Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), the operator of the fully automated Line 9/10 and the main public transport operator in Barcelona, has become the first metro in the world to put into operation, on an experimental basis, a set of vertical platform screen doors. This innovative solution aims to improve passenger safety and comfort and, at the same time, enhance the safety and regularity of train traffic.
The pilot test started in May this year and is the result of a collaboration between TMB and a consortium of companies and technological institutions from South Korea headed up by STraffic.
It had been put into operation on one of the platforms, which is not usually used for passenger traffic, of the Can Cuiàs station on Line 11.
How they work
Vertical platform screen doors (VPSD) represent an alternative to platform doors that open horizontally and which are already installed on many automated lines, including Line 9/10 and 11 of the Barcelona metro.
They consist of a fixed vertical structure with guides where two transparent rigid panels slide up and down in a similar way to a window blind: they come down to form a physical barrier about 160 cm high between the train and the edge of the platform, and they fold upwards to let passengers on and off the train. They are designed to work automatically, synchronised with the passing of trains.
Compared to horizontal sliding doors, vertical doors offer the advantage of providing much broader access spaces of over 7 metres, meaning that it is not necessary for trains to make highly precise stops nor for them to have exactly the same distribution of doors. For that reason they are appropriate for a wide variety of line systems, even those that combine trains of a different series as is the case on some of Barcelona’s metro lines.
TMB have said that other notable attributes of vertical doors are that they are quicker and easier to install compared with horizontal doors, there is less need for structural reinforcement and less impact on traffic flow during their installation. Besides, maintenance costs are lower due to their having fewer mechanical parts, according to the Barcelona operator.
Reliability and integration test
On the platform chosen for the test, two vertical automatic door modules have been installed by STraffic. Successive operational reliability and integration tests will be performed on this equipment for at least six months and, if the results are favourable, tests will continue on their commercial operation with passengers.
The trials at Can Cuiàs are the first ones for an automatic vertical door system on an urban metro network given that, up until now, they have only been installed on some suburban lines in Asia.
Straffic is a specialised transportation company in South Korea. It has various experiences for more than 25 years in the transportation industry which was started from Samsung Electronics originally.
Source: TMB press release
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