Platform screen doors (PSDs) and platform edge doors (PEDs) at train or subway stations separate the platform from the train. They are a relatively new addition to many metro systems around the world, some having been retrofitted to established systems. They are widely used in newer Asian and European metro systems.
The first stations in the world with platform screen doors were the ten stations of the Saint Petersburg Metro's Line 2 that opened between 1961 and 1972. The platform "doors" are actually openings in the station wall, which supports the ceiling of the platform. The track tunnels adjoining the ten stations' island platforms were built with tunnel boring machines (TBMs), and the island platforms were actually located in a separate vault between the two track tunnels. Usually, TBMs bore the deep-level tunnels between stations, while the station vaults are dug out manually and contain both the tracks and the platform. However, in the case of the Saint Petersburg Metro, the TBMs bored a pair of continuous tunnels that passed through ten stations, and the stations themselves were built in vaults that only contained the platform, with small openings on the sides of the vault, in order for passengers to access the trains in the tunnels.
In 1987, the Singapore MRT was the first metro system in the world to incorporate glass PSDs into its stations for climate control and safety reasons, rather than due to architectural constraints. All underground stations on all lines have these doors installed since their opening, and above-ground stations were retrofitted with the doors by 2011. The design of the doors themselves differ depending on their installation location and time (see below). Hong Kong's MTR was the first metro system in the world to retrofit PSDs on a transit station already in operation.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, platform screen doors can refer to both full-height and half-height barriers. Full height platform screen doors are total barriers between the station floor and ceiling, while the half-height platform screen doors are referred to as platform edge doors, as they do not reach the ceiling and thus do not create a total barrier. Platform gates are usually only half of the height of the full-screen doors, but they sometimes reach to the height of the train. These three types of platform screen doors are presently the main types in the world.
Platform screen doors and platform edge doors
These doors help to:
- Prevent people from accidentally falling onto the tracks, getting too close to moving trains, and committing suicide (by jumping) or homicide (by pushing).
- Prevent or reduce wind felt by the passengers caused by the piston effect which could in some circumstances make people lose their balance
- Improve safety—reduce the risk of accidents, especially from trains passing through the station at high speeds.
- Improve climate control within the station (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are more effective when the station is physically isolated from the tunnel).
- Improve security—access to the tracks and tunnels is restricted.
- Lower costs—eliminate the need for motormen or conductors when used in conjunction with Automatic Train Operation, thereby reducing manpower costs.
- Prevent litter buildup on the tracks, which can be a fire risk.
- Improve the sound quality of platform announcements, as background noise from the tunnels and trains that are entering or exiting is reduced.
- At underground or indoor platforms, prevent the air from being polluted by the fumes caused by friction from the train wheels grinding against the tracks.
Their primary disadvantage is their cost; installing a system typically costs several million USD per station. When used to retrofit older systems, they limit the kind of rolling stock that may be used on a line, as train doors must have exactly the same spacing as the platform doors; this results in additional costs due to depot upgrades and otherwise unnecessary purchases of rolling stock. They also impede natural ventilation, increasing climate control costs.
The doors also pose their own safety risks. The primary risk is that people may be trapped between the platform doors and the train carriage, and be subsequently crushed when the train begins to move (see § Incidents). Cases of this happening are rare, and may depend upon door design.
Automatic platform gate
Half-height platform doors, or automatic platform gates, are chest-height sliding doors at the edge of railway platforms to prevent passengers from falling off the platform edge onto the railway tracks. Like full-height platform screen doors, these platform gates slide open or close simultaneously with the train doors.
Half-height platform gates are cheaper to install than platform screen/edge doors, which require more metallic framework for support. Some railway operators may therefore prefer such an option to improve safety at railway platforms and, at the same time, keep costs low and non-air-conditioned platforms naturally ventilated. However, these gates are less effective than full platform screen doors in preventing people from intentionally jumping onto the tracks.
These gates were first in practical use by the Hong Kong MTR on the Disneyland Resort Line for their open-air station design. The later design by other manufacturers, such as Manusa, Grupsa or Gilgen Door Systems AG, have their gates higher than the ones installed on the Disneyland Resort Line
In Sydney, the first phase of the Sydney Metro (known as Sydney Metro Northwest) will open in 2019 and will be the first fully automated rapid transit rail system in Australia. The new stations will be equipped with full height platform screen doors on underground platforms and half height on at grade/elevated platforms. The existing 5 stations on the Epping to Chatswood railway line will be upgraded to rapid transit standard, all featuring half height platform screen doors.
