Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, operations - performance, operations - reliability


Paris, service peak, short headways, short dwell times, passenger behaviour


The length of time a train is halted at a station is particularly important during service peak periods and short headways. Some passenger behaviors, such as the deliberate holding open of doors, has a detrimental effect upon maintaining short dwell times and service timetable. Mechanical malfunction due to door holding is also a significant contributor to trains having to be removed from service.
There is a general absence of literature in the transportation field examining this problem or offering potential solutions. This paper discusses a commissioned research project carried out by Monash University’s Department of Design for the French National Railway (SNCF). The method for this research drew upon techniques from other related disciplines to aid in the formulation of a design strategy to mitigate passenger door holding behavior.
Leveraging the physical design of the environment to provoke desired behaviors in people is a technique widely used in various disciplines from large architectural projects to more subtle uses of applied psychology. This paper describes the background to the problem as it manifests itself on SNCF’s network in the Ile-de-France and discusses potential design solutions that may have pertinence for other networks similarly afflicted around the world.