Sliding step technology gets closer
A programme of platform upgrades to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new, state-of-the-art trains in 2020 has begun. These vital works need to happen to ensure that station platforms across the Merseyrail network are compatible with the new trains and their ground-breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.
This will mean that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.
As Marcus Barnes, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, explained: “Adjusting the height, width and layout of the platforms is more complex than it may sound and we’ll need to close sections of the line to complete these vital works safely. Many of these upgrades may not be obvious to passengers, but are key to enable improved access onto new Merseyrail trains using the new sliding step technology.”
Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.
Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said: “A lot of work has gone in to minimising disruption as much as possible while this work takes place and both high quality rail replacement buses and our staff will be available to help keep everyone moving.”
Major step forward for Victoria
Victoria Tube station is now step-free, improving access to the transport network for millions of people, say Transport for London (TfL). Seven new lifts have been installed at the underground station, making journeys step-free between the street and Victoria line trains and the District and Circle line platforms. Customers from the mainline station can now also travel step-free from trains to the Tube station and interchange more easily between the three Tube lines.
Darren Williams, manager of Network Rail’s Victoria Station, said: “To finally be able to give our passengers the ability to access the underground without having to leave the station is a fantastic milestone and another step forward for the station.”
The new lifts will help ensure the station is accessible to all customers, including disabled or older customers, parents or carers with buggies and people with heavy luggage. The new lifts are part of an upgrade project that has almost doubled the size of the station, with the very final work on the Tube station to be completed later this year.
ERA has launched Lockdown, the UK’s first emergency barricade device designed to provide high performance security in the event of a threatening situation. ERA’s Group Marketing and Innovation Director, Will Butler, explained: “Public and businesses are being advised by the government and associated bodies to be extra vigilant and pre-plan how they might react if caught up in a threatening situation. The over-arching advice being to RUN, HIDE, TELL and when hiding, barricade yourself in.”
Ideal for use in train station settings, where there is a very high commuter footfall and the threat of attack is high, ERA’s Lockdown is simple and easy to fit (no fumbling with keys or padlocks) making doors inaccessible to intruders and creating a safe hiding place for civilians in the event of an attack. Robust and lightweight, Lockdown is available for both single and double doors, whether inward or outward swinging and fitted with or without traditional locks.