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Subway Doorwalls

Quick on and off
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Picture a subway car, but with no doors and no isles. Instead, both walls of the subway cars fold down. There can now be a significant gap between the tracks and the platform.

Seats are not fixed like in traditional subway cars, but instead are on horizontal tracks. The seats are interlocked to the walls so that when they fold down these seats move over them. Rows move in alternating directions - row 1 left, row 2 right, etc. When finished moving there is a row open in the middle.

Negative implications of this idea:
1. Extra movement every stop.
2. Safety issues (though these can be overcome).

Positive implications of this idea:
1. Faster loading and unloading of passengers.
2. Much more room while getting out of your seat.
3. Every passenger gets a seat - no standing allowed.

Worldgineer, May 12 2004

Massive side opening train http://www.halfbake...e_20opening_20train
Most of the credit for this idea goes to [schematics]. [Worldgineer, Oct 21 2004]

Drawing http://www.geocitie...mail/HB/subway.html
[Worldgineer, Oct 21 2004]


       Beyond the difficulties of ensuring that nobody gets crushed by the moving seats but nothing jams (since a single jam would severely affect traffic on the entire metro line), this is also apt to pose an unacceptable safety hazard in case the train gets stuck in a tunnel. On current designs, if a train gets stuck in a tunnel, passengers can walk to the end of the train and from there onto the track (generally after receiving word from Control that the track has been de-electrified). From what I can tell of your system, it would be impossible to exit a train that got stuck in a tunnel without climbing over a whole lot of seats. Since some passengers would likely be incapable of such climbing, they would be stuck until the train could be moved. Depending upon what caused the train to get stuck, this could take a very long time.
supercat, May 12 2004

       What if you fall asleep in your chair, and tumble out of it?
schematics, May 12 2004

       [cat] That's one of the safety issues I was talking about. This could be solved in several different ways. One I've thought of is having the door hinge in the middle, and adding the ability to open (somewhat slowly, for safety) without power. This way the door will fold out until the top half hits a wall (I'm assuming a fairly narrow tunnel), and the bottom part keeps folding until level. The seats in this instance wouldn't move.   

       [schem] Like that's not possible under the current setup? Subway cars move quite a bit.
Worldgineer, May 12 2004

       Wouldn't you fall through the "significant gap", or into a stationary wall when you are not?   

       Croissant anyway
schematics, May 12 2004

       I realized my description to [cat]'s problem was less than visual, so I've added a picture in the "Drawing" link.   

       [schem] What do you mean? "when you are not" what? My only reason for mentioning the "significant gap" is that there would be an extra level of safety. Right now, if your child falls down into the subway pit, it's time to panic. If, however, there's a fence between the passenger side of the pit and the rails, they will be more safe.
Worldgineer, May 12 2004

       when you are not stationary. I don't understand you picture. too many chairs and arrows.
schematics, May 12 2004

       The picture is of an empty car preparing to disembark. Seats slide toward middle, door goes up.
Worldgineer, May 12 2004

       Aqrrgh !! My leg has been crushed by the sliding seats & my foot is trapped in the door hinge some one get an ambulance.
PainOCommonSense, May 13 2004

       Sorry about that. The prototype isn't really safe yet - did you wonder why you were the only one riding?
Worldgineer, May 13 2004

       In the London Underground, there is not enough space between the train and the tunnel to allow a person to move. Even if the side walls of the car were made like a roll-top desk and could open fully within the tunnel, there still would not be enough space for people to get around.   

       Other metro systems probably have larger tunnels, but the ones in the London Underground are extremely tight.
supercat, May 13 2004


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