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Should speed through mainline stations be slower?

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Philip

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I have noticed in recent years that Pendolinos do not slow down when passing through Milton Keynes Station, along with other busy mainline stations like Rugby and I'm guessing similar on other mainline routes.
Using Milton Keynes platform 4 as an example, the platform is quite narrow in places and it can feel quite foreboding when an Avanti train whizzes through. An announcement is made beforehand to warn passengers to stand back (not much behind the yellow line though!) but nonetheless would it be a good idea if Pendolinos slowed down to say 100mph when passing through Milton Keynes especially to make it a bit safer, without compromising the timetable too much? I'm sure they always used to do it anyway.
 
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zwk500

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I have noticed in recent years that Pendolinos do not slow down when passing through Milton Keynes Station, along with other busy mainline stations like Rugby and I'm guessing similar on other mainline routes.
Using Milton Keynes platform 4 as an example, the platform is quite narrow in places and it can feel quite foreboding when an Avanti train whizzes through. An announcement is made beforehand to warn passengers to stand back (not much behind the yellow line though!) but nonetheless would it be a good idea if Pendolinos slowed down to say 100mph when passing through Milton Keynes especially to make it a bit safer, without compromising the timetable too much? I'm sure they always used to do it anyway.
In short, no. It'd create a capacity bottleneck because the headway would be longer as trains slowed down to pass through the station. WCRM spent a vast amount of money getting rid of issues like that, as journey times to london are time-sensitive in the extreme.
 

miami

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No, that would massively impact the timetable

If Milton Keynes passengers can't be trusted to stand behind the yellow line, perhaps they should be kept off the platform entirely.
 

Darandio

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What difference is 125mph vs 100mph going to make to someone stood on a platform? None.
 

zwk500

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If Milton Keynes passengers can't be trusted to stand behind the yellow line, perhaps they should be kept off the platform entirely.
They can always stand on platform 3 or 5. I've never had a problem with a pendo - if anything the freight on the Slows is more unnerving.
 

Highlandspring

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nonetheless would it be a good idea if Pendolinos slowed down to say 100mph when passing through Milton Keynes especially to make it a bit safer
Can you expand a bit on how you think your idea would make things ‘safer’? What is the problem you are trying to solve?
 

mrcheek

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If trains had to slow through major stations, it would reduce line capacity.
Thus reducing the amount of services.
Thus forcing more people onto the roads.
Which is of course statistically the most dangerous form of travel.
So under such a plan, more people would be killed or injured when travelling.
So slowing trains down makes things less safe overall!
 

The Planner

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In short, no. It'd create a capacity bottleneck because the headway would be longer as trains slowed down to pass through the station. WCRM spent a vast amount of money getting rid of issues like that, as journey times to london are time-sensitive in the extreme.
It wouldn't do anything to the headway as its fairly generous on the WCML, reduces resiliance though. The general idea is daft as you would have to do it at every station which would knacker journey times.
 

RT4038

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This can easily be solved by making all Avanti service stop at Milton Keynes
Or none stopping there, or restricting access to fast line platforms to 3 minutes before a stopping train is due.

Has anyone yet been sucked off the platform at Milton Keynes by a fast train passing?
 

Philip

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The faster the train is going, the stronger the air turbulence is. Other stations might have wider platforms making it safe enough to pass through at top speeds, but parts of the Milton Keynes platforms have limited space behind the yellow line, and the announcement about a passing train is only made seconds, rather than 30 seconds to a minute, before the train is due.
 

Bald Rick

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Trains have been passing open platforms at 125mph for 44 years, and at 100mph for much longer. IIRC the risk of injury from a passing train is not related to speed.

Has anyone yet been sucked off the platform at Milton Keynes by a fast train passing?

Reminds me of the famous sign.... (not my pic).

F3C685FB-033A-4630-9345-C98915A8EF50.jpeg
 

zwk500

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The faster the train is going, the stronger the air turbulence is. Other stations might have wider platforms making it safe enough to pass through at top speeds, but parts of the Milton Keynes platforms have limited space behind the yellow line, and the announcement about a passing train is only made seconds, rather than 30 seconds to a minute, before the train is due.
The yellow line at Milton Keynes is 1.5m back from the edge, which is the distance required. You can wait on the bridge, in the coffee shop, by the lifts, or even behind the wall with timetable posters if you are still concerned. The announcement could be made earlier but tbh the solution is just not to approach the platform edge until your train is announced.
 

Falcon1200

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Personally I always enjoyed changing trains at Slough for Windsor and watching my kids' reactions when an HST passed on the Down Main at 125mph ! There are of course, tragically, fatalities at station platforms, but a tiny fraction, if any, are unintended or accidental.
 

Royston Vasey

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It's like the road safety advert around 15 years ago isn't it, with the child's voice:

"If you hit me at 40 mph there's an 80% chance I'll die, if you hit me at 30 there's an 80% chance I'll live"

Between 100 mph and 125 mph, a fairly insignificant difference in chance (zero) of survival I would think. The train is unable to scrub off meaningful speed upon sighting someone right at the platform edge anyway (unlike braking a car) and the ability of someone to get out of the way at 125 compared to 100 little different. If they're not paying attention, they're not paying attention.
 

