The National Academies

TCRP A-03 [Completed]

Aids for Car Side-Door Observation

  Project Data
Funds: $199,789
Research Agency: Telephonics Corp.
Principal Investigator: Paul J. Smith
Effective Date: 6/7/1993
Completion Date: 2/28/1995

An evaluation of a variety of approaches to rail car side-door observation is presented. All aids currently used in transit practice are included along with enhanced and new aids incorporating advanced technology. Guidance is provided for transit agencies seeking to implement observation aids. Included are recommendations for ways to enhance the effectiveness of observation aids and criteria for the selection of appropriate aids.

A previously published National Cooperative Transit Research and Development Program study (NCTRP Report 13, "Conversion to One-Person Operation of Rapid Transit Trains") addressed the issues related to one-person operation of multiple-unit, rapid-transit trains and identified car side-door safety as an important issue associated with this type of operation. The study suggested that certain work tasks can be performed by the vehicle operator more effectively with the aid of hardware or technology to observe the car side doors at both curved and straight platforms. Accordingly, there was a need to more fully explore the hardware and technologies available and provide guidance on their use.

Research was undertaken by Telephonics Corporation to identify and evaluate various aids for car side-door observation and to develop guidelines to assist in the selection and deployment of devices best suited for specific applications. The researchers conducted a review of rail car side-door observation practices, procedures, and devices in use in North American transit systems and in selected foreign systems. Visits were made to 17 transit systems to observe operations and collect data. In addition, data were collected from a number of foreign and domestic transit systems through a survey process. Based on this review, devices and techniques currently in use as well as experimental devices were identified and described. The overall merits of the identified devices and their suitability for specific applications were determined and guidelines for their use were prepared. To assist in the development of the guidelines, field tests of closed-circuit television, mirrors, and sensor-based door observation aids were performed.

The results have been published as TCRP Report No. 4, "Aids for Rail Car Side-Door Observation." TCRP Report 4 is also available in portable document format (PDF). Double-click on the files below to access the report. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.)

Front Matter; Part I, Chapter 1: Inroduction and Research Approach; Chapter 2: Findings and Interpretation

Part I continued, Chapter 3: Interpretation, Appraisal, and Application; Chapter 4: Conclusions. Part II, Chapter 1: Existing Observation Approach Case Studies

Part II continued, Chapter 2: Operational Factors; Chapter 3: Facility Design and Environmental Characteristics; Chapter 4: Passenger Behavioral Considerations; and Appendixes A, B, C, D, and E

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