We’ve all been there – you’re standing on the platform on the way to work, hoping to board the next train that pulls up, before seeing the crowd of packed passengers in front of you, crammed into the carriage like sardines.
But today, a new innovation has been announced in London that could ease this problem, without taking any passengers off the network. The project, called Orinoco 2 which lets platform staff direct passengers accurately to less crowded parts of the train, is currently being used by Arriva Rail London on its fleet of 57 Class 378 trains to give passengers a bit more space to breathe.
Facilitated by the RSSB, the innovation uses an air suspension system on each carriage which pumps more air into the suspension bags as more people board the train in order to keep the floor of the train at the same height above the tracks, regardless of how heavy the carriage is.
The new technology uses a sensor in the air bag to measure changes in pressure, and then on-board computers use this information to calculate how many people have boarded the service.
This data is fed back to Arriva Rail London’s station teams, and sent to staff on the platform via their iPhones and iPads.