Doors on the lower deck anyone?

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Isn't it a bit strange after all this time that Sydney trains, all being double decked still have doors only on the intermediate level, this results in the lower deck being below the normal platform height. Some double decker trains elsewhere in the world have doors quite sensibly located on the lower deck. This is understandable given than the platforms were orginially designed for single deckers, and the double decker trains had to be able to dwell from existing platforms. But if we look at it as if EMUs were double decked right from the first generation, can anyon explain what platform height would be chosen, and thus the location of the doors.



The location of doors on the lower deck is advantages in that a larger area can be accessed steplessly from the doors. It's understandable the the first double decker trains needed doors on the intermediate level because the platform height was at that level, but the lack of additional doors on the lower deck seemed/seems short sighted, if all double decker trains had doors on the lower deck than stations could have been be rebuilt with platforms matching the lower deck thus taking advantage of that location of the doors.

Double decked trains are used in many other parts of the world, some of them have doors at the intermediate level like in NSW, others have them on the lower deck, and in at least one of these countries, Russia, have lower platforms at stations designed for double decker trains.

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  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Perhaps changing the platform height at every station and the door and floor positions of every train might be a little expensive, but if you want to see it done then perhaps a letter to you local MP will be a good starting place.

The pretty red train in the photo above seems to have the doors at an intermediate level too, and platform heights quite similar to ours?

M
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Myrtone does not live in Sydney.

Why should we fix something that, unless you're on sector 1 in peak, works reasonably well?
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

Doors are on the lower deck with this stock (DB) because platforms are lower. In some parts of Europe, raised platforms are almost non existant.
We copied the English tradition of higher platforms and it is now too late to change.
  XAM2175 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Glasgow
The red train pictured above is one of Deutsche Bahn's Regional-Express sets. Germany, like many other European countries, uses low-level platforms, and from this practice so does America.

High-level platforms are very much an English affectation, which is of course why we do it too.

Because of this, when double-deck stock is used to Australian loading gauge, the lower deck of the stock actually sits below platform level, meaning the intermediate vestibule is the only place for the doors.

While low-level platforms are well-suited to double-deck operations, they're terrible for single level stock because you need to have steps inside the car to get up above floor height, which greatly reduces the amount of vestibule space (or, you apply the solution the Swiss used for their upgraded RBDe 560 sets - a dropped centre section with steps up to end-carriage seating areas).
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Myrtone does not live in Sydney.

Why should we fix something that, unless you're on sector 1 in peak, works reasonably well?
"s3_gunzel"
Cheap shot. You're not answering the question.

The red train pictured above is one of Deutsche Bahn's Regional-Express sets. Germany, like many other European countries, uses low-level platforms, and from this practice so does America.

High-level platforms are very much an English affectation, which is of course why we do it too.

Because of this, when double-deck stock is used to Australian loading gauge, the lower deck of the stock actually sits below platform level, meaning the intermediate vestibule is the only place for the doors.

While low-level platforms are well-suited to double-deck operations, they're terrible for single level stock because you need to have steps inside the car to get up above floor height, which greatly reduces the amount of vestibule space (or, you apply the solution the Swiss used for their upgraded RBDe 560 sets - a dropped centre section with steps up to end-carriage seating areas).
"jb17kx"
An excellent explanation, sir! You took the words right out of my mouth.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Myrtone does not live in Sydney.

Why should we fix something that, unless you're on sector 1 in peak, works reasonably well?
s3_gunzel

I have been there, and it's not like I live on the other side of the world.

The red train pictured above is one of Deutsche Bahn's Regional-Express sets. Germany, like many other European countries, uses low-level platforms, and from this practice so does America. High-level platforms are very much an English affectation, which is of course why we do it too.
jb17kx

Mind you, yes high platforms orginated in the British Isles, and we did copy them, but that was before double decker trains. High platforms are not uniquie to the British Commonwealth and ex-commonwelth countries, they are common on metro systems around the world, but these all use single deckers.

Because of this, when double-deck stock is used to Australian loading gauge, the lower deck of the stock actually sits below platform level, meaning the intermediate vestibule is the only place for the doors. While low-level platforms are well-suited to double-deck operations, they're terrible for single level stock because you need to have steps inside the car to get up above floor height, which greatly reduces the amount of vestibule space (or, you apply the solution the Swiss used for their upgraded RBDe 560 sets - a dropped centre section with steps up to end-carriage seating areas).
jbx17kx

But single decked trains have been phased out of Sydney's suburban railway network, and most interurban services also use double deckers. As for low platforms being more suitable for double than single decked operations, one soluiton is to have separate platforms for trains with different entrance heights, not uncommon in Europe, where platform heights vary between different European countries. Another one, of which I know of no real world examples, is to have doors both on the intermediate and the lower deck, which would allow trains to use platforms of both height. This is similar to a concept devised by someone else who posts on this site:



As for the countries where Double decker trains have doors on the lower deck, have those countries always had lower platforms or did they have high platforms in the past? Suppose it depends on which country, some places have changed platform heights.

