• Number of doors per rail car

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by flexliner
 
For rail cars that are NOT high density commuter cars,
What are the pluses and minuses of doors at either end of the car ie amfleet 1 vs at one end only ie amfleet 2 or new Acela?
Doesn’t one door per car lengthen the dwell time at stations?


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  by RandallW
 
flexliner wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 1:48 pm For rail cars that are NOT high density commuter cars,
What are the pluses and minuses of doors at either end of the car ie amfleet 1 vs at one end only ie amfleet 2 or new Acela?
In theory, the advantage of multiple doors is decreased dwell time, but that advantage can be completely negated by:
  • lost seating capacity (if we assume a door takes a row of seats, and car length is fixed, more doors = less seats per car)
  • non-level boarding (if an attendant is needed for each door used at low level platforms, then you double the staffing per car if using doors at both ends of the cars)
  • additional mechanical complexity (more moving parts means more things that can break)
The more frequently a train stops, the greater the advantage of multiple doors on that train (so local/regional services benefit from more doors than long distance services).

Incidentally, I think the Siemens Venture cars have different door setups based on ADA equipment needs (or the lack thereof) with no difference between the various orders seen so far in terms of vestibule space used. The Brightline sets have 2 doors on each side (but high-level boarding only), the California sets have a mixture of single door or dual door where each car has a single vestibule for low-level boarding, and the dual door cars have either wheelchair lifts or high-level boarding only entries), and the Midwest cars have a single lift-equipped low-level boarding door per car (but only a single door per side).

I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times (or has not been taken advantage of effectively if crew did try to use it).
  by bostontrainguy
 
Yeah but the new Amtrak Midwest cars have a rather weird setup with one door on opposite sides at opposite ends. So you end up with two vestibules per car even though you don't really need them. You lose that extra interior room that a single vestibule design would normally allow.
  by ExCon90
 
RandallW wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 4:29 pm
I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times (or has not been taken advantage of effectively if crew did try to use it).
I recall that when the Metroliners were introduced in 1968-69 the doors were marked In and Out; nobody took the slightest notice, and the idea was abandoned. The finding seemed to be that people will use the nearest convenient door, and that's the way it is. Hell, boarding passengers can't even wait for alighting passengers to get off, even when that's the obvious way to save time.
  by RandallW
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 8:09 pm Yeah but the new Amtrak Midwest cars have a rather weird setup with one door on opposite sides at opposite ends. So you end up with two vestibules per car even though you don't really need them. You lose that extra interior room that a single vestibule design would normally allow.
Siemens' brochure for the Venture cars mentions "crumple zones". It is something I did not think about -- crash management engineering may have eliminated the space advantages of not having the second vestibule.

I understand that the blank vestibule area allows the car to have both a stair trap and a powered wheelchair lift for each side of the car (but can't confirm that from any documentation). I have also seen a quote in an article at the time the first new cars entered service in Chicago that suggests that powered ADA lifts will be fitted at a later date, but have no idea if that means the door plugs will be replaced with doors without steps or if the ADA lifts would use the existing doors.
  by flexliner
 
non-level boarding (if an attendant is needed for each door used at low level platforms, then you double the staffing per car if using doors at both ends of the cars)

True but if there are doors at either end one crew person can handle two adjacent doors at low levels. Also can be accomplished by proper positioning for cars with only one vestibule per car
  by STrRedWolf
 
RandallW wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 4:29 pm I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times (or has not been taken advantage of effectively if crew did try to use it).
MARC's "Bike Car" has this because bikes are secured at an angle, so you have to enter in one end with your bike, secure it, ride, then exit out the other end. This car was a recent modification of a few MARC I or IIA cars that were otherwise stored out-of-service.
Image
(Image from MARC's bike anouncement)
  by bostontrainguy
 
flexliner wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:41 am True but if there are doors at either end one crew person can handle two adjacent doors at low levels. Also can be accomplished by proper positioning for cars with only one vestibule per car
I would think that with the sturdy slide-out steps, a single crew member could handle two adjacent doors whereas with the old-school wobbly step boxes, it was necessary to hold some passenger's arms as they alighted for safety reasons. Doing that for two doors would be a bit difficult.
  by RandallW
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 8:20 am
flexliner wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:41 am True but if there are doors at either end one crew person can handle two adjacent doors at low levels. Also can be accomplished by proper positioning for cars with only one vestibule per car
I would think that with the sturdy slide-out steps, a single crew member could handle two adjacent doors whereas with the old-school wobbly step boxes, it was necessary to hold some passenger's arms as they alighted for safety reasons. Doing that for two doors would be a bit difficult.
Until someone falls exiting one of the new cars...and Amtrak reverts to attendant is able to monitor/assist every passenger.

