Stuttgart pilots platform lights to reduce delays (Railway Technology)

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Could a ‘luminous’ platform help reduce train delays in Germany? Deutsche Bahn has launched a new rail platform lighting system that indicates where passengers will be able to board a train before its arrival. The system is the first of its kind to be deployed on German railways, and is expected to reduce delays and help passengers find a seat. But how does the system work?

Where will the doors stop? Rail commuters strive to answer this question every day, engaging in an unspoken competition with strangers before their train arrives. But what if data combined with a smart lighting solution could eliminate this passive-aggressive pastime?

Last week, rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) unveiled its new ‘luminous’ platform at the Bad-Cannstatt station in Stuttgart, Germany. A total of 670 concrete slabs fitted with more than 2,000 LEDs have been installed along the 210m platform, which serves three of the city’s S-Bahn lines.

Two minutes before the next train arrives, sections of LEDs will light up, forming a combination of symbols that indicate where train doors will be accessible along the platform.

DB enlisted two start-ups to help develop the system, the first of its kind in Germany. Berlin-based SIUT provided the light fibre-concrete solution housing the LEDs, while UK tech company OpenCapacity developed a solution to measure the occupancy of individual train carriages.

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Written by Long Branch Mike