Working Commute by Rail

I visited Thirlmere yesterday – the centre of Steam Engines in NSW. I didn’t get to ride on any of the engines, but did meet half a dozen people who commute daily to the Sydney CBD to work. This is a two hour commute – in both directions. One person leaves home at 5:30am each day to be at work on time!

Four hours a day commuting? Is there a way of integrating the commute time into the working day? For many commuters the rail journey is for relaxation, reflection, study and sleep because it is on top of a regular work day. However a different pattern is possible, one that decreases the length of the work back towards 8 to 9 hours.

How about a “hot desking” rail service that runs from the fringes of Sydney arriving in the city at 8am, 10am and midday and then a return service leaving at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm? Staff clock on when then join the train, work for up to two hours on the journey in, spend four to five hours in the city office for face to face interactions, and then work up to a further two hours on the train on the way home.

“Hot Desk” Rail carriages could be fitted out with:

  • individual chairs
  • high-speed WiFi internet
  • pull out/ pull down writing desk
  • half height privacy dividers between chairs

Organisations which are based in the CBD lease seats in the “Hot Desking” service for their staff and schedule face to face meetings into the core times between 10am and 2pm.

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