Double decker trains in Sydney have been critisised for longer dwell times, and the small area on the same level as the doors may contribute, lower platforms and doors on the lower deck mean that a larger floor area and more seats are on the same level as the doors. I'm not saying that double deckers are a bad idea, they have advantages in terms of length, and are quite impressive, just that it's better to have at lest half the floor area and at least half the number of seats on the same level as the doors.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I have been there, and it's not like I live on the other side of the world.

Mind you, yes high platforms orginated in the British Isles, and we did copy them, but that was before double decker trains. High platforms are not uniquie to the British Commonwealth and ex-commonwelth countries, they are common on metro systems around the world, but these all use single deckers.

But single decked trains have been phased out of Sydeny's suburban railway network, and most interurban services also use double deckers. As for low platforms being more suitable for double that single decked operations, one soluiton is to have separate platforms for trains with different entrance heights, not uncommon in Europe, where platform heights vary between different European countries. Another one, of which I know of no real world examples, is to have doors both on the intermediate and the lower deck, which would allow trains to use platforms of both height. This is similar to a concept devised by someone else who posts on this site:
Myrtone



NJT in New York and IIRc the LIRR operate B-Level cars that can be accessed from high-level or rail height platforms (using stairs).  The model pictured has two doors, the end ones only can be used for rail height platforms (AFAIK the stairs retract/are covered for use on high level platforms).

Without wanting to put too fi9ner point on it, high level platforms are faster and more efficient for loading PAX, which is why all metro and other high volume applications use them.  Low level platforms are about containing station costs, and given we already have all the platforms we are ever likely to need, I see absolutely no merit at all in changing things for the sake of it.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Your comments about high platforms being faster are valid for high floor rolling stock, which single deckers ususally are. But double decker trains usually have low floors between the bogies to make headroom for the upper deck, this being more space efficient that simply placing another body on top of the standard carriage. So by using the lower floor needed, we can make the platforms lower, this and doors on the lower deck mean than nearly half the total floor area and nearly half of all seats at at the entrance height.
  meh Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Myrtone, whilst your points may be valid for a system which is brand new, it cannot and will not happen with the infrastructure already being in place.

I couldn't imagine any government, even an exceptionally incompetent one, commissioning the demolition of platforms to lower then down, and replacing or rebuilding the entire fleet to accommodate these changes.

Imagine having to close the city stations while the platforms are lowered, which isn't just a matter of digging them up; the structure of the stations is based on the platforms being raised, meaning the entire station would be rebuild from a structural point of view.

That and the severe inconvenience of the platforms closures, the off peak hour delays not to mention peak hour.  
And of course the cost.

Put short, it won't happen and isn't worth the thought.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Your comments about high platforms being faster are valid for high floor rolling stock, which single deckers ususally are. But double decker trains usually have low floors between the bogies to make headroom for the upper deck, this being more space efficient that simply placing another body on top of the standard carriage. So by using the lower floor needed, we can make the platforms lower, this and doors on the lower deck mean than nearly half the total floor area and nearly half of all seats at at the entrance height.
Myrtone
No, it's valid for *all* rolling stock.  The low floor doors mean half the train's capacity has negotiate a full flight of stairs, rather than 3 or 4 with the Sydney design .  And for what?  The Sydney design *already* devotes half the car length to platform height passenger space.  There are enough loading gauge issues as it is without pointlessly adding more.
  Melbournesparks Chief Commissioner

Location: City of Eltham
Your comments about high platforms being faster are valid for high floor rolling stock, which single deckers ususally are. But double decker trains usually have low floors between the bogies to make headroom for the upper deck, this being more space efficient that simply placing another body on top of the standard carriage. So by using the lower floor needed, we can make the platforms lower, this and doors on the lower deck mean than nearly half the total floor area and nearly half of all seats at at the entrance height.
Myrtone

That doesn't make any sense. Have a look at the diagram for a Waratah T car on the cityrail website.

The whole car is 20m long, with the two mid level sections being about 4m each and the double deck section about 12m.

Area of the end sections: 24m2, area of the lower deck: 36m2. A modest 12m2 increase. Given that you can't put seats where the doors are, you end up with almost the same number of seats at door height as the current arangement, not very many. On top of that the passengers from the upper deck have to go up and down two sets of stairs rather than one to get to the doors. I really see no advantage.

If we're talking about wild hypothetical situations, wouldn't it be better to have bi level platforms as well and doors on both decks? Then you've got all the quick loading time of a single deck train at double the capacity. Added advantage that ordinary trains can still use the lower level platform normaly.

