airport are the loudest (maybe they can't read English).
    - QR need to supply a "polite" way of allowing passengers to inform others that they are on the quiet carriage. In some Asian countries they hang "quiet carriage" signs from the hand rails that you can pick up and hand to another passenger to nicely let them know which carriage they are on.
    - The security guards - who currently congregate in the quiet carriage and chat - should do the opposite while also politely enforce the guidelines.

    In short, it will never work and the quiet carriage concept should be removed. I wonder if someone is willing to do an FIO request into the trial documents because I can't understand how it passed trial.


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