25 MAY 2015
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Heathrow Express (HEx) has become the first rail operator in the UK to install platform gap-fillers at its stations to reduce the risk of passenger accidents.
The bespoke gap-fillers sit along the edge of station platforms reducing the size of the gap between the train and platform edge.
Step-on-board (“stepboard”) accidents are common. They are responsible for 48% of the overall fatality risk to passengers, and cause knock-on delays to train services while the passenger’s welfare is being looked after. The gap-fillers work to reduce the risk of these accidents.
A year-long trial at HEx’s Heathrow Terminal 5 station found there were no stepboard incidents wherever gap-fillers were in use. The devices are now set to be installed at all Heathrow Express train stations by the end of May.
Joanne Lewis, Head of Safety for Heathrow Express, said: “Our top priority is ensuring Heathrow Express, and the rail industry as a whole, is as safe as possible for customers and employees.
“Stepboard accidents are a concern across the rail industry, and for good reason; they can be fatal. With demand for rail travel predicted to double over the next 30 years in the UK, devices like gap-fillers could be a big help.” www.heathrowexpress.com
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