Transportation system is the lifeblood of any society because without it the movement of people, goods and services will not be possible and economic progression will come to a halt hence the need for maintenance of transportation facilities cannot be overemphasized.
We have so far in these series discuss the role of facility management in the two major means of transportation in Nigeria (road and air) but let us delve further into the slowly growing means of transportation in Nigeria (rail).
The Nigerian Rail Transport system – Our Suggestions
Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks while the Nigerian government in recent times have renovated, reconstructed ageing rail lines and commissioned new ones but the desired goal of easing commercial traffic will not be achieved if Nigeria’s fallback to its usual pattern of lackadaisical maintenance.
Train stations are overly complex constructions with generally large volumes of passengers so greater management capabilities are required especially in these areas of service: security, safety, communication, and HVAC.
We at Eliezer Workplace Management Limited are of the opinion that the above services should be carried out in a way that gives passenger stations first priority and intense focus as The main goal of passenger stations is to ease the transfer of passengers from the train to outside world, from train to train and from the outside to the train also passengers stations host facilities like waiting halls, waiting rooms, toilet and shopping stalls/mart.
Train stations have peculiar unique security challenges which include but are not limited to terrorism attacks, fires & explosions, and access control.
Terrorism attacks can be in the form of bombings, hi-jacking and breaching of railway databases so FM’s should use a combination of technical/digital measures/ tools and humans for effectively managing security and safety. E.g body cameras, CCTV, drones and video analysis to Efficiently monitor all areas which will aid in quick and easy detection of suspicious behaviour before those individuals can cause any trouble.
It will also aid in the identification of abandoned luggage and bags left innocently unattended which has been a popular technique by bombers. Successful implementation of these measures by FM’s will ensure that terrorist attacks are stopped as access control will be topnotch which will mean Unauthorized Individuals are kept out and Intruders stopped.
Due to the nature and design of train stations, fire and explosion incident have to be uniquely managed as they possess, high ceilings, large open areas, large distances to emergency exits so Eliezer Workplace Management Limited believe the combination of technology and manpower is also the way to go.
FM’s should make sure that that building integration system has all fire safety instructions compiled/connected to it.
The use of a centralized system of this kind allows for the quick response and disaster avert as they notify the local fire department to monitor other technical systems such as conveyors, sprinklers, ventilation, air-condition and public address system which will come handy in the evacuation of large groups of people as staff (manpower) try to get people to safety in an organized way.
Communication is important to the management of railway stations because it is a tool that ties and ensure that all processes are enforced. from walkie talkie to public address system all these to ensure effective communication but it should be taken a little further.
The implementation of an emergency response programme with targeted resources that are appropriately adopted should be encouraged by FM’s and continually reviewed by monitoring the type and scale of incidents an updated.
Eliezer Workplace Management Limited believes management solutions for train stations should be founded on risk management so ranging from the mundane daily task of cleaning to the recruitment process proper attention should always be paid to risk management as it has a direct impact on the operational efficiency, safety and security of a train station which is what passengers want from their train stations. through monitoring the type and scale of incidents.