Vehicle: Rail
Rail Platform Drawbridge   (0)  [vote for, against]
Connect the platforms, make it easy to change

Most people I work with catch the train to work.
Inevitably, we need to drive to the station and park our cars on one side of the station, corresponding to one platform. There is also a pedestrian crossing after the end of the platforms, so that people can cross from one side of the tracks to the other and there is usually a road crossing not far away. For example:

| | [] <- my car
| |_________________________________________
| |
| |_________________________________________
| |....................\__Platform___/
X X--xx---------------------------------------------> To city
X X--xx------------------------------------------< From city
| |..................../---Platform----\
| |

As you can see, the trip to the platform from the car in the morning is easy, however, there is a large hike in the evening from the "From city" platform to the car parked in spot 401 of a 400 space parking lot.

What I propose is that a drawbridge be installed between the two platforms. This could be a connection between the platforms for station users who need to change to trains on differing platforms as well as a service to make it easier for those who park on one side of the station to get to their cars at night.

The drawbridge could be triggered with the boom gates that block traffic from crossing at the road crossing or the pedestrian crossing. When a train is coming, the boom gates block the path of traffic, and the bridge rises to a vertical position, allowing the train to pull into the platform. When there is no train, the commuters can cross freely between the platforms and save themselves the walk.
-- reap, Jan 23 2003

Might also be safer than some of the other crossings as it would prevent people stepping in the path of the train. I recently saw video of a woman blithly crossing the line right in front of a train. Needless to say she was killed. What did amaze me was that she seemed to totally ignore the train and everyone else around her who had all stopped.
-- oneoffdave, Jan 24 2003

Like it... it has definite (disaster) movie potential... Would another walkway be cheaper?
-- madness, Aug 01 2004

In various european countries there are walkways where you can simply cross the rails if there aren't any trains about. No one seems to get killed either (obviously not where there are electric rails).
-- wagster, Aug 01 2004

In Chicago, many of the elevated train stations have cross-over bridges. This involves walking up a lot of stairs, walking across, and then walking down a bunch of stairs. Some stations have cross-under bridges.
-- Laughs Last, Aug 01 2004

In New York City there are many walk over bridges as well that involve many stairs. Another way to get around this problem is to have the platform in between the two rails and either a bridge over the rail or a underpass to the parking lot.
-- MrDaliLlama, Aug 01 2004

random, halfbakery