I know that for my father in-law, any steps that do not include handrails extending past the bottom step is an invitation to fall if he's not helped (he uses a walker); I can't imagine he is unique in that regard.
  by GWoodle
 
I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times (or has not been taken advantage of effectively if crew did try to use it).


On a commuter train like a Gallery car the doors may be wide enough to permit entry/exit depending on the number of passengers involved. Most of the time you have to wait for 1 person at a time. Someone who is less abled or with baggage can take longer. Somewhat depends if drop step is permanent or not,

On some Amtrak trains you have the added delay with 1 stop for Sleeper passengers & another stop for Coach. Adds to the dwell time at each station so equipped. So you may have to allow 5 minutes per stop.
  by bostontrainguy
 
GWoodle wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:24 pm I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times.
Would you consider the Disney World Monorail? Some may consider it just a "ride" but it is a highly efficient people mover where passengers board on one side and exit on the other. Can't get more efficient than that I guess.
  by STrRedWolf
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:19 am
GWoodle wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:24 pm I don't think I've ever been on a train in the USA, Europe, or Korea where passengers exited from one door and entered from another, so a non-conflicting entry/exit pattern have not been taken advantage of to reduce dwell times.
Would you consider the Disney World Monorail? Some may consider it just a "ride" but it is a highly efficient people mover where passengers board on one side and exit on the other. Can't get more efficient than that I guess.
I think from context here the definition of "train" is "commuter or long distance travel" VS "subway/light rail/monorail/people mover". We can all cite examples of the latter (Pittburgh Airport comes to mind), but we haven't seen it at a large scale (Amtrak/LIRR/Metro-North/Metra/etc, with the one exception for MARC and a specialized car).
  by flexliner
 
Level boarding is most advantageous for high density commuter rail operations (let’s exclude subways in this case).
How many high density commuter rail operations in say the US do not use level boarding? (Let’s say high level).
Are there advantages to low level boarding in such operations? (Maybe in bilevel cars?)
What are commuter rail situations like out of US?
Finally as far as LD trains considering many travelers board with luggage etc and many older possibly physically limited folks also travel wouldn’t high level boarding also be advantageous?
Why have most LD ops worldwide kept climbing steps to the train as standard?
  by RandallW
 
The Disney Monorail, Dulles Airport People Mover, and some other systems use the Spanish Solution. Disney and Dulles use this solution at every station, but some systems use it only at certain stations (such as the MBTA Park Street station on the Red Line). One thing that is interesting about that solution is that the exit doors open before the entry doors, making it very clear which way someone is expected to exit the car. (This solution may be implemented to direct pedestrian traffic around the station rather than to reduce dwell times.)

If you have a single platform, I don't think that'll work for directing passenger traffic.
  by STrRedWolf
 
flexliner wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 10:35 am Level boarding is most advantageous for high density commuter rail operations (let’s exclude subways in this case).
How many high density commuter rail operations in say the US do not use level boarding? (Let’s say high level).
Are there advantages to low level boarding in such operations? (Maybe in bilevel cars?)
What are commuter rail situations like out of US?
Finally as far as LD trains considering many travelers board with luggage etc and many older possibly physically limited folks also travel wouldn’t high level boarding also be advantageous?
Why have most LD ops worldwide kept climbing steps to the train as standard?
High-block (high-level) boarding is more of an exception for the USA. The exception is if the railroad line is owned by Amtrak or the government agency providing the rail service, and most of the time it's a recent addition -- there's a lot of legacy (read: PRR-origin) areas where it's still low-block and hasn't been raised yet (see West Baltimore MARC, Martins State Airport MARC, Aberdeen, many SEPTA stations, etc).

That said, anywhere else it's low-block is because the railroad line is owned by freight rail companies and they like having some clearance in case of wide loads. The only "exception that proves the rule" example is of MARC's Greenbelt station -- it has pocket tracks at CSX's insistence for that very reason alone. It's high-block with some emergency-use low-block areas.

Would it be advantageous for it all to be high-block? Yes. But we're stuck with private railroads.