We think Platform Screen Doors should be part of the City Rail Link project, in the underground stations. There are four main reasons for this:

  • Lower operating costs as Air Conditioning/Heating are not lost, and items cannot be thrown on tracks;
  • Higher platform capacity as larger crowds can be accommodated without risk of people falling on tracks;
  • Higher resilience as the tracks cannot be accessed from platform by passengers;
  • Higher passenger satisfaction as creates feel of modern metro system as well as more effective air conditioning;

Platform screen doors should be included day one of the CRL as adding them in later will cause unnecessary disruption. These doors can work without automated train operation as well as exemplified in the recently opened Stockholm City Line.

One thought I had recently was whether platform screen doors could be used for more than just metros and heavy rail, or could they be implemented on one or many of Auckland’s Light Rail lines? I think the answer is yes and  while platforms screen doors are not common outside systems with automated train operation, many examples exist including:

Heavy Rail – Stockholm City Line (Stockholm City and Odenplan Stations):

Stockholm City Line – Platform Screen Doors

Bus Rapid Transit – Beijing

Changzhou BRT – Platform Screen Doors

Light RailDubai

Dubai – Platform Screen Doors

Platform screen doors for some Light Rail stations especially on stations not on a street alignment could mean;

  • Enclosed stations could be then built creating warm/dry stations free from wind and rain;
  • Increased safety allowing increased speed in/out of stations but also personal safety;
  • Higher levels of passenger amenity as it will make Light Rail feel like a Metro system but also in general;

Benefits could even apply to on-street stations though it would less likely be full height doors and be more about preventing track access.

Platform screen doors have many advantages and should be delivered day one of the CRL, however, an investigation should also take place into the feasibility of platform screen doors at some of the stations on future Light Rail lines, especially the off-street alignment stations.

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60 comments

  1. I can see the value in heavy rail stations but not sure how such screens would work in say Dominion Road where people can approach from various directions – security walls and screens could be inserted to restrict and direct their movement but would detract substantially from the amenity of the town centres which also doubled as stations.

    1. Strike the word “unnecessary” and we can at least have a fair discussion on the merit of your counter-argument.

  2. Definitely a need for platform screen doors in the CRL stations – particularly the narrow island platform of Aotea.

    And agree that platform screen doors would be a fantastic addition in the half of the Southwestern Light Rail line between Onehunga and the Airport.

  3. Given the amount of grief and crime that Auckland’s many communities have had to go through waiting for HOP card gates to be installed – when they could have been installed when the platforms were built – this CRL and light rail suggestion just makes so much sense.

    A stitch in time, as they say, stops a whole lot of people from getting pissed off.

      1. Thanks. Well, seems like if we’re going to use them, we need the full height ones. Perhaps mental health organisations should be campaigning. I wonder about accidents other than suicide too.

        1. The other advantage of full height platform screen doors is to limit smoke ingress into the platform / station in the event of a fire in either a train or the running tunnels.

  4. 100% agree for the stations on the SW motorway, Onehunga Town Centre, and at K Road. Maybe on Fanshawe Street too?

  5. Absolutely need them for the CRL stations. I cannot believe the planners are going to skimp on these. Do it right the first time round.

  6. Definitely for HR especially the CRL – is a no brainer as any idiot jumping or being pushed onto the tracks will stuff up the entire network.
    LR? Isn’t the whole point of LR being that it is accessible from both sides of the street and that it doesn’t need big changes to the street? Not too mention the costs involved (and without the benefits like air-conditioning in the CRL)

    1. South of Mt Roskill the whole point of LRT is that it will achieve heavy rail LOS at LRT prices. Gated stations seem very appropriate.

      1. A light rail station can be gated / screen-doored and still be accessible from all directions (or at least from both sides at either end, which is close to the same). It does make some things a lot tricker though, especially in narrower corridors and if you are also expecting the road / light rail crossings to be grade-separated (which would be unlikely in the urban areas).

  7. Do not gold plate these projects with wish lists. We firstly want the tracks to be built and the rolling stock to run on them then we can get the add ons to manage the increased use.

    1. Wish lists are absolutely appropriate & even necessary at the beginning of any project (and LRT is still there). You pare them down after you have identified what would be good to have, what would be nice to have, and what really is superfluous, and then you make the decision.

