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A Sydney man has revealed a little-known detail on train platform signs to help fellow commuters avoid crowded carriages.
The man was blown away after discovering that the electronic information screens at train stations, which display coming stops, also indicate carriage occupancy.
"I didn't know this... Screens show the level of activity in each carriage," says a voiceover in the Sydneysider's TikTok video.
In the viral video, the man walks onto a train station platform and pans up to show an information screen featuring colour-coded rectangles representing carriages.
The colours of each rectangle indicate the capacity of the carriage – with red indicating that a carriage is full, amber indicating standing room only and green meaning that seats are still available.
The man in the video shares that the screens also show the number of the carriage too, so commuters can easily locate empty carriages.
He concludes: "So, go to the green ones."
The commuter's video quickly went viral, amassing over 304,000 views and 11,000 likes from curious TikTokers.
Aussie commuters amazed
Hundreds of users shared their thoughts in the comments, with many claiming they were "mind blown" by the hidden train detail.
"I never knew this," wrote one impressed user.
"What? I have been travelling on Sydney trains my whole life and I just learned this tonight," wrote a second.
A third person pointed out the same feature is also available in the TripView app for NSW commuters.
However, several NSW residents pointed out that this type of carriage alert is only available on "Waratah" trains (or the Sydney Trains A & B sets).
"It only shows up for the Waratah trains though. The rest of the fleet you just have to hope for the best," pointed out one user.
How does Sydney Trains measure train carriage occupancy?
Many viewers wondered how Sydney Trains measures the occupancy of carriages and whether the measurements are accurate.
While some theorised the company uses cameras to determine the capacity of carriages, it's actually determined by weight sensors.
According to Rail Express, "the data is determined by weight sensors on the carriages that can indicate how many commuters are in each carriage and where spaces are still available".
Commuters previously had to access this data through Transport for NSW's Trip Planner, or other travel apps such as TripView, TripGo and Transport for NSW's Opal app.
Rail Express confirms that the capacity displays are currently usable at stops with Waratah trains, including the T1 North Shore and Western Lines.
As the weight sensor technology was introduced relatively recently, it is not yet available on older model trains.
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