In Melbourne, the Melbourne Metro tunnel currently under construction from South Kensington to South Yarra will feature platform screen doors on the new stations. New trains are currently being designed that will link with the full height doors and the new line is due to open in 2025.
The Platform Screen Doors are present in 5 of the 6 lines of the São Paulo Metro. Line 4 - Yellow and Line 15 - Silver have the equipment installed in all of its stations. The feature is also present in 3 stations of the Line 2 - Green: Sacomã station opened on 30 January 2010 (which was the first station in Latin America to have Platform Screen Doors), Vila Prudente station was opened on 21 August 2010 and Tamanduateí station, opened on 21 September 2010. Only Vila Matilde station currently has the feature installed on Line 3 - Red. The installation of PSDs is currently occurring on Line 5 - Lilac and it is already finalized in Adolfo Pinheiro station. All the future stations of the system will be inaugurated with PSDs. They are planned to be installed in the old stations as well.
All Chinese metro systems have platform screen doors installed on most of their lines. All stations built after the mid 2000s have some form of platform barrier. Only the Shanghai Metro, Beijing Subway, Guangzhou Metro, Nanjing Metro, Dalian Metro and Wuhan Metro have stations without the platform screen doors on their early lines. However many are starting the process of retrofitting these lines with platform screen gates. In addition, many BRT systems such as the Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit are also equipped with platform screen doors. Several underground high speed railway stations of the CRH network use platform screen doors set back from the platform edge.
The Helsinki Metro had a trial run with Faiveley automatic platform gates installed on a single platform at Vuosaari metro station during phase one of the project. The doors, which are part of the Siemens metro automation project, were built in 2012. Phase 2 of the project has been delayed due to metro automation technical and safety related testings. The doors were removed in 2015
All lines of the VAL automated subway system are equipped with platform screen doors at every station, starting with Lille subways in 1983. Those also include Toulouse and Rennes as well as the CDGVAL and Orlyval airport shuttles.
Paris Métro's line 14 from Saint-Lazare to Bibliothèque François Mitterrand was inaugurated in 1998 with platform screen doors manufactured by Faiveley Transport. The new station Olympiades opened with platform screen doors in June 2007. Line 1 has been retrofitted with platform screen doors, for full driverless automation effective in 2012. Some stations on Line 13 have had platform edge doors since 2010 to manage their overcrowding, after tests conducted in 2006, and stations on Line 4 are currently being fitted with platform edge doors in preparation for its automation.
The D line in Lyon, which is equipped with fully automated trains, does not have platform screen doors but identifies obstructions by infrared detectors upon the tracks. A similar system is employed by the metro system in Nuremberg, Germany.
People movers at Frankfurt International Airport, Munich International Airport and Düsseldorf Airport are equipped with platform screen doors, as well as the suspended monorail in Dortmund, called H-Bahn.
The MTR Corporation had also, since mid-1996, been studying the feasibility of installing PSDs at the older stations. It decided in 1999 to undertake the PSD Retrofitting Programme at 74 platforms of 30 underground stations on the Kwun Tong, Island, and Tsuen Wan Lines. This was completed in early 2006. The Mass Transit Railway was the first metro system in the world to retrofit PSDs on a transit system already in operation.
In 2006 the MTR began studying ways to introduce barriers at above-ground and at-grade stations, which was considered more complicated as these stations are naturally ventilated and the introduction of platform screen doors would entail the installation of air conditioning systems. In 2008 the corporation decided to install automatic platform gates at these eight stations (the MTR and KCR Corporation were operationally merged in 2007, but KCR stations were except from this study). The eight stations were retrofitted with APGs in 2011.
From July 2000 to December 2013, the MTR Corporation collected a surcharge of 10 cents from each Octopus-paying passenger to help pay for the installation of PSDs and APGs. Over HK$1.15 billion was collected in total.
Platform screen doors were also installed on all platforms of the West Rail Line, then built by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) before the MTR-KCR merger. The Ma On Shan Line did not have gates upon opening even though it was built at the same time as the West Rail.
The installation of platform screen doors in Hong Kong has been effective in reducing railway injuries and service disruptions.
The longest set of platform screen doors in the world can be found in East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. A reduction of train length from 12 to 7 cars following the construction of Kowloon Southern Link caused many of the screen doors to be put out of service, although the trains are presently being lengthened to eight cars.
