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):
Bus Rapid Transit – Beijing
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.