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Accessible Rail Station Platform Independent Gap Filler for Persons With Reduced Mobility

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emmanuel Matsika



The enactment of the UK DDA 1995/2005 (now Equality Act 2010) and enforcement of the 2008 EC TSI for Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) (now TSI PRM 2014) have led to an increasing number of PRMs travelling by rail. Despite this, safety concerns exist as infrastructure managers and train operators adapt to new requirements for accessibility. For example, accidents which occur at the platform-train interface (PTI) can result in severe injuries. This paper reviews different gap fillers and provides a new design concept to resolve this challenge. The research applies science and technology to work toward promoting equal access of PRMs to transportation systems. It presents a boarding mechanism that helps PRMs to board and alight independently through automatically actuating platform-based ramp. It applies 3 degrees of freedom (DoF) for translation motion, and 2DoF for angular motion. A combination of these 5DoF ensure successful gap filling. The actuations are controlled by infrared and inductive sensors. The system is capable of moving 2m along the platform. It covers a maximum horizontal gap of 500mm and has a maximum inclination of 10.2°. The concept aims to reduce dwell time, despite the presence of PRMs. This allows zero interference for the door usage from all passenger groups. In addition, it facilitates effective crowd flow management during boarding and alighting. An evaluation based on cost, performance, safety and crowd flow shows the effectiveness of the mechanism. It is recommended that it should be installed at all platforms to help PRMs board independently. Corresponding safety standards and regulations need to be developed to ensure safety and security of the mechanism. The system can be installed both at retrofitted and new-build platforms. It therefore has potential to promote job creation through design, manufacture, installation, operations and maintenance, thereby contributing to the socio-economic situation of a country.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Matsika E, Li L

Editor(s): Trimble, J; Osman, A; Stephenson, B; Kadoda, G;

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 9th International Conference on Appropriate Technology

Year of Conference: 2020

Online publication date: 01/11/2020

Acceptance date: 09/09/2020

Date deposited: 03/11/2020

ISSN: 978-0-9870163-7-9

Publisher: Tshwane University of Technology


Notes: Conference held Online Due to COVID 19

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780999366684