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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #1
billy001
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MISC | Barrier Free Travel

This is my first post here. Hi to all. I must say that this is one great forum here

I'm browsing through different pictures of trains on this forum but was unable to find any that has the solution for disabled peoples. How is resolved a problem of disabled persons with wheelchairs that want to travel by train? Particularly when there is need to lift them up to board the train, such as in photographs below. If there is anyone that has any picture that showing please post it here.








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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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Or something like this.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 03:22 AM   #3
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There are outdoor mobile platforms in stations in Belgium and France to place people with wheelchairs in trains. But never saw them used... Are you doing a work on them? Or you are concerned by this subject for private reasons?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for answering
There is more than one reason why I'm interested in this subject. I have some friends that have a disability problem, and they are often telling me that they would like to travel by train, but they can't board on and off because of a big gap between the station platforms and the passenger coach. All because there are wide space and other accommodations for them once when they manage to go in it. So when professor proposes us to do the research about this problem, and I accepted. All the data that is gathered in this subject will be in some use to people with disabilities when they decide to go on a trip and also to us students of mechanical engineering that want to help them.


About France, you must be thinking about this:






Yes they are part of the solution too, but much less practical than those implemented on the coaches.

All the best.

Last edited by billy001; March 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Well, the most practical solution, is to just have the floor of the train level with the platform. This is getting more and more common.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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I agree, that will be in the future. However, in this time there is a need for the transit solution because the life span of one passenger coach is 30-40 years so railway companies won't throw them away just like that. They need a solution (that will make possible to help disabled persons and other: mothers with baby carriages, and even you with heavy luggage to get in) until the end of life of passenger coach is reached. This is a transit solution for this problem. So if you see the solution while you travel, please make a picture and attach it here

All the best.

Last edited by billy001; March 22nd, 2010 at 07:58 PM.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billy001 View Post
I agree, that will be in the future. However, in this time there is a need for the transit solution because the life span of one passenger coach is 30-40 years so railway companies won't throw them away just like that. They need a solution (that will make possible to help disabled persons and other: mothers with baby carriages, and even you with heavy luggage to get in) until the end of life of passenger coach is reached. This is a transit solution for this problem. So if you see the solution while you travel, please make a picture and attach it here
The problem with wheelchair lifts is that you need people to operate them. So this works for long distance trains and large stations, but doesn't work for regional trains that mostly call at unstaffed halts. That's why you don't see wheelchair lifts on trains in Switzerland. (You will see them at the larger stations).

It is for this reason that local authorities in Switzerland have set deadlines for all regional trains to be barrier free. BLS had to solve it, but did indeed need to find a solution of what to do with older carriages. The result was this:

They took a 40 year old carriage, cut it in half, and added an articulated low floor section in the middle. They then added one or two such a carriages to each existing consist.

The entrance looks like this:



That is what "barrier free" public transport should look like...
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billy001 View Post
About France, you must be thinking about this:



Yes they are part of the solution too, but much less practical than those implemented on the coaches.

All the best.
Yes, it's an interesting concept. But there is no such problem with Eurostar in England: platforms are highter...this is the best way to let people in wheelchairs boarding the train. In France, some stations have "camel platforms" now....how to save a littele bit of money when solving only half of problem.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:44 PM   #9
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@ K

You are absolutely right. Wheelchair lifts that are stationed on the station platform have many disadvantages. It has to be announced in advanced that person wants to go off the train so the station staff can be prepared. Les complicated solution is lifting mechanism that, is integrated on the entrance of coach. And of course the best solution is when the station platform and floor of the passenger coach are on the same level. Now, there is the financial problem. Which of these solutions is most practical for the limited budget? The aim is a quick solution that can as soon as possible to make "barrier free" travel for all. I like Switzerland's solution and totally agreed with you that are what "barrier free" public transport should look like. However, it is too expensive for now for some developing countries. People with disabilities will be long waiting for the realization of something like this. Hope you understand.

@eomer

What are "camel platforms"?

Last edited by billy001; March 23rd, 2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billy001 View Post
@ K

Les complicated solution is lifting mechanism that, is integrated on the entrance of coach.
I doubt that a lift integrated in the coach is less complicated. You will still need someone to operate it I suppose.

Quote:
What are "camel platforms"?
I think that refers to platforms that are only partially raised. For example on one line that I know the company that operates there has decided to only raise the complete platform to the level of the train entrance whenever a station is completely renovated. In the mean time they just partially raise a part of the platform so that two cars in each train are accessible. The result is a platform with "humps".
One reason for doing this is that raising the complete platform can be quite complicated, as it also involves modifying platform accesses, shelters, stairs etc. So this is often better done as part of a complete station remodeling.
That means that on stations with new, completely raised platform wheelchair users have to make sure they board in a car that will stop next to a raised platform section at their destination stop, but there are signs showing them where that is.
I commuted on that line for three years, and there was often a wheelchair user taking the same train I did. He didn't need more time getting on and of the train than I did. It was truly barrier free.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:48 PM   #11
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international standards

It seems we will always have a problem with international trains.
Different countries have different standards for the height of the platforms.
So these international trains would still need some lift system.

