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Why Platform Screen Doors Are Important for a Train Network

The platform screen doors of Marina South Pier MRT station along the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

The platform screen doors of Marina South Pier MRT station along the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

A woman was pushed into an oncoming subway train at the Times Square station in New York City on Saturday (Jan 15).

The 40-year-old victim was waiting for the southbound R train when she was shoved by a man who fled the scene but admitted himself to the police later on.

The Times Square station is not fitted with safety barriers like platform screen doors, which safeguards commuters from accidents.

Find out why having platform screen doors installed should be one of the top priorities for any train network in the world.

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The Importance of Having Platform Screen Doors

What are Platform Screen Doors?

The platform screen doors of Bishan MRT station along the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

The platform screen doors of Bishan MRT station along the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

Platform Screen Doors (PSDs) are safety barriers for commuters that are located between the station platform and the train tracks, which open or close simultaneously with the train doors.

In addition to its safety aspect, full-height PSDs along underground MRT stations can reduce energy costs for the air-conditioning system by up to 50 per cent.

Platform Screen Doors in Singapore’s train network

The first-generation platform screen doors of the Singapore MRT network. (File Photo: SGTrains)

The first-generation platform screen doors of the Singapore MRT network. (File Photo: SGTrains)

The North-South Line (NSL) and East-West Line (EWL) are the first heavy metro system in the world to utilise platform screen doors at underground MRT stations.

Between 2009 and 2012, half-height PSDs were retrofitted onto elevated MRT stations along the NSL and EWL.

Today, every MRT station in Singapore – underground and overground, is equipped with full-height PSDs and half-height PSDs respectively.

How can Platform Screen Doors keep everyone safe?

The platform screen doors summary indicator at the ends of train platforms for train captains to know whether all doors are proven closed and locked. (File Photo: SGTrains)

The platform screen doors summary indicator at the ends of train platforms for train captains to know whether all doors are proven closed and locked. (File Photo: SGTrains)

PSDs can prevent unauthorised entries onto the train tracks, minimising service disruptions caused by track intrusion.

The signalling system is also integrated with the PSDs, where an interlocking system is in place to prevent premature departures.

This means that when any door is detected to not be proven closed and locked, the train will not be given the clearance to depart the station.

Platform Screen Doors MRT Train Doors Departure Clearance
Opened Opened Not Permitted
Opened Closed Not Permitted
Closed Opened Not Permitted
Closed Closed Permitted

The New York City accident and other similar ones should not have happened

Had there been PSDs installed across the New York City Subway, such accidents caused by rogue and unacceptable acts would not have happened, period.

It is a worthy investment for train networks to procure, install and maintain PSDs because people’s lives are literally on the line.

As a trainspotter and a regular commuter of the train network, I am thankful we have platform screen doors and barriers installed across train stations in Singapore.

Saving costs on the air-conditioning bill is only a bonus for the installation of PSDs because safety should be of the utmost priority.

Check Out Other Related Posts

How did a safe MRT system indirectly cause delays?

Fun Fact Friday: Retrofitted Platform Barriers at Elevated Stations

Fun Fact Friday: Asymmetrical Half-Height Platform Screen Doors

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Related Links
Platform Screen Doors – SGTrains
Signalling Systems – SGTrains
North-South Line – SGTrains
East-West Line – SGTrains

External Links
Woman killed after being pushed in front of train in New York City – CNA [Accessed 17 Jan 2022]
Woman dies after being pushed onto subway tracks in New York’s Times Square – The Straits Times [Accessed 17 Jan 2022]
Woman Passes Away After Landing On New York Subway Tracks, 61-Year-Old Man Arrested – Mustsharenews.com [Accessed 17 Jan 2022]
Woman Dies After Being Pushed Onto Subway Tracks in Times Square – The New York Times [Accessed 17 Jan 2022]

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Loh

I'm a train enthusiast who is broadly interested in the different means of technology which powers Singapore's train network.