Snow1964

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The faster the train is going, the stronger the air turbulence is. Other stations might have wider platforms making it safe enough to pass through at top speeds, but parts of the Milton Keynes platforms have limited space behind the yellow line, and the announcement about a passing train is only made seconds, rather than 30 seconds to a minute, before the train is due.

Turbulence also depends on the aerodynamics of the train.

I have often thought a rather piecemeal loaded container train passing at 75mph seems to cause more turbulence than a passenger train at 125mph, and on the slow lines the yellow lines are much closer to the platform edge (if the yellow lines actually exist, which they don’t seem to at many stations or platforms).
 
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zwk500

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Turbulence also depends on the aerodynamics of the train.

I have often thought a rather piecemeal loaded container train passing at 75mph seems to cause more turbulence than a passenger train at 125mph, and on the slow lines the yellow lines are much closer to the platform edge (if the yellow lines actually exist, which they don’t seem to at many platforms).
I've certainly felt (admittedly from a very limited sample) that a 125mph Pendo on platform 4 of MKC produces less turbulence than a 75mph intermodal train on Platform 3 of MKC, and that itself produces less turbulence than a 60mph freight carrying cars and vans through platform 3 at MKC. Although the intermodals can vary quite a lot depending on how they're loaded.

The yellow lines do exist at MKC, on the fast lines they are cross-hatched for the full width to give greater clarity.
 

PTR 444

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Or none stopping there, or restricting access to fast line platforms to 3 minutes before a stopping train is due.
Am I right in thinking that this practice is common for TGV stations in France to prevent passengers from being hit by flying ballast?
 

JonathanH

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The underground does slow down to 5mph to pass non-stop through stations. However, the principle of slowing to that sort of speed through platforms would also need to be extended to any other sort of interface between people and trains - eg level crossings and foot crossings of the railway. Placement of lifting shutter along the yellow line (as proper platform doors don't work with varying stock types) might be a more appropriate solution to the OP's problem. As noted in this thread slowing down to 100mph is neither here nor there. It would also be a bit expensive to do it at all stations with passing trains, including unstaffed stations.
 

zwk500

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The underground does slow down to 5mph to pass non-stop through stations. However, the principle of slowing to that sort of speed through platforms would also need to be extended to any other sort of interface between people and trains - eg level crossings and foot crossings of the railway. Placement of lifting shutter along the yellow line (as proper platform doors don't work with varying stock types) might be a more appropriate solution to the OP's problem.
The underground has a very strong wind effect due to the tunnels though, which is not comparable to MKC station.
A lifting shutter would be complete overkill to a problem that doesn't really exist. If the OP doesn't feel safe on the platform there are many, many other places around the station they can wait until nearer the time their train is due. The concourse, the footbridge, the coffee shop, the opposite side of the island etc.
 

Ianno87

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This can easily be solved by making all Avanti service stop at Milton Keynes

No it couldn't- that would reduce the capacity of the Fast Lines from 3 minute to 5 minute headways (and you can only use Platform 5 in one direction at a time)

Am I right in thinking that this practice is common for TGV stations in France to prevent passengers from being hit by flying ballast?

No, TGV stations have through non-platform line.

Some 230kmh lines in Germany (e.g. Hamburg-Berlin) have minor stations where passengers only enter the platform as their train arrives.
 

SynthD

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Is there a list of stations that operate the rule of restricting access until shortly before a stop? Is that a majority of stations that permit >100mph running?
 

JonathanH

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Is there a list of stations that operate the rule of restricting access until shortly before a stop? Is that a majority of stations that permit >100mph running?
Wembley Central (mainline platforms)

I can't immediately recall any others, although there are a good number now with railings on the fast line platforms where they aren't normally in use, which might be what you meant.
 

Senex

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The question of safety on the platforms arose when the Berlin-Hamburg line—an old-style main line with platforms at all the smaller stations facing directly on to the main running lines—was being modernised for 230 km/h running a few years ago. In Germany as here no-one had raised any problems with speeds of 160 through platforms, but all new lines (Neubaustrecken) have platforms on loops. A lot of people argued for a solution that would actually physically prevent people from getting too close to the platform edge, i.e. closed barriers, but this was the solution adopted in the end:
Hamburg_berlin_track_platform_barriers.jpg
Photo von bigbug21 - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1664880
 

Irascible

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As long as it's safe - has anyone been injured at MK by a 125mph train passing yet? - then "foreboding" is something people can get used to. The first time I stood on a platform & a HST went by flat out ( which is probably Didcot in the 70s, so who knows exactly how fast the thing was going ) was quite startling but it didn't take long to be noncholant about it. Or being young me, get a kick out of it. If people are really worried to the point of phobia, sit on the bench, don't get to the platform, just generally avoid the situation. If people are being injured by flying ballast or similar then I suspect we'd know about it...
 

Ianno87

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As long as it's safe - has anyone been injured at MK by a 125mph train passing yet? -

Quite a number of suicides over the years, sadly. (And, yes, the higher speed is a factor in the choice of location)
 

matt_world2004

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Does the pendolinos go through platforms at Milton keynes that are in regular service. If not the platform should be fenced
 
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