There are a few times that I need to take an inter-peak Altona Loop shuttle train and change at Newport for a connecting train to the City.

I am always appalled at how low Platform 1 of Newport is compared to the train’s floor. I could not help holding back a while every time I make that steep step from the platform to the train. My heart goes to those not physically agile who may find crossing between the platform and the train an arduous activity.

I had come across some train stations where a “chasm” exists between the platform and the train so wide that a misstep could land your leg in the gap. In fact, my wife had a frightening experience of the pram wheels caught in the gap at Footscray station. If not for the help from fellow passengers, the consequence could be disastrous. She is so traumatized that she no longer wishes to risk bringing a pram to Footscray station. I could not imagine how my wife could negotiate the sharply unequal level between Newport’s Platform 1 and the train’s floor on her own if she would to travel with a pram on board an interpeak shuttle train.

If such a structural rail hazard exists in Singapore (where I originally came from), it would have caused much public disquiet and immediate attention from the authorities. Here, it seems to depend all on the responsibilities, carefulness and alertness of individuals to ensure that their physical safety are not being compromised. It is not surprising that we often hear of rail accidents from the newspapers (Ref 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). In Singapore, the casualties are more a case of suicide rather than the result of an accident.

I do not know about Platform 2. But I believe raising Platform 1 at Newport to a safe level will be beneficial to all passengers, whether they are using Newport for connections or as a destination.

Anyone requiring assistance on and off the train can call Metro on 1800 69 63876.