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Ingenious Platform Design Improves Passenger Safety and Reduces Disruption

By Stuart Burns August 12, 2014

The Train Now Elevated on Platform 2….

Image1You may have experienced the problem yourself; you’ve positioned yourself to get on or off the train but you find there is a huge gap between train and platform which you and your luggage have to negotiate.

These severe stepping distances due to isolated platform subsidence are not uncommon. However, the remedies todate which allow passengers to safely and comfortably get on and off trains require platform closures and line possessions with passenger disruptions for many months.

Now there is an ingenious and innovative solution that not only removes the cost and disruption of replacing the existing concrete platform but also one that will stand the test of time, is adjustable to suit future rolling stock and has a design life in excess of 50 years.

Image2Co-Development Using Composite Materials

Hammond ECS, a rail contractor, and Dura Composites, an innovative supplier of composite building materials, co-developed the Dura Platform solution to address severe stepping distance issues whilst maintaining operational use of the platform during the course of the works.

The solution comprises height adjustable pods secured along the platform, on which glass reinforced plastic (GRP) beams are positioned, providing support for a GRP decking system.

Since the surface is a composite, it will not suffer from compaction issues, reducing the likelihood of slips, trips and falls. Also incorporated into the platform is a bright yellow tactile which replaces the painted yellow safety line on the platform creating a larger visual and tactile identification of the platform edge.

Image3Dura Composites also supplies a range of other composite products to the rail industry, including composite flooring, handrailing and cladding solutions, and an innovative ballast retention system for allowing the inspection of hidden critical elements.

Big Benefits From Dura Platform Solution

The first application was at Tulse Hill station in Lambeth, South London where there were severe stepping distance issues on platform 1 but no opportunities to close the platform.

These works saw significant benefits in terms of cost, flexibility and efficiency. Approximately 25% of the cost of a traditional station rebuild approach has been saved, with half the number of possessions needed to complete the work. The yellow tactile integrated with the platform edge practically eliminated the ongoing cost of maintaining the platform painting.

Happy Rail Customers and Passengers

Image4The completed Tulse Hill project has met with praise from within the rail industry, including the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), First Capital Connect and Southern Railway, who are keen to see this design used at other stations where Platform Train Interface (PTI) is a safety risk.

Dave Ward, route managing director for South East, said: “The work at Tulse Hill station is a great example of using creative thinking to solve a problem, with the additional benefit that project cost less and took less time to deliver than a traditional station rebuild would have. I have been especially pleased by the response from our customers and we can repeat the project at other stations where this will solve some of the logistical problems of carrying out restorative works.”

Following the success of this scheme, another Dura Platform project is underway at Elephant and Castle, and feasibility is being carried out at Croydon East platforms 1 & 2.