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Commuters of Melbourne, prepare to learn a new queuing technique.
New screen doors to be included in the Melbourne Metro Rail stations should help trains move efficiently through the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel - as long as passengers line-up properly.
Melbourne, meet your new train station, with glass panels to help queuing. Photo: Daniel Andrews / Twitter
This morning Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed new doors would be part of the design of the five new stations.
According to Monash University public transport Professor Graham Currie, the new doors will help reduce "dwell time" if commuters form orderly lines behind the glass panels on either side of the doors, allowing disembarking passengers to exit quickly.
Sliding screen gates at a train station in Singapore.
The doors are a feature of other metro rail systems in major Asian and European cities, allowing commuters to stand right up against the panels without being hit by an oncoming train.
"It is the way of the future to get mass movements to work efficiently," Dr Currie said.
A glossy image of the Parkville metro station complete with a set of escalators that runs passengers heavenward was released by Premier Daniel Andrews Thursday morning.
The new platforms come with screen doors, which separate commuters from trains. "That's great for safety, climate control, noise," Mr Andrews said at an early morning press conference.
He said the screen doors were a critical and defining feature of the new stations, and confirmed each of the five new stations to be built as part of the Metro project would incorporate them.
The concept is quite simple. A wall separates commuters from the train, with doors opening when the train arrives.
The system is designed to protect commuters and stop people jumping on the tracks, a common problem that has delayed many a City Loop service. They will also protect against accidental falls and suicides.
Perhaps one of the most-appreciated features for people waiting for a train will be the doors' function as climate control, blocking the wind that trains tend to push around the City Loop.
Platform screen doors are quite common around the world, with systems existing in London, Tokyo, Korea and Dubai.
Some systems use half-height doors, but the ones for Parkville appear to be full-height, creating an effective barrier.
A spokesman for the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority said the screen doors would be mandatory for all platforms at the five stations.
"The artist impression of the Metro tunnel's Parkville station demonstrates the scale and high quality finish that can be expected of the Metro tunnel's five underground stations," he said.
The doors will be full height.
Professor Currie said the new stations should be light with wide walking spaces to avoid bottlenecks.
He said they should have multiple access points like Melbourne Central station, which also offers close access to shops and food outlets.
Mr Andrews also told reporters the state government is now calling for expressions of interest for high-capacity signalling on the Melbourne Metro Rail project, allowing for 30 trains an hour.
"We can use the best technology to run them closer together safely as well as making sure we've got the best communications," he said.
"You can throw away the timetable. Trains will be there every two or three minutes."
The high-capacity signalling will be installed on the Sunbury-Cranbourne Pakenham line and the new tunnel, with the technology being trialled on a section of the South Morang line.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said putting high-capacity signalling into part of the South Morang line would provide testing information about how it can be deployed across the network.
Opposition public transport spokesman David Hodgett said high-capacity signalling was supposed to be trialled on the Sandringham line but that was no longer happening.
"Labor should make a commitment of where they're going to trial it, invest in it, do it properly," he said.
Asked if there had been further discussions with the federal government about funding the Melbourne Metro project, Mr Andrews said the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "doesn't do much except take photos and talk a lot. That doesn't create jobs and that doesn't create growth."
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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