Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Massive side opening train

An upward swinging door that allows easier train access
  [vote for,

Subway trains are crowded, and it's often a hassle to get on and off them. I hate pushing down old ladies and all, but sometimes it's just necessary. I suggest that we move all the seats to one side of the carso that there would be four seats and then a walkway rather than two seats, walkway, two seats. Then make the other side of the train into what is essentially a garage door using hydraulics or pneumatics or just electricity.(only when the train is stationary, for the smartasses out there). the floor of the train would be very the same height as the platform, and come within a centimetre or so of it. add warning signs about watching your head and feet, and now it's really easy to get on and off. It would kinda suck to have to make three people move in order to get off, but overall it would be easier.
schematics, May 10 2004

Subway Doorwalls http://www.halfbake.../Subway_20Doorwalls
Thanks [schematics] [Worldgineer, Oct 05 2004]

Subways, Metros & Tubes call them what you like http://www.suite101...n_underground/78234
Here are some stats for the various Mass rapid transports world wide. [PainOCommonSense, Oct 05 2004]


       Picturing the door closing on the carriage when too many people have boarded...
DrCurry, May 10 2004

       It also sound like you're gonna lose the seats on one side of your car...
phoenix, May 10 2004

       why does it sound that way? I'm just moving them over.
schematics, May 11 2004

       Balance would be a huge issue. If a bunch of nincompoops wanting a look at a nudie beach can flip a pleasure barge, don't you figure 40 fat New Yorkers have a huge upper hand over a pansy little subway car?   

       Also, not all subway entrances and exits, even on the same line, are on the same side of the train.   

       Making the doors wider seems like a better idea.
shapu, May 11 2004

       a train's "fulcrum" (under optimal circumstances, it doesn't have a fulcrum) would be as wide as the tracks, and in order to get it to tip onto one rail you'd have to attach weight far out to one side. conclusion: trains are relatively stable. Boats that are not catamarans do not operate on the same principle. conclusion: unless it's a freighter or ferry or tugboat or something huge, trains are more stable than boats.   


       also, couldn't we just move all the stops to one side of the track (right or left, as there would be even more problems if it were east and west)
schematics, May 11 2004

       [schematics] But what about a 4 track station.
\Platform 1/
/Platform 2\
\Platform 3/
/Platform 4\

any train in the up direction, could usually be re-routed to either of platforms 1 and 2. This would make the moving of "all the stops to one side of the track" impossible without re-designing and re-laying the track.
reap, May 11 2004

       These would look like giant bread bins - I imagine commuters in the Metro seeing them roll open and then throwing showers of baguettes. So, let me also toss pastry. bun!
ConsulFlaminicus, May 12 2004

       Trains used in the south east of England have one door in between each pair of rows of seats. About the only disadvantage is that you have to push past the knees of the people nearest the door. For mass transit like this, more access automatically = good... I like this idea. Maybe the bottom foot or so of the door could open down onto the platform as an access ramp? Just find a way not to land on people's toes...   

       I wouldn't worry too much about balance... train carriages weigh forty tonnes each, rolling on a five foot wide wheelbase. To turn it over, you'd need the equivalent of forty tonnes, hung two and a half feet out from the side of the train (or a hundred tonnes at one foot, or twenty tonnes at five feet). That's a lot of porky commuters...   

       Can't we fit a door like this to each side of the train? I don't see why access should be limited to one side...
david_scothern, May 12 2004

       I was going to add a modification, but while fleshing it out I'm afraid it's strayed a bit from your idea. I'm going to create a new, similar idea...
Worldgineer, May 12 2004

       I guess the four track thing does screw things up. We don't have that system in Edmonton (Canada, not Scotland, not England, not the one in the states)
schematics, May 12 2004

       My biggest problem was the weight balance. One thing you may not be realizing is that standard rails, and by necessity, train wheels, are all 4 feet, 8.5 inches wide...the wheel is the fulcrum. And there's not a subway car in the world that doesn't have seats outside of the vertical line created by the wheels.   

       The four-track system, though, does solve my other problem.
shapu, May 12 2004

       the wheel is only the fulcrum if your train already has ridiculous balance problems. it would take a lot of weight to tip a trains sideway. putting a maximum occupancy on each car would be an easy and possibly uneccessary ( I can't spell) prevention.
schematics, May 12 2004

       The obvious answer to all this is to invent the energizer, and beam passengers on and off the trains.
DrCurry, May 12 2004

       What happens at the end of the line? The whole train would need to be turned round so that the doors faced the correct side on the way back. You'd need a turntable a quarter mile wide!
bavvo, May 13 2004

       okay granted I'm new here and my degree is in CS not engineering, but what if you put all the seats in the middle like so :
/ doors /
/ \
That way balance problem is solved, as is the oncomming and offgoing boarding problem???
ambrai, May 13 2004

       The problem is the number of trains, not the speed of loading. When the Tube in London is busy the whole station is as packed as it is humanly possible to get. Get a couple of empty trains in and the place could be emptied in minutes. These door issues are irrlevant compared to the general issue of the number of carriages & trains & signalling to stop them bashing into each other on the same lines. If you could get empty trains in quick enough all the other problems are minor.
PainOCommonSense, May 13 2004

       if you want people to be able to enter or exit easily just remove the side walls, warning may result in more accidents.
engineer1, May 14 2004

       And less passengers means less crowding! that's brilliant! Except,... No.
schematics, May 14 2004

       what happens when you pull into a busy station and all the ppl on the platform are standing 1' from the train?
philistyne, May 16 2004

       presumably the doors roll upwards on to the top rather than a delorian (nose whacking) gull wing.
PainOCommonSense, May 17 2004

       I guess i should have been more clear. It would roll up the door.
schematics, May 17 2004

       Actually, speed of embarkation and debarkation is an issue at some Tube stations. The peak service rate of 30 trains/hour is not attained during the absolute busiest parts of rush hour because the trains take longer to load and unload than they do at slightly-less-busy times.
supercat, May 17 2004

       The entire top of the train should be open. Then, when the train gets to the station, it just tips over in the direction of the platform and people can just walk out of the 'top' of the train.
hippo, May 17 2004

       In fact, why feed the people like a grain hopper - they're dropped in from the top at the starting station, and dropped out of the bottom at the end.
DrCurry, May 17 2004

       The Moscow Tube seems to use the same door system as the UK and have bigger train compartments (more people) and something like three times the number of people travelling on it with using less stations and it seems to get by fine without these doors. They run a train pretty much every 40 seconds at rush hour which keeps the crowds down so there is no crush at the doors. The problem I tell you is with the lines, signaling and the number of trains. If they ran regular enough then they wouldn't have the issues with backlog, clearing crowds at peak times.
PainOCommonSense, May 18 2004

       what about instead of the whole side of the train raising, it could split in half horizontally, the bottom half becoming a ramp to cover the gap. just a thought.
etherman, May 18 2004


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