Platform Heights

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Pugwash

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Given all of the legislation around accessability, it would seem to me that the biggest restriction is the gap between train and platform, has there been any work done in regard to standardising platform and / or train heights to allow step free access ?
 
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jopsuk

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I was quite surprised when platforms 7 and 8 opened at Cambridge that there is still a considerable step between platform and train, on all stock types (365s, 317/321s, 379s and 170s) that use it. I'd expect a slight step out with the 170 (being narrower), but surely the floor on all those trains is roughly the same height and the step on the train side sticks out further than the plug doors do? These are level, straight, slow speed platforms.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Harrington Humps (named after the Cumbrian station where they were first trialled) are plastic humps placed on low platforms (long enough for one door only) to help wheelchair users etc board. They aren't a solution for the whole platform, but they certainly help. There's a good few now across Northern, LM and ATW I think.
 

142094

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If you have a look for a document called "Accessible train station design for Disbaled People: A Code of Practice" - this is what all new stations should be built like. However, it does say that current stations can be upgraded at a "reasonable" cost, so if it is going to cost millions it probably won't get done.
 

Pugwash

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If you have a look for a document called "Accessible train station design for Disbaled People: A Code of Practice" - this is what all new stations should be built like. However, it does say that current stations can be upgraded at a "reasonable" cost, so if it is going to cost millions it probably won't get done.

Is there a similar document to standardise the height of new rolling stock otherwise it is a bit pointless.

Also it appears the central section of cross rail will be step free - will the existing stations be "upgraded"
 
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Try getting on or off a 455 in Waterloo. The height difference is ludicrous. Platform 8 at Clapham Junction isn't very clever either. Interesting to see that when the German train was put into St. Pancras the gap between the train step and the platform was about an inch with the height being exactly the same yet a 373 still has the crazy step difference so much so that the top step of the train is actually below platform height.
 

John55

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Try getting on or off a 455 in Waterloo. The height difference is ludicrous. Platform 8 at Clapham Junction isn't very clever either.

Wandsworth Town (up slow) is a huge step down from a 450 at least and the platform at Waterloo I used yesterday (16-18) wasn't as bad but a pretty significant step.
 

David10

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Wandsworth Town Platform 4 (up slow) to a 450 is 50cm or in my case knee high. I don't think any services call at Platform 8 at Clapham Junction.
 

MarkyT

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I don't think any services call at Platform 8 at Clapham Junction.

Nothing booked I think but it might be used in emergency, though the cant away from the platform on the curve results in a large gap. Up Fast trains that are booked to stop are pulled into the loop (platform 7), which doesn't cater for through running at speed and is on the inside of the curve, hence trains tend to lean in towards the platform, reducing the gap
 

142094

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Is there a similar document to standardise the height of new rolling stock otherwise it is a bit pointless.

Also it appears the central section of cross rail will be step free - will the existing stations be "upgraded"

Search for RVAR - Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regs
 

jopsuk

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Another surprising one is the domestic platforms at Stratford and Ebbsfleet International- only stock that uses them, and is ever likely to use them for the foreseeable future, is the 395s. I'm not sure GC+ stock could use those lines- much as I doubt it could use the currently modified International platforms at Stratford. Surely step free could have been achieved here and at the St Pancras terminal as well?
 

455driver

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Wandsworth Town Platform 4 (up slow) to a 450 is 50cm or in my case knee high. I don't think any services call at Platform 8 at Clapham Junction.

Nothing is booked to call at Clapham jn P8 but it is used sometimes, I have stopped there twice in 6 years.
 

Joseph_Locke

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Given all of the legislation around accessability, it would seem to me that the biggest restriction is the gap between train and platform, has there been any work done in regard to standardising platform and / or train heights to allow step free access ?

Platform heights have long been standardised at 3 feet (915mm in metric). The tolerance on this is +0, -25. There has never been any other number as far as I know.

However, no such stricture applies to trains, which is why we have to run checks for every known vehicle every time we have a non-standard exisitng platform. This also means there is no single solution: what works for a 153 won't necessarily work for a 323 or a 158.
 

WatcherZero

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While the heights have been standardised and theres a reasonable deviation around that there are hundreds much taller or shorter simply because different rail companies originally built them with differing rolling stock heights and widths, even decades later a significant number havent been altered (and some for example with platform buildings would require the demolition and rebuilding of those buildings). Provisionally they should all be done within the next ten years but probably many will still be in breach because not enough funding has been allocated to modify more than a few each year, possibly neccisitating a mad rush at the end of the decade, but then it will be completing with all the other mad rushes where they failed to plan a proper strategy to comply with legislation.
 

Temple Meads

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Anyone after low platforms should go to Newton St Cyres, the gap there is quite incredible, and actually seems quite dangerous, and unassailable to the very infirm and/or disabled.

Take a look at this pic:
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7346316056/][img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7234/7346316056_b8b1958e1b_z.jpg[/url] 143617 at Newton St Cyres by Temple Meads, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

MarkyT

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Anyone after low platforms should go to Newton St Cyres . . . Take a look at this pic:

Blimey! - that must be around 18 inches. Surely another nail in the coffin for this little used station.

ISTR similar very low platforms at some stops on the Llandudno Jn - Blaeneau Ffestiniog branch some years ago. Are these still there?

How are these extreme cases managed today? Are steps carried on board?
 

starrymarkb

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I wonder if any future Sprinter/Pacer replacements should have fold out steps for such Low Platforms.

Exton and Starcross are also very low as are many other stations on the Barnstaple line.
 
