Money too tight for barriers to be installed at SkyTrain Stations – From Radio News 1130

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There seems to be plenty of money for fare-gates to be retrofitted to all SkyTrain Stations, which will do little if anything to make the metro safer or deter fare evasion, yet there is no money station gates (like we have with SeaBus) which are proven to prevent egress onto metro track. It seems what is mandated in other countries is ignored here. Just as reminder, in the EEC automatic metros, by law, must have platform gates.

I guess Mr. Dobel’s fare-gates are more important than true public safety.

Money too tight for barriers to be installed at SkyTrain Stations

Man fell on the tracks Sunday

Jim Goddard Jan 25, 2010

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Don’t expect to see barriers set up at SkyTrain Station platforms to keep people from falling or jumping on the tracks.  Sunday, a man at the Metrotown Station accidentally stumbled over the edge and fell on the rails below, suffering head injuries.  His condition isn’t known.

TransLink’s Drew Snider says they can’t install platform barriers because two different kinds of SkyTrain cars are used and their doors would not match up with the barrier gates.  “Also, it’s just a matter of having retrofit it, the amount of cost versus the frequency that this happens.  It’s extremely rare anything like this happens.”

Snider adds TransLink’s tight budget doesn’t leave room for costly barriers.  More than 30 cities in Europe and Asia have what are called ‘platform screens,’ including Tokyo, London, Beijing, Paris and Barcelona.

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5 Responses to “Money too tight for barriers to be installed at SkyTrain Stations – From Radio News 1130”

  1. Justin Says:

    Lyon’s line D is fullly automated metro and there are no platform gates. Of course the line does utilize a laser grid to stop all trains if someone falls onto the tracks.

    Zweisystem replies: From the Lyon transport page: “Compared to the VAL system in Lille or Toulouse or the Méteor (ligne 14) in Paris, this line does not have protective doors between platform and trains. Instead, doors have sensors to detect clothes, bags or other things that might get trapped, and there is the SQV (sécurité quais-voies) system, a security system working with infrared rays which causes trains to stop automatically and interrupts electricity if there is an object on the tracks.”

    Also like the VAL system, there is also an attendant on each train and platform attendant as well.

    The Dockland’s light railways also has an attendant on each train and I believe this is how they get around having platform doors.

  2. David Says:

    Canada Line could have had barriers but it would not be practical to attempt it with the Expo and Millennium Lines. Even if you force every train to stop in exactly the same location (currently each size of train stops in a different spot) the fact that Mark I cars have two doors and Mark II cars have three makes it difficult to design barriers to service both types.

    Zweisystem replies: One wonders when the first Mk.1 cars are to be retired?

  3. David Says:

    TransLink has no plans to retire the Mk. I cars in the foreseeable future.

    I mentioned the staggered door issue on the Buzzer blog and guessed it would be at least 25 years before the issue could be addressed. Their reply was that they hoped to keep using those cars for longer than that.

    It is only since the arrival of the 48 new cars in 2009/10 that TransLink has made plans to rest the oldest cars. Three dozen of the cars with the most km on them will be packaged into 6-car trains and used only in peak hours. The other 1985 cars will remain in 4-car units but will also be used mainly during peak hours. Off-peak service will be provided mostly by 4-car Mk. II trains and 4-car Mk. I trains made up from 1991 and 1994 stock.

  4. Jason Says:

    Give the recent post about PCC streetcars being retired after 58 years of service, I certainly hope we are going to see more than 25 years out of the original Mark I cars before they are retired for good.

    That said, I don’t see why barriers would not be possible. I’m sure with a little bit of thinking, a design could be determined that would cover the standard car configurations without too much difficulty.

    However, it’s not as hot-button an item as fare gates currently are, so the provincial government would rather force Translink to waste $100 million dollars to solve a minor issue while more serious concerns are ignored.

  5. David Says:

    I said the original Mk I fleet would run for another 25 years, yielding a total service lifetime of 50 years for the 1985 cars.

    I don’t think anybody said barriers were impossible, just very difficult.

    I stood at my usual spot on the platform this morning and a 4-car Mk. 1 stopped in the usual location, but was too full to get on. I waited for the next train, a 4 car Mk II which (at that station only) normally stops with the front door in exactly the same spot as the front door of 4-car Mk I trains. This morning, however, the Mk II stopped 1m short of that spot. Imagine how well that would’ve worked if we had barriers.

    Zweisystem replies: I believe that the Mk.1 cars also have fatigue issues.

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