Designing Platforms to Improve Passenger Safety

In 2016-17 four people died in incidents at the platform edge. We know that the height of the step and width of the gap between platforms and trains are factors that affect risks associated with boarding and alighting. What are the options for making station platforms safer?
Gap filler solutions - such as steps added to the outside of rolling stock or modifications to platforms - can be used to reduce the gap between trains and platforms.  Our research highlighted the importance of seeing gap fillers within the context of a ‘whole system solution’ that also takes into account ways to positively influence passenger behaviour.
Passengers that have been unfortunate enough to find themselves on the tracks while a train passes through a station, have been known to find safety in the space beneath the platform edge, known as the platform recess.  Our investigation into platform recesses gives optimal dimensions for these ‘survival spaces’, and highlights the need to keep the area free of obstacles such as line side spares.  Safety information, including incidents related to platform recesses, should be collected and used to inform risk assessments.



Topics covered:

  • Boarding and alighting risks
  • Reducing the gap between platforms and trains
  • Influencing passenger behaviour
  • Platform recesses and survival spaces
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