The only time this becomes even slightly relevent is if you were talking about building an entirely new public transport system from scratch. If you really wanted the maximum capacity for the loading time at the expense of all else, you might as well just get rid of the double deck and all its associated problems and just make the trains 6m wide. Full stairless access and huge capacity.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Cheap shot. You're not answering the question.
Watson374
Correct, but at the same time I deal with double deck trains on almost a daily basis. I'm actually on one right now.

I repeat my original question:

Why should we fix something that works as it is?
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I'be often thought about the possibility of having doors on the lower level of double deck trains as it may make it easier to add stations in outer areas.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Bascially, this whole thread was inspired by two things, one is your idea for a part low floor vehicle with doors on both floor levels, the other was some miscalculations, one was not realising that as much as half of each carriage was at platform height in spite of having seen and been on those trains many times. I also didn't realise that overseas double decker trains were longer.

EDIT: Another way to speed up dwelling is with the Olympic park method.
  matthewg Train Controller



If we're talking about wild hypothetical situations, wouldn't it be better to have bi level platforms as well and doors on both decks? Then you've got all the quick loading time of a single deck train at double the capacity. Added advantage that ordinary trains can still use the lower level platform normally.
Melbournesparks

A German academic 'transport futures' think-tank has actually suggested this, for a 'next gen' very high high speed train set. (Target of 400km/hr) To get the passenger to train weight ratio down, they proposed a train that was double-decked it's entire length with few/no stairs between the decks (more seats!), and the stations would be equipped with ramps to allow level step-less boarding to each deck. They claimed that if airports could do it for the A380, railways could do it for their special HS trains.

They were also proposing some other wild ideas, like inductive power pick up so overhead wires were not needed (The power consumption of a HS train at 400km/hr is quite significant, that's a LOT of power to transfer over an air-gap) and 'coupler free' multiple unit - they were proposing that 2 more 200m long trains would run in multiple with NO PHYSICAL connection between the train sets, just a short range radio link to keep their control systems in sync. At 400km/hr.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
EDIT: Another way to speed up dwelling is with the Olympic park method.
Myrtone

A few questions for my curiosity Smile

How much difference does this actually make? Does it "halve" the dwell time, or do other factors such as platform congestion come into it?

What overall difference would it make to overall passengers per hour for example in the city loop?

Also, would this be possible at the stations such as Wynyard, Town Hall, Central?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A few questions for my curiosity Smile

How much difference does this actually make? Does it "halve" the dwell time, or do other factors such as platform congestion come into it?

What overall difference would it make to overall passengers per hour for example in the city loop?

Also, would this be possible at the stations such as Wynyard, Town Hall, Central?
gmanning1
What I've seen in Germnay is that the train/tram pulls in, doors open for the exit side, then about 15sec later doors open on the laoding side. Yes its a whole lot better than what goes on at Town Hall. Part of the issue is getting people to move out of a loaded train and those who travel on a loaded to train to an empty platform which discharges smoothly and to a loaded train that discharges into Town Hall like environment where you people cannot move away from the train due to the large volumes on the platform. This methods keeps the platforms moving in one direction.

Will it cut by half, no, but probably 25-33%.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A German academic 'transport futures' think-tank has actually suggested this, for a 'next gen' very high high speed train set. (Target of 400km/hr) To get the passenger to train weight ratio down, they proposed a train that was double-decked it's entire length with few/no stairs between the decks (more seats!), and the stations would be equipped with ramps to allow level step-less boarding to each deck. They claimed that if airports could do it for the A380, railways could do it for their special HS trains.

They were also proposing some other wild ideas, like inductive power pick up so overhead wires were not needed (The power consumption of a HS train at 400km/hr is quite significant, that's a LOT of power to transfer over an air-gap) and 'coupler free' multiple unit - they were proposing that 2 more 200m long trains would run in multiple with NO PHYSICAL connection between the train sets, just a short range radio link to keep their control systems in sync. At 400km/hr.
matthewg
There would also need to be suitable means to get from upper to lower levels to meet emergency exit requirements. Cannot have people push windows out and jumping from the upper level.

The air gap issue makes no difference regardless of speed, apart from stability.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Isn't it a bit strange after all this time that Sydney trains, all being double decked still have doors only on the intermediate level, this results in the lower deck being below the normal platform height. Some double decker trains elsewhere in the world have doors quite sensibly located on the lower deck. This is understandable given than the platforms were orginially designed for single deckers, and the double decker trains had to be able to dwell from existing platforms. But if we look at it as if EMUs were double decked right from the first generation, can anyon explain what platform height would be chosen, and thus the location of the doors.



