Stable light means "Come on in, it is safe", Source: Transilien SNCF

New light system to prevent injuries and ease passenger flow on Paris regional express

New light system to prevent injuries and ease passenger flow on Paris regional express

To run or not to run for the train? Now there's a signal to help you decide

Imagine that you've just arrived in a hurry at the subway platform. The train is already there, doors open, but you still need to check your ticket, unsure if you will make it before the doors close. Subway and railway commuters are familiar with the situation when the decision of whether or not to force oneself to catch the train and risk having their belongings trapped by the closing doors can cause many embarrassing if not painful moments.

Now, consider how much more complicated it becomes if one has a hearing impairment, which prevents them from hearing the sound announcement for closing doors? When one is in a rush, and even more so, when there is a crowd, it might become very difficult to decide if it's a good moment to board a train or you better wait for the next one.

Having witnessed many bad turns of this dilemma which often lead to injuries and disruptions of schedule, Transilien SNCF (the railway network serving the region of Ile de France) and Île-de-France Mobilités (the organisation that coordinates transport in Paris) have decided to experiment with a new solution. For one year, they will be testing a system of luminous joints on doors which will likely smoothen passenger flow on the regional express network (RER).

The second-longest line in the regional network gets safer

To improve passenger flows when getting on and off trains, the two companies are experimenting with a system of doors fitted with “Sealight” illuminated seals developed by Wabtec (French railway equipment manufacturer) on two trainsets on the RER C Line. The lights give better visibility of train doors access in real-time: a stable blue light indicates that the door is open, while a flashing red one – that it is about to close.

Thanks to this system, the traveller can easily identify from any place on the platform, whether access is possible or is no longer authorized. The experiment is a first in France and has been conducted since October.

It has three objectives:

  • Increase passenger safety by coupling the sound signal for closing the doors to a light signal allowing travellers to anticipate platform-train exchanges;
  • Improve punctuality by acting on the behaviour and flow of travellers and avoiding voluntary blocking of doors;
  • Increase the perception of people with disabilities (visually impaired, hard of hearing, but also headphone users), and occasional travellers.

During the year of the experiment, Transilien SNCF will measure the efficiency of the system with a customer survey, together with a comparative analysis of the behaviour of exposed travellers. If the results are positive, the partners will consider deploying the system on other lines operated by the company.



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