Advantages and disadvantages of different types of train doors

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by AY1975, 31 Oct 2019.

  1. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    As far as I can make out there are basically six different types of automatic external doors on trains on Britain (plus one type no longer found AFAIK):

    Two-leaf folding doors (AFAIK only found on the Class 139 Parry People Movers used on the Stourbridge branch)
    Four-leaf folding doors (on Class 142 Pacers when built, but I don't think any still have them now)
    Twin-leaf inward pivoting doors (AFAIK on all Pacers (Class 142/143/144) that are still in service)
    Conventional sliding doors (e.g. Class 156, 317, 319, 321, 455, 800/801/802, London Underground trains built in the 1980s or earlier)
    Externally hung sliding doors (most if not all London Underground trains built since the 1990s)
    Sliding plug doors (e.g. Class 170)
    Swing plug doors (e.g. Class 158, 159, 165, 166)

    What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of each type? I suppose conventional sliding doors are technologically the simplest, and therefore least liable to fail, but they have to open and close into a pocket, meaning that some seats do not have a window unless that space is used for something else such as a luggage stack.

    With sliding plug or swing plug doors you don't have that problem, but if they get stuck open then the train is out of gauge.
     
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  3. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    They all share the disadvantage of not being equipped with a droplight.

    Yet again, the trusty Mark 1 beats more modern offerings.
     
  4. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    TBH, the Mark 1 with its small handle, can be very fiddly even for the fully mobile.
     
  5. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Air, Electric, non powered etc ?
     
  6. TFN

    TFN Member

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    The doors on the 345 are so loud and one was making an awful rattle on a journey I had yesterday.
    That's certainly one aspect the 700s beat the 345s in in my opinion.

    The 395s always take so long to actually open that people who aren't used to them (including myself) double or triple press the buttons.

    The worst door I've experienced however goes to the 332s. Travelling at a high speed all you hear is the sound of rushing wind and a very cold breeze in the winter months.
     
  7. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    All doors have their faults and advantages, I've always been impressed by how quickly the doors on a class 707 will open and close. That said if you got your hand or your arm caught in them it doesn't half hurt.

    On the over hand the class 450s are painfully slow to close but the risk of injury from a passenger being caught in a door is much lower. It's also a lot easier as a guard to ensure your doors are shut correctly and are free of obstructions during dispatch.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    OK as the vehicle has other characteristics of a bus anyway.
    Derived fromm Bus types and in their originally intended role, suits Pacers anyway.
    Probably the best for any role that requires short dwells. The Desiro City classes 700/707/717 have the fastest opening and widest doors of all.
    Being externally hung doesn't affect the passengers, it is to conserve space.
    Assuming you mean the type used on all Electrostars, Turbostars and the Desiro UK stock, this is the most common door type on the mainline railway. Can be slow in operation so doesn't really work well on high density metro services.
    BR's early attempt at plug doors. OK if dwell times aren't critical.
    I beleive that for most passengers on outer-suburban and metro lines in the real world, trains that aren't taken out of service for door problems and have faster operating doors are far more important than having a window where the open door is stowed.
    Some sliding plug doors might in extreme cases put a train out of gauge but they are just as complicated and slow as swing plug doors.
     
  9. stj

    stj Member

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    Why did Mk3s have slam doors fitted from new? Was it because they were also to used in loco hauled mixed rakes at the time?
     
  10. superkev

    superkev Established Member

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    I'm old enough to remember when after a bad winter Nework south east said they would not buy any more trains with sliding doors due to snow and ice blocking the door tracks.
    Last winter I read somewhere Hitachi were having to use vaseline to keep the IEP door tracks from freezing to stop the same problem.
    I suppose they say everything has to be relevant every 10 years or so.
    K
     
  11. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    With Sliding plug a lot of the time element depends on whether they are air (slow) or electrically (fast) operated.
    The newer electrical ones are also pretty fast so describing them all as slow based on desiro is misleading. Interlocking play a big part in release times and this is also being reduced on new stock.
     
  12. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    The Hitachi sliding doors (as fitted to the 80x and 395s) aren't conventional sliding doors, don't they have a special seal for high speed use which makes them slow to release (as issue with the 395s as it trundles through 3rd rail land)
     
  13. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    I've always thought the doors were fairly quick to release on the 80X trains.
     
  14. Doomotron

    Doomotron Member

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    They release before the train stops, unlike 395s which have them unseal when the doors release.
     
  15. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    You don't need a drop light window in modern trains.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 1 Nov 2019
  16. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    To me the 710 plug doors open quickly enough. Even the Networker doors open at a reasonable speed, it's the size of the opening and the vestibule which is far more of a problem. I'm not aware that the Networker doors have caused unreliability either, plus there's none of the awful rattle that the Mk 3 EMUs have!
     
  17. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    The 395s are slow, but the 800s have a design modification where the pressure seal is released at low speed, rather than upon release.
     
  18. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    A shame the 395s can't be modified, as the slow door opening is quite an issue on the routes they operate on
     
  19. Doomotron

    Doomotron Member

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    Can't they be modified? I thought it would just involve changing the timings.
     
  20. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    I think it was mostly cost (and maybe partly the availability of suitable plug-type power doors at the time they were designed).

    Although they were mixed with Mk1 full brake (and some catering vehicles) on the WCML, that was in basically fixed-formation sets and I'm sure they could have modified those Mk1's to work with them (the brake and catering vehicle doors were or could have been made non-passenger use anyway).

    As for the HST's, I've always felt that droplights, outside door handles and large, heavy manual doors were anachronistic at best on a supposedly modern 125 mph train...
     
  21. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    They weren’t in fixed formation sets for many years when new - it was only in the late 1980s that BR put them into fixed sets. Before that they would work with Mark 1s and Mark 2s daily, with variable train formations.
     
  22. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    There's at least two, distinct, types of door here. Not sure about the other class but:
    Class 317: pneumatic operated, no seal
    80x: electric operated, have a pressure seal system.
     

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