      Trying to do everything barebones is a recipe for disaster – we don’t do that for motorways either. Why not up the quality for PT instead?

  8. Half height screen doors at Mt Eden Station would be ideal. Full height platform screens doors at all underground stations – a no brainer they’re perfect for crowd management, efficient boarding and alighting.

    1. Why only half-height at Mt Eden? I get that you may not want/need to enclose every station all in a covered box (for cost and other reason), but how about a 2m high version open to the sky?

  9. The only issue I can see with Platform Doors is that it would require the trains to stop at the same point every time, something I have yet to see demonstrated with any regularity… 🙁

    Perhaps as part of the move to doors, AT could start painting platforms with areas for boarding passengers to queue at, along with highlighting the path for those alighting from the trains, so that boarding at busy stations can be done quicker, ,

    1. I remember at the old (pre-earthquakes) central city Christchurch bus exchange the platform doors often seemed to misbehave. It was common for bus drivers pulling into a platform to have to move forward and reverse in small increments to try to trigger the doors and sometimes the doors just plain refused to open (or the front door would open but not the rear one), and of course only exacerbated peak time delays already caused by the traffic through the exchange exceeding its capacity.

  10. How about gates at bus stops? Could also fit them to all pedestrian crossings to stop idiots jumping out. And level-crossing-type vehicle gates to stop the traffic and enforce the pedestrian-priority rules.

    And why stop there? Fit gates at every intersection to stop red-light-running and prevent crashes.

    Gates. The business to be in.

  11. Great idea, although the screens should be transparent. The screens in St Petersburg are often solid walls with elevator style doors. It gives the impression of being in an elevator lobby rather than a railway platform. It can be somewhat claustrophobic and doesn’t give any indication that a train is coming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JboYJ2j0-OU

  12. Not sure I agree regarding amenity. Personally I find stations with screen doors feel more sterile and less spacious.

    Does anyone know if they are planning on putting screen doors in the new Cross Rail stations?

  13. Singapore’s MRT subway system did not have platform doors on the above-ground stations when it opened but installed them between 2009 and 2012, around the time of the global financial crisis, after a sad series of suicides. You can see the entire range of platform doors in the MRT system here: http://www.sgtrains.com/technology-psd.html Given the high rate of suicide here, I would argue for platform doors to be mandatory from day one.

  14. It’s a little more complex than “Doors or no doors”. Depends how the line is designed, to an extent. When we were working on the Jubilee Line Extension in the 90s, there were no plans for PEDs at first – after all, there are no PEDs anywhere else on the Underground – but then we were ordered to install them on the partially completed stations and all future new stations. Cost was an issue, but the other thing was that LUL designed the older stations using the trains to actually push a mass of air along the tracks, ie forced ventilation. That’s why you can feel a train coming (from air movement) long before you can see it. PEDs stop that from working. That’s both a good think (no drafts) and a bad thing (stale air). So if you do have PEDs, then the ventilation system on the platforms needs to be substantially bigger.

    1. TfL has fallen out of love with them, they are not being installed on any new tube/dlr lines and haven’t been installed at any station post completion of the jubilee extension eg Heathrow T5 and Woolwich.

      1. There hasn’t been any new tube lines since the Jubilee line extension.
        They are however being installed on the upcoming Elizabeth line, so clearly the UK’s DfT hasn’t lost faith in them (why would’ve they?).

        1. There have been DLR and Heathrow T5 extensions, all either underground or under the Thames since the Jubilee extension finished.

          1. The Docklands light railroad is not the London underground and does not suffer the platform crowding issues.

            The Piccadilly line was merely extended to Heathrow T5 and yes platform screens were omitted. But I believe that was due to low expectations of crowding, not because TfL have “gone off” of platform screens.

            As I’ve said: The Elizabeth line will feature them on its subterranean platforms, except at the aforementioned Heathrow T5 terminus, and that’s only due to having to share platforms with units that have different door layouts. Clearly TfL has not gone off of them, there’s even been plans mooted to retrofit them to some of the older stations:
            http://content.tfl.gov.uk/ntfl-feasibility-report.pdf#page=18

  15. Sorry the CRL central stations is intending to not have these that’s insane.
    Later this month AT will finally have fixed the issue with New Market trains not opening doors on both platform 2 and 3 at the same time. However I was told the same a year ago.

