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Better than nothing

Some railway stations, particularly on light rail systems, have platform edge doors that only open when a train arrives. One of the major benefits of these is that they prevent people from falling onto the tracks.

However, they’re relatively uncommon. They’re costly to install and maintain, and are another significant potential point of failure which could prevent people from boarding trains.

But there is a good compromise: if you have consistent trains stopping at consistent points along a platform, you could just fence off the parts of the platform that don’t line up with the doors. Having a large proportion of the platform edge fenced off would seem to provide quite a bit of additional protection against falling onto the tracks.

In New York, the MTA is trailing exactly that.

When I saw this article, I was surprised that I’d never seen this solution tried anywhere else before… and also surprised that I’d never thought of it. Perhaps it has some hidden downsides, but at first glance, it seems such an obvious solution that one might think it would be common. The logic is almost childlike.

It will be interesting to see how the trial turns out.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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