The location of doors on the lower deck is advantages in that a larger area can be accessed steplessly from the doors. It's understandable the the first double decker trains needed doors on the intermediate level because the platform height was at that level, but the lack of additional doors on the lower deck seemed/seems short sighted, if all double decker trains had doors on the lower deck than stations could have been be rebuilt with platforms matching the lower deck thus taking advantage of that location of the doors.

Double decked trains are used in many other parts of the world, some of them have doors at the intermediate level like in NSW, others have them on the lower deck, and in at least one of these countries, Russia, have lower platforms at stations designed for double decker trains.
Myrtone

Its a chicken and the egg senerio. Platforms came first, so trains doors came to match, there is nothing strange about NSW trains. The DD's trains were ordered after the bulk of the stations were built. Europe and USA have a history of low height platforms that is now costing a fotrune to make DDA compliant. NSW had thankfully common sense and decided years ago that the people will be brought to the height of the train via solid structures, not vice versa.

Look at the issues in Qld, where trains had that step up that is now costing a small fortune to design trains that are suitable for both older style low height platforms and modern carriage height platforms.

For commuting purposes, NSW has it right!
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Correct, but at the same time I deal with double deck trains on almost a daily basis. I'm actually on one right now.
"s3_gunzel"
Yes, and that's really special.

Why should we fix something that works as it is?
"s3_gunzel"
I understand your point, but I take issue with your failure to justify it and your resorting to trumpeting Myrtone's non-Sydney residence.

jbx17kx delivered an excellent, thorough explanation to a pointed technical question; in cases such as this, providing a written explanation is far, far more useful than simply hacking together a cheap shot because "Myrtone does not live in Sydney".

Anyway.

In the particular case of Sydney, where the introduction of double-deck electric stock was well after the standardisation on high platforms, it was a logical compromise. The constraints and limitations of our system have changed little; some of the requirements have changed, but high platforms and associated intermediate-level boarding appear to still suit our requirements. I believe the existing setup to be sub-optimal, but any enhancements to the configuration are almost certain to retain the high-platform boarding.

In the context of a brand-new system to use double-deck trains from the start, it could certainly be workable to construct it with low platforms and lower-deck boarding. This is done in Europe, as some of our photographic citations exhibit. There are cost advantages, and low-floor light articulated trains also exist.

So while it's perfectly logical in a number of existing environments, and certainly viable in a new project, in the context of Sydney's CityRail, it is inferior to the existing setup, and conversion is not viable.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
In the context of a brand-new system to use double-deck trains from the start, it could certainly be workable to construct it with low platforms and lower-deck boarding. This is done in Europe, as some of our photographic citations exhibit. There are cost advantages, and low-floor light articulated trains also exist.

So while it's perfectly logical in a number of existing environments, and certainly viable in a new project, in the context of Sydney's CityRail, it is inferior to the existing setup, and conversion is not viable.
Watson374
I do wonder how much civil engineering work, including changes to station infrastructure, those European and North Amercian railway owners did when introduced double decker trains, though some of them did have double decker trains earlier on, before they appeared in Australasia, and would have made many more changes to infrastructure since they appeared.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I do wonder how much civil engineering work, including changes to station infrastructure, those European and North Amercian railway owners did when introduced double decker trains, though some of them did have double decker trains earlier on, before they appeared in Australasia, and would have made many more changes to infrastructure since they appeared.
"Myrtone"
I am inclined to believe that their trains with lower-deck doors were a logical design influenced by the constraints of their railways.
  matthewg Train Controller

I am inclined to believe that their trains with lower-deck doors were a logical design influenced by the constraints of their railways.
Watson374

It's simply to allow 'level boarding' from their low level platforms.

There are large numbers of French (Paris RER) and Italian double-deck EMU's with exactly the same configuration as Sydney, which due to lower platforms you have to step up into. However in the Paris RER case, the Paris suburban platforms are higher than their national railway standard, but the trains call at both high and low platforms. (Little steps fold out from the sides of the trains when calling at 'low' platforms).

While the Paris RER sets are much like ours, the French have some regional DD EMU's with doors on the lower decks - to allow level boarding from their low level platforms, but generally they only do that on ONE car in the train set, the rest have doors over the bogies and steps up from the platform into the car.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's simply to allow 'level boarding' from their low level platforms.

There are large numbers of French (Paris RER) and Italian double-deck EMU's with exactly the same configuration as Sydney, which due to lower platforms you have to step up into. However in the Paris RER case, the Paris suburban platforms are higher than their national railway standard, but the trains call at both high and low platforms. (Little steps fold out from the sides of the trains when calling at 'low' platforms).

While the Paris RER sets are much like ours, the French have some regional DD EMU's with doors on the lower decks - to allow level boarding from their low level platforms, but generally they only do that on ONE car in the train set, the rest have doors over the bogies and steps up from the platform into the car.
matthewg
How do they go being DDA compliant? From my travels in parts of Europe, I see this still is not a big prioty in many areas.

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