The platform screen doors presently in service in the MTR were supplied by the Swiss manufacturer Kaba Gilgen, the Japanese Nabtesco Corporation (under the Nabco brand), as well as Faiveley Transport. The last stations in Hong Kong without platform screen doors or gates are all found on the East Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line, both former KCR lines not part of the MTR APG retrofitting programmes. However, these remaining stations are all being retrofitted by Kaba as part of the Sha Tin to Central Link project. Adding APGs to the East Rail platforms requires platform strengthening as the gates, combined with heavy winds, can greatly increase structural loading on the platform edge.
Apart from the MTR, all stations on the Hong Kong International Airport Automated People Mover are equipped with platform screen doors made from Westinghouse Platform Screen Doors (for Phase 1) and Panasonic (for Middle Filed Extension).
On the Delhi Metro, All the stations on Delhi Airport Metro Express, which links to Indira Gandhi International Airport has been equipped with platform screen doors since November 2015 and the six busiest stations on the Yellow Line have also been equipped with half height platform gates. Automatic platform gates on all the stations of the Pink and Magenta Line.
There are platform screen doors in all elevated stations of Kolkata Metro Line 2.Platform screen doors will be introduced in underground stations of Kolkata Metro Line 2, Kolkata Metro Line 3, Kolkata Metro Line 6.There are plans to install platform screen doors also in Kolkata Metro Line 1.
Platform screen doors are used in most newly built rapid transit lines and systems of new construction in Italy. PSDs are present on Turin Metro, the Venice People Mover, the Perugia Minimetrò, the Brescia Metro, Line 5 of the Milan Metro, and Line C of the Rome Metro.
The Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway began using barriers with the 1991 opening of the Namboku Line (which has full-height platform screen doors), and subsequently installed automatic platform gates on the Mita, Marunouchi, and Fukutoshin lines. Some railway lines, including the subway systems in Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukuoka, also utilize barriers to some extent.
In August 2012, the Japanese government announced plans to install barriers at stations used by 100,000 or more people per day, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism allotted 36 million yen ($470,800) for research and development of the system the 2011-2012 fiscal year. A difficulty was the fact that some stations are used by different types of trains with different designs, making barrier design a challenge.
As of November 2012[update], only 34 of 235 stations with over 100,000 users per day were able to implement the plan. The ministry stated that 539 of approximately 9,500 train stations across Japan have barriers. Of the Tokyo Metro stations, 78 of 179 have some type of platform barrier.
In 2018, automatic platform gates will be installed on the Sōbu Rapid Line platforms at Shin-Koiwa. As these trains are 300 m (980 ft) long, it is believed that this will break the world record for the longest platform doors at East Tsim Sha Tsui Station in Hong Kong.
Low-height doors on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
Platform screen doors are installed at all underground Kelana Jaya Line stations, from Ampang Park to Masjid Jamek stations for safety reasons. The automated announcement message reading "For safety reasons, please stand behind the yellow line" in both English and Malay languages are also heard before the train arrived at all stations.
In Pakistan, platform screen doors are installed at all stations of bus rapid transits Lahore Metrobus and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus. There are plans to install them at all stations of Multan Metrobus, Karachi Metrobus and the under construction Lahore Metro.
Park Pobedy (Russian: Парк Победы) is a station of the Saint Petersburg Metro that was the first station in the world with platform doors. The station was opened in 1961. Later, nine more stations of this type were built in Leningrad (nowadays Saint Petersburg): Petrogradskaya (Russian: Петроградская), Vasileostrovskaya (Russian: Василеостровская), Gostiny Dvor (Russian: Гостиный двор), Mayakovskaya (Russian: Маяковская), Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo I (Russian: Площадь Александра Невского-1), Moskovskaya (Russian: Московская), Yelizarovskaya (Russian: Елизаровская), Lomonosovskaya (Russian: Ломоносовская), and Zvyozdnaya (Russian: Звёздная).
There was an electronic device to ensure that the train stopped with its doors adjacent to the platform doors; they were installed so that driverless trains could eventually be used on the line. Unlike other platform screen doors, which are lightweight units with extensive glazing installed on a normal platform edge, the St Petersburg units give the appearance of a solid wall with heavyweight doorways and solid steel sliding doors, similar to a bank of elevators in a large building, and the train cannot be seen entering from the platform; passengers become familiar with the sound alone to indicate a train arrival.
In May 2018, two other similar stations were opened: Novokrestovsakaya and Begovaya. Unlike the first ten stations that were built, these stations utilize glass screen doors, allowing the train to be seen from entering the platform.
