die belebende Bedenkung

Platform of discontent

with 2 comments

Most of the members of the Community of European Railways (CER) are not enthused by HS2 Ltd’s proposal for a 1200mm platform height to be brought into European ‘Technical Standards for Interoperability’.

CER position paper on HS2 proposal on platform heights, Sep 2016, page 01

CER position paper on HS2 proposal on platform heights, Sep 2016, page 02

CER position paper on HS2 proposal on platform heights, Sep 2016, page 03

CER position paper on HS2 proposal on platform heights, Sep 2016, page 04

If ‘Brexit means Brexit’ (?), will HS2 continue to be designed around obsolescent and inappropriate European “standards”?

European Commission, 'Rail-who-does-what, member states'


Written by beleben

October 30, 2016 at 7:56 pm

2 Responses

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  1. We see this already with HS1, where there is a noticeable trip-hazard (and gap hazard) when the doors open – a detail I’ve also noted on the mock-up for the new Scotrail trains the 2″ step just inside the door and step board that gets you up to the standard Hitachi floor level. That can catch you out, especially when boarding, but is does seem to be a design – and possibly structural detail for that type of train – it also features on the IEP.

    This question has also been providing a challenge for the Thameslink team, where the Class 700 trains cannot operate through the core with ramp access for wheelchair users. the platforms must therefore be level and ‘close’ gapped with the trains. A 915 mm platform height to a 1100mm floor height requires a Harrington hump where the wheelchair users board, but with a need for a W6 dynamic clearance a raised platform ends up over 100mm short of the limit of the step boards. Great effort has gone into devising a raised platform which can be hit by the occasional engineering or other train which extends to the full W6 envelope without causing major damage…

    As an engineer you really wonder why the most basic detail of having a lower floor level in the train might have been the answer, especially as some BR designs did deliver lowered floors, or even having step boards the extended further from the train..

    TfL delivered this for the East London Line where the new (reopened) stations were built to be level with the train floors and close gapped with the exception of Rotherhithe and Wapping, where, since lifts were likely to be a major challenge, and the preceding stations a pragmatic alternative they remained at the as built height. DLR likewise has straight platforms which are level with floors, because it was built that way.

    CER stance thus seems most reasonable – everyone else manages to design trains (and trams & buses) where the floor height can be delivered to roll-on from a 200mm raised footway, or a current level of station platform.

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    October 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm

  2. An HS2 Level Access report written in March 2014 makes it clear that level access is needed to achieve HS2’s aspirations for short station stops and high reliability although I suggest that there are a number of reasons why it won’t achieve its aspirations. HS2 say the wheel height needed for 360kph requires a minimum floor height of 1100mm. Stadler have a 250kph train designed for 760mm platforms but from the spec I have seen it does not seem to have level access or a flat floor. I don’t think it will be possible to design a 360kph train with a 760mm high floor which suggests to me that it is time to look at much slower speeds and higher platforms. The time that can be saved by going very fast is usually a small part of any typical journey from door to door and there are much cheaper ways of saving time if that is the goal. Reliability, comfort, connections, safe accessibility and price trump high speed.


    November 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm

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