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Trog

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Provisionally they should all be done within the next ten years but probably many will still be in breach because not enough funding has been allocated to modify more than a few each year, possibly neccisitating a mad rush at the end of the decade, but then it will be completing with all the other mad rushes where they failed to plan a proper strategy to comply with legislation.

It is not possible to get a good stepping distance at some stations, for example those used by both mainline and LU stock.

As for raising the lower platforms I doubt there is enough money or possession time to do them all however good the planning was.
 

WatcherZero

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Its perfectly reasonable to plan a 30 year migration programme with only a modest annual spend, however theyve left the bulk of the work till theres just 5 years left. The platforms as structures are supposed to be renewed every 40 years or so anyway.
 

Joseph_Locke

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Its perfectly reasonable to plan a 30 year migration programme with only a modest annual spend, however theyve left the bulk of the work till theres just 5 years left. The platforms as structures are supposed to be renewed every 40 years or so anyway.

Sadly, it isn't always straightforward. The 730mm (or 760mm on lines cleared for 373/2) lateral / 915mm vertical is measured in the plane of the rails, e.g. taking account of the cant, whereas (most) platform front walls are vertical with an oversail on (exceptions to most of these statements exist somewhere).

If NR "updates" a platform it comes under some considerable scrutiny if it tries to scrimp, and one of the other rules that is quite hot is the so-called "z" value, the overhang of the coper edge relative to the front wall, which is intended to be a "roll-space" provided for safety reasons.

The book dimension is 300mm and NR can generally justify an existing 200mm, but if it reduces a value already below 200mm it runs into trouble.

Put all this together and add in that the normal concrete oversail won't deal with "z" > 400mm, then a great many platforms would need the front wall re-building to allow the height to be made compliant. This is not a short, simple, cheap exercise on potentially 1,000* plus platforms, when carried out next to a running line.


* 2,500 stations nationally, average of two platforms per station, assuming 20% of these non-compliant (which in my experience is an under-estimate)
 
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ATW Alex 101

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Blimey! - that must be around 18 inches. Surely another nail in the coffin for this little used station.

ISTR similar very low platforms at some stops on the Llandudno Jn - Blaeneau Ffestiniog branch some years ago. Are these still there?

How are these extreme cases managed today? Are steps carried on board?

IIRC you go out through the drivers door
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Dorchester South used to have a dreadful gap on the far platform but the trains that use it now are much closer to the platform. (It's 444 now but it certainly didn't use to be)
 

LE Greys

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Sadly, it isn't always straightforward. The 730mm (or 760mm on lines cleared for 373/2) lateral / 915mm vertical is measured in the plane of the rails, e.g. taking account of the cant, whereas (most) platform front walls are vertical with an oversail on (exceptions to most of these statements exist somewhere).

If NR "updates" a platform it comes under some considerable scrutiny if it tries to scrimp, and one of the other rules that is quite hot is the so-called "z" value, the overhang of the coper edge relative to the front wall, which is intended to be a "roll-space" provided for safety reasons.

The book dimension is 300mm and NR can generally justify an existing 200mm, but if it reduces a value already below 200mm it runs into trouble.

Put all this together and add in that the normal concrete oversail won't deal with "z" > 400mm, then a great many platforms would need the front wall re-building to allow the height to be made compliant. This is not a short, simple, cheap exercise on potentially 1,000* plus platforms, when carried out next to a running line.


* 2,500 stations nationally, average of two platforms per station, assuming 20% of these non-compliant (which in my experience is an under-estimate)

Doesn't a change in ballast depths or cant on curves cause problems as well? I seem to remember Bath having some difficulty with this. It's a very old station anyway, and the cant/curve combination plus the heavy doors on MkIIIs and their length causes quite a few clearance problems. Some are far worse, the West Highland often used to have trains with running boards and steps to cope with it, but they are not main line stations.

I think the St Pancras thing was because they decided to choose a compromise height between UK high platforms and continental low platforms, since the station might have to accommodate non-UK stock. I'd have thought that high platforms and bridging plates (as seen on Freight Shuttle club cars) would be a better idea, but that would create a big gap and things could fall down it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I wonder if any future Sprinter/Pacer replacements should have fold out steps for such Low Platforms.

Exton and Starcross are also very low as are many other stations on the Barnstaple line.

Like these?
 

PR1Berske

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I travel too often; I read the title and automatically heard in my head the TPE announcer woman advising about the gap between the train and the platform edge :oops::oops::lol:
 

The Snap

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Is there a similar document to standardise the height of new rolling stock otherwise it is a bit pointless.

Also it appears the central section of cross rail will be step free - will the existing stations be "upgraded"

Quite. Complying with DDRG regulations is very expensive. Any station that is refurbished now must be upgraded to comply with such regs...that's normally why many stations don't get upgraded!
 

Harbon 1

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Burton station has 2 heights of platforms, the main stopping area for 3 car 170s is lower than under the bridge
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I wonder if any future Sprinter/Pacer replacements should have fold out steps for such Low Platforms.

A bit like the Class 390's? those sort of fold out steps could be retro fitted, however the proximity of the rubber tyre type bit (suspension?) between the body and the bogie, right under the door in some cases, would be a huge problem
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I wonder if any future Sprinter/Pacer replacements should have fold out steps for such Low Platforms.

A bit like the Class 390's? those sort of fold out steps could be retro fitted, however the proximity of the rubber tyre type bit (suspension?) between the body and the bogie on the sprinters, right under the door in some cases, would be a huge problem
 
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