    1. If you have seen the unbelievable level of crowding on Transmilenio you can see why. It is hard to imagine LRT platforms, even in Queen Street, being half as bad.

  16. Agree for CRL stations but because the Light Rail is accessible track (unlike the heavy rail) then screens would serve little purpose and may in fact be dangerous.

        1. Mt Roskill to Onehunga will be fenced, Onehunga to AIAL boundary will also be fenced. Some of it is in the middle of the motorway! We should always be closing track access to peds wherever possible.

          1. Let’s say “inaccessible along motorway corridors” but that’s not where the stops will be. Given that Light Rail is synonymous with good urban design and opening up spaces for mode share, fencing is the opposite of what we want to achieve in urban areas, as it divides and prevents rather than promotes free movement of pedestrians. It’s not about a high speed tram to the airport, it’s about the connectivity in between.

          2. You’re right, stops won’t be along the motorway corridor, except for the five and potential 6 (Mt Roskill Junction) that will be. You can argue that LRT shouldn’t need gates beacuase it *shouldn’t* be on the motorway alignment if you like. You can’t argue that LRT won’t need gates because it *won’t* be on the motorway alignment.

            https://at.govt.nz/media/1927334/draft-smart-indicative-business-case-appendix-c.pdf

            WARNING: big file, don’t open with mobile data.

          3. Where the LRT runs along the motorway corridor the design speeds will be much higher, and because pedestrians would not be expected or allowed on the motorway corridor there is no reason for them to be on the LRT corridor either.
            However, where the tracks run along an existing urban road corridor there is no reason at all to prevent pedestrian access, in fact although one would want to try and control crossing points (due to vehicle traffic) it would make no more sense to fence the LRT than it would to fence the roadway. For that reason there is absolutely no point in screen doors at urban stations.
            Even at stations where access is otherwise restricted it is unlikely that screens would be a feature,

  17. I think we need to be fairly careful here. Having seen the Dubai example it is a fair bet that the platform edge doors there were added to keep out the 50 degree heat from their air conditioned waiting areas.

    The only place I could think this might help in Auckland is:
    – the proposed K Road stop if it is underground
    – some of the stops on the airport extension if the LRVs go through at high speed.

    For a 50 km/hr speed environment in Dominion Road (hopefully only 30 km/hr near stops or in Queen Street) and with low floor vehicles, I do not think you need this.

    1. Sorry, but this is another case of all-too-common LRT gold-plating. Think you’re right about Dubai’s doors being there to keep out the heat. Even small bus shelters have doors and a/c, you wouldn’t tempt people out of their cars otherwise.

    2. It won’t be necessary at K’ Rd. Who knows what the airport link will end up looking like but generally if the track is accessible along its length then screen doors are not helpful.

  18. Most new railway lines of whatever classification that have platforms that are likely to get crowded and especially built underground or on raised platforms in the last decade have had platform screen doors. London’s Jubilee line extension of 1997-99 had them as will the Elizabeth line. They’re also installed on the newer lines of the Shanghai metro, the new Line C of Rome’s Metro, the newer lines of the Dehli metro, etc. They’re pretty common now.

    If whoever was responsible for Auckland’s CRL didn’t include them in the station designs; then the likelihood of them ever getting them is close to zero. I could be wrong but as far as I know; no system has ever had them retrofitted to old stations.

  19. CRRL has Crl opening in 2024. Then with Fletchers exit from station construction that added possible 3 more months delay. The platform doors project, no rush, need to get it right, 2025 crl opening?

  20. Interesting discussion about screen doors. In our latest two rail transit projects in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the decisions have gone both ways …
    1/ Our transit extensions (doubling the length) of LRT1 and LRT2 lines, after some back and forth, finally decided not to add platform screen doors other than the ones already in underground stations that fully air conditioned. Non-air conditioned platforms stays without screen doors but have IPS (intrusion Prevention System) to detect any intrusion into the tracks at platform area.
    2/ Our newer higher capacity MRT1 line, chose to have screen doors at every station. Full height in air-conditioned underground stations. Half height in non-air conditioned elevated stations.

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