HS2 and level boarding, part two
According to the March 2012 HS2 Cost and Risk Model report, ‘Two types of stock will be used to operate HS2 services. Captive sets operating on HS2 can be procured as an “off-the-shelf” item, as they are analogous to existing European high speed trains. Classic compatible sets that operate along HS2 and then on to the classic network must be of a smaller gauge, requiring adaptation of a European high speed train design and a customised assembly.‘
However, in the view of the Beleben blog, it is doubtful whether “off-the-shelf” designs of captive (UIC GC gauge) train on HS2 would ever be a practical proposition. One of several difficulties is HS2’s aspiration, or requirement, for ‘level boarding’ from platform to train.
For off-the-shelf captive trains to offer level boarding, they would most likely need to have a vestibule floor height which matched HS2 Ltd’s choice of platform. However
- so far as is known, HS2 Ltd has not decided on a platform height
- floor height of European high speed trains differs by manufacturer and model.
As well as the use of slab track in stations, true level boarding would probably require (a) a means of adaptive control of carriage height, (b) some form of horizontal retractable gap closure. That is because seemingly small horizontal gaps are enough to bring pushchairs, wheelchairs and wheeled luggage to a halt.
If the gap closure devices were installed on the trains, rather than on the station platforms, that would seem to require a custom design.