The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) was the first rapid transit system in Asia to incorporate platform screen doors in its stations in 1987. Aditionally, the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the first and only rail system in the world to incorporate platform screen doors consistently at all stations on the network with half height "psds" on the overground stations. Full height PSDs mainly manufactured by Westinghouse are installed at all existing underground MRT and sub-surface stations in Singapore, as well as at Ten Mile Junction LRT Station since its opening in 1999. Future underground MRT stations will also have full-height doors installed upon opening. Half-height platform screen doors mostly manufactured by ST Electronics have been retrofitted into all elevated stations by March 2012 (starting with three elevated MRT stations in 2009), as well as all future above-ground MRT stations. The LRT stations at Sengkang, Bukit Panjang and Punggol also have half height platform screen panels installed beginning in 2015. These panels lack physical doors and vary in size according to their location on the platform. All remaining LRT stations received these panels by 2018.
There are two series of the full-height platform screen doors in use. The first series, made by Westinghouse, was installed at all underground stations along the North South Line and the East West Line from 1987 to the completion of the initial system in 1990. The second series of PSDs sport a sleeker design, producing less sound when the doors were opened and closed while incorporating more glass. The first station with these doors was Changi Airport MRT Station which opened in 2002. All stations in the fully underground North East Line and Circle Line, which opened in 2003 and 2010 respectively, sport these new doors, also made by Westinghouse, although there are slight differences in their designs. The same doors used in the Circle Line also equip the rebuilt North South Line platforms at Bishan MRT Station in 2009 following renovations in conjunction with the Circle Line interchange at the station. The Downtown Line features Westinghouse doors of a still-newer design, which is also found in Marina South Pier MRT Station which opened in 2014. The upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line will use full-height doors by a different manufacturer, GE Transportation, in its stations upon opening.
Considered a novelty at the time of its installation, platform screen doors were introduced primarily to minimise hefty air-conditioning costs, especially since elevated stations are not air-conditioned and are much more economical to run in comparison. Since then the safety aspects of these doors have become more important, as highlighted by a series of high-profile incidents where individuals were injured or killed by oncoming trains since the year 2002—all occurring on elevated stations with no screen doors. The Land Transport Authority reports that there have been more than 220 cases of commuters trespassing on the tracks between 1991 and 15 September 2004, of which 87 percent were deliberate acts of trespass. Nine fatalities were recorded during this period, of which only one was an accident. Since September 2004 there have been six fatalities occurring on elevated MRT and LRT stations.
Second-generation platform doors at Serangoon Station, opened in 2003. These doors have more glass than the first-generation doors pictured above.
Half-height platform doors were installed at Yio Chu Kang Station in 2011, 19 years after the station opened
Yongdu Station of Seoul Subway Line 2 was the first station on the Seoul Subway to feature platform screen doors; the station opened in October 2005. By the end of 2009, many of the 289 stations operated by Seoul Metro had platform doors by Hyundai Elevator. Seoul Metro Line 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were equipped with platform screen doors However, not all stations operated by Korail have completed installation. All stations in South Korea will have platform screen doors by 2018. As of 2017, 100% of subway stations are equipped with platform screen doors in Daejeon, Gwangju, Busan, Incheon and Daegu. The platform screen doors installed in Munyang Station in Daegu Metro have a unique rope-based platform screen named Rope type Platform Safe Door (RPSD). A set of ropes cordoned off the platform from the rails. When the train arrived, the rope screen ascended to allow entry. This RPSD was also used in Nokdong Station on Gwangju Subway, but was removed in 2012, and a new full-height platform screen door was installed in 2016 instead.
Half platform screens were installed first in Provença FGC station (Barcelona) around 2003. Later doors were tested on Barcelona Metro line 11 before fitting them on all stations for the new lines 9 and 10, which operate driverless. In the Seville Metro this system is the one used since it was opened in April 2009.
Stockholm commuter rail has platform doors on two underground stations opened in July 2017, as part of the Stockholm City Line. The Stockholm metro will receive platform doors in two stations during 2017 - 2018. The underground Liseberg station in Gothenburg has platform doors which were built before its opening 1993. The reason was safety against the freight trains that go in this tunnel. These doors are built one meter from the platform edge and do not restrict the train type.
Zurich International Airport's Skymetro shuttle between the main building (hosting terminals A and B) and the detached terminal E has glass screen doors separating the tracks from the passenger hall platforms at both ends.