see platform height discussion
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Old March 25th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Sorry about a delay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I doubt that a lift integrated in the coach is less complicated. You will still need someone to operate it I suppose.
Well, yes but every train already has a staff, which has a duty to check tickets, and to worry about passenger safety, so there are no extra charges for railway company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I think that refers to platforms that are only partially raised. For example on one line that I know the company that operates there has decided to only raise the complete platform to the level of the train entrance whenever a station is completely renovated. In the mean time they just partially raise a part of the platform so that two cars in each train are accessible. The result is a platform with "humps".
One reason for doing this is that raising the complete platform can be quite complicated, as it also involves modifying platform accesses, shelters, stairs etc. So this is often better done as part of a complete station remodeling.
That means that on stations with new, completely raised platform wheelchair users have to make sure they board in a car that will stop next to a raised platform section at their destination stop, but there are signs showing them where that is.
I commuted on that line for three years, and there was often a wheelchair user taking the same train I did. He didn't need more time getting on and of the train than I did. It was truly barrier free.
I see that is an interesting solution too. Someone says that 1 picture speaks more than 1000 words So can you make a picture of that please. Thanks. I need as much as possible different solutions for this problem so the people can choose what is the best for them at a given time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeroenMostert View Post
It seems we will always have a problem with international trains.
Different countries have different standards for the height of the platforms.
So these international trains would still need some lift system.

see platform height discussion
Interesting subject, actually, I Googled it and read it and after that I decided to join to this forum. In hope that people would show solidarity and take part in this. Making something like gallery of (at this moment) different solutions of barrier-free transport, whether it is a low floor train, moving ramp-lift on train stations and or lifts integrated on passenger coach. And report of countries where there are no solutions at all in this subject.
Comparing experiences with different solutions and discussion is most welcome.

Last edited by billy001; March 25th, 2010 at 05:07 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billy001 View Post
Sorry about a delay.

Well, yes but every train already has a staff, which has a duty to check tickets, and to worry about passenger safety, so there are no extra charges for railway company.
Not all trains have on board staff. In Switzerland and Germany it is quite common for trains to have only a driver on board. Also for regional trains in Switzerland the standard dwell time at a station is 50 seconds. Not enough for the use of an on board lift.

Quote:
I see that is an interesting solution too. Someone says that 1 picture speaks more than 1000 words So can you make a picture of that please. Thanks. I need as much as possible different solutions for this problem so the people can choose what is the best for them at a given time.
I'll see if I can find a picture.

Quote:
Comparing experiences with different solutions and discussion is most welcome.
The aim in Switzerland is to make local transport barrier free in a way that allows disabled people to take part in every day life, go shopping, commute to jobs. I think that is something that is certainly worthwile for a society to pursue.

Ofcourse it has to be practical. You don't want solutions that increase vehicle dwell times, as that makes it harder for the operator to remain punctual. So in local tranport level boarding is supposed to become the norm. And that not just for trains. New trams have level boarding too, and buses have a floor that is so low that a simple ramp that flips out is sufficient.
For long distance trains the solution is the moveable elevator at the railwaystation. Long distance trains only stop at staffed stations, have longer dwell times, but often have to operate over territories with different standard platform heights. So mobile lifts are here the only practical solution.

If you're interested in the interesting things the Swiss Public transport does to make life easier for the blind we can start a discussion about that too...

Last edited by K_; March 25th, 2010 at 06:50 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #14
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Well, the Switzerland and Germany are countries that others can take, for example, in how to solve those problems. That's for shore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Not all trains have on board staff. In Switzerland and Germany it is quite common for trains to have only a driver on board.
Ok, I assume that problem is already solved with low-floor trains, so there is no need for extra staff for this. And also it is cheaper to employ 1+ man/woman to take care of safety during travel, then 100+ on every train station, just a thought.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Ofcourse it has to be practical. You don't want solutions that increase vehicle dwell times, as that makes it harder for the operator to remain punctual.
Punctuality is important. However, I'm shore that max 5 minutes for boarding is something that people would understand. Aim is to people get used to disabled people have wright (and that they can and want to) to travel same as everybody else. Later there will come better solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
If you're interested in the interesting things the Swiss Public transport does to make life easier for the blind we can start a discussion about that too...

For now in this subject I think it will be best to keep the subject on rail vehicles with barding problems for people with wheelchairs or the subject will become fuzzy. You can open another subject for peoples with other types of disabilities and other means of transportations.

Last edited by billy001; March 26th, 2010 at 12:03 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #15
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A rather easy and cheap solution(what K_ already mentioned) to enable barrier-free access is to use a low floor car for old trains. An example is Tatra KT6. Yes, it's a tram, but the same solution can be used on trains as well:


One car per train(tram) is enough. You can still use old trains and don't have to spend money on employing people for the wheelchair lifts. Since that car isn't powered, it's pretty cheap to build.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #16
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Great, I like that solution. It would be nice if you can give some data that describe a photo more closely such as state, city and line.

Edit.
Sorry, I overlooked info that you give.

Public_transport_in_Tallinn

Last edited by billy001; March 25th, 2010 at 11:56 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'm looking at beautiful pictures of Slovakia, and I noticed that they have this type of coaches and low platforms on the stations. How and did they deal with the problem that we are talking about in this thread?


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Old March 26th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
A rather easy and cheap solution(what K_ already mentioned) to enable barrier-free access is to use a low floor car for old trains. An example is Tatra KT6.
Another example from Zürich:



However in this case the extra bogie is powered, as trams in Zürich have to be able to climb steep grades.

Another example, in this case a train:



The trainset is from 1992, but the middle car has only been added in recent years.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #19
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Punctuality is important. However, I'm shore that max 5 minutes for boarding is something that people would understand.
The problem is that the person has to get off the train too. This means that if five minutes is accepted that one passenger in a wheelchair can delay a train for 10 minutes. That means that lots of people will miss connections. It also means that the return working this train might have to perform could leave late too. it is not uncommon for regional trains to have a turnaround of only five minutes at the end of the line.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #20
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What about this ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeroenMostert View Post
It seems we will always have a problem with international trains.
Different countries have different standards for the height of the platforms.
So these international trains would still need some lift system.
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