When an accident occurs in these conditions, the rescue operation is very complicated and nothing should be left to chance. The more information the rescue teams have, the more efficient and rapid the operations will be. Amongst this information, there is obviously that concerning the people to be rescued: how many of them are there? where are they? are there people with disabilities? are there many children? etc…

Rescue operations in rail vehicles are very complex because of the environment in which this mode of transport is operated. They can be carried out in a metro tunnel with difficult access, on the bridge of a railway line or in a very congested part of the city through which a tramway passes, for example.

Knowing this information will allow the rescue forces to be optimally prepared before their arrival on the scene, by correctly sizing their number and equipment to be provided on site.

The transport operator in charge of the vehicle is one of the actors in the rescue operation, as he will be working closely with them to provide assistance and various information. It is in this context that knowing the passengers’ information will be extremely useful.

In order for the operator to know exactly how many people are in the vehicle it is essential to install an automatic passenger counting system that communicates in real time and is able to detect wheelchairs and differentiate between adults and children. If this is done, he will be able to export the number of adults, children and wheelchair users at the time just before the accident to his processing software for transmission to the emergency services.

Not all passenger counting technologies are real time and do not allow for passenger segmentation. It is important to validate this point as soon as possible by the transport networks and to see how a real time export can be achieved if the case should arise.

In conclusion, a passenger counting system not only serves to optimise operations and transport plans, it is also crucial for safety.