Lausanne Metro's Line M2 has glass screen doors at every station.
Platform screen doors and automatic platform gates were both installed from the beginning with the opening of the then Muzha Line (now the Wenshan line, the first metro line in Taiwan) of the Taipei Metro in 1996. In the 21st century, all platforms on the Neihu Line were equipped with them, and since the 2010s, all newly opened stations have been equipped with them. Future extensions and lines will also be equipped with these doors. The last station to come on-line without platform screen doors was Nangang Station. TRTC has also decided that they will install platform screen doors in all stations without such doors when they were built and those stations with high numbers of passengers, or that are transfer stations, will be targeted first. Platform gates in major stations like Taipei Main Station and Yuanshan Station are already in use.
Taipei Metro System with platform screen doors:
- Wenhu Line: All Stations
- Tamsui-Xinyi Line: Dongmen Station to Xiangshan MRT station
- Green Line: Beimen Station to Songshan Station
- Orange Line: Dongmen Station to Huilong Station/Luzhou Station
- Bannan Line: All Stations
- All underground stations on the Kaohsiung MRT system have platform screen doors installed.
Bangkok's MRT is equipped with platform screen doors. In 2013, half-height platform screens were installed on the BTS skytrain at Siam station and are being installed in several busy stations.
United Arab Emirates
The Jubilee line extension project saw platform screen doors installed on its new stations that were underground. In contrast to other systems, where PSDs and PEDs are installed primarily for safety reasons, the Jubilee line PSDs were designed primarily to reduce the movement of air caused by emergency ventilation fans. As a secondary function, they also act as barriers to prevent people from falling onto the tracks. The Jubilee line PSDs were produced by Westinghouse. There are plans to install PEDs (which will not reach to the ceiling) in existing London Underground stations along the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly, and Waterloo & City lines as part of New Tube for London.
PEDs are present on the Gatwick Airport shuttle system and on the Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 airside people mover shuttle. In these two cases the purpose is safety, as there is a considerable drop on the other side of the doors.
Crossrail will have platform screen doors at most of its underground stations, except the stations at Heathrow Airport. The Heathrow stations will also be served by Heathrow Express trains, which have a different door layout.
Platform screen doors are generally rare in the United States, and are almost exclusively found on small-scale systems. The privately operated Las Vegas Monorail system is currently the only general-purpose rapid transit system in the US to use platform screen doors. Honolulu Rail Transit will become the first large-scale publicly run metro system in the United States to feature platform screen doors when it opens in late 2020.
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has not committed to installing platform screen doors in its subway system, though it had been considering such an idea since the 1980s. Possible locations for platform doors include several stations along the Second Avenue Subway, but their installation presents substantial technical challenges, as there are different placements of doors on New York City Subway rolling stock. The MTA is also interested in retrofitting platform screen doors on the Canarsie Line, along the L train, and on the IRT Flushing Line, along the 7 and <7> trains. However, it is unlikely that the entire New York City Subway system will get retrofitted with platform screen doors or automatic platform gates due to, again, the varying placements of doors on rolling stock. Following a series of incidents during one week in November 2016, in which 3 people were injured or killed after being pushed into tracks, the MTA started to consider installing platform edge doors for the 42nd Street Shuttle. In October 2017, the MTA formally announced that platform screen doors would be installed at the Third Avenue station on the L train as part of a pilot program, but the pilot was later postponed after funding for the doors was reallocated to another project.
People movers, systems that ferry passengers across large distances they would otherwise walk, make use of platform screen doors. These systems are common at airports such as Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey uses full height platform screen doors at two of its systems: AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark (serving John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport respectively). San Francisco International Airport has AirTrain, a 6-mile-long line whose stations are fully enclosed with platform screen doors, allowing access to the fully automated people mover. Chicago O'Hare International Airport has a people mover system which operates 24 hours a day and is a 2.5 mile long (4 km) line that operates between the four terminals at the airport and parking areas; each station is fully enclosed with platform screen doors allowing access to the fully automated people mover trains. AeroTrain is a 3.78-mile (6.08 km) people mover system at Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia with fully enclosed tracks including platform screen doors. The United States Capitol subway system, a train cart people mover system, uses platform gates.
On the Shanghai Metro in 2007, a man forcing his way onto a crowded train became trapped between the train door and platform door as they closed. He was pulled under the departing train and killed; An almost identical death occurred on the Beijing Subway in 2014—the third death involving platform doors in China within the several years preceding it.
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