Commuters in London will soon be able to get from A to B faster on the Tube, thanks to a brand new carriage design that will debut in the next decade.
When a train enters the station, it takes a certain amount of time to open the doors, let people out, let people in, and then close the doors to leave. This is called dwell time. It refers to the time when the system is not moving.
Cutting the dwell time is a priority of transport authorities, as anyone travelling on the District line during peak hours already knows.
Paul Priestman, the lead developer behind the New Tube for London, says that reducing dwell time was a key goal in designing the new carriages, which are expected to enter operation in 2022.
“If [the dwell time] is shorter, than you can put more trains in the system,” Priestman told Business Insider UK.
The shorter dwell time should trigger a chain reaction: If the train spends less time standing still at the station, it would allow more trains on the network at the same time, resulting in a faster and less crowded commute for everyone.
To do this, all of the new trains will feature large double doors, whereas around half of the doors on the existing trains are single. To prevent people from clogging the entrances, the floor of the new tube will have lighted paths to guide people toward the centre of the train.
A red-green light system on the outside of the doors will let passengers waiting on the platform know when it’s time to board — a green light indicates it’s safe to get on the train and a red light means the doors are closing.
Another trick to speed up loading time will be to raise the level of the platform to match the train floor, creating a smooth step for people with less mobility,
“If one person can’t get on and off more quickly, it slows down the system,” Priestman said.
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