Friday, July 13, 2007

Lesson in Programming on Western Railway - Capacity problems, look beyond compression

A general manager of Western Railway made the effort to quickly increase the capacity. He introduced train coaches which had very few seats and, hence, a much larger standing capacity. It seemed reasonable that many more people could fit into each coach. The coach looked like a typical metro or subway train coach with seats on the sides and standing room in the middle. Except that these coaches were much wider and standing in them in crowded conditions was a torturous experience.
The congestion on the platform did not get any less. I avoided such a train, preferring to wait. The GM carried out a survey in which people said that they would accept such coaches if they were air conditioned.
The coaches were not airconditioned, rather they were withdrawn. I am pretty sure people, especially children, could have suffocated in such coaches. It would no longer have been lossless compression.

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