Concept: Platform screen doors
Railway and metro suicides constitute a major problem in many parts of the world. Japan has experienced an increase in the number of suicides by persons diving in front of an oncoming train in the last several years. Some major railway operators in Japan have begun installing blue light-emitting-diode (LED) lamps on railway platforms and at railway crossings as a method of deterring suicides, which is less costly than installing platform screen doors. However, the effectiveness of the blue lights in this regard has not yet been proven.
The subway system is an important traffic facility in Beijing and its internal air quality is an environmental issue that could potentially affect millions of people every day. Due to the intrinsic nature of rail abrasion in subway tunnels, iron-containing particles can be generated and become suspended in the subway environment. While some studies (e.g. Li et al., 2006) have monitored the in-train levels of PM2.5 (particles<2.5μm), there is a lack of systematic assessment of the concentration and characteristics of iron-containing particles in the Beijing subway system. Here we report results of a study on the granulometric and magnetic properties of deposited particle samples collected at different localities of the Beijing subway system. Our results show that the subway samples are characterized by the presence of fine particles. Volume proportions of 6.1±1.3% for particles<2.5μm and 27.5±6.1% for particles<10μm are found in the bulk subway samples. These samples exhibit a strong magnetic signal, which is approximately two orders of magnitude higher than that in naturally deposited particles collected in Beijing. Fine grained ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic minerals (e.g. iron and magnetite, respectively) are identified from mineral magnetic measurements and scanning electric microscopy. The samples collected from the Beijing stations with platform screen doors are found to be magnetically stronger and finer than those without them, suggesting that platform screen doors have failed to block the fine iron-containing particles released from the rail tunnel. Given the potential health consequences of fine suspended iron-containing particles, our results have important implications for air quality management in the Beijing subway system.
The mass rapid transit (MRT) is the largest transport infrastructure project under the national key economic area (NKEA) in Malaysia. As urban rail is anticipated to be the future spine of public transport network in the Greater Kuala Lumpur city, it is important to mainstream climate change mitigation and public health benefits in the local transport development. This study quantifies the health co-benefits in terms of mortality among the urbanites when the first line of the 150 km MRT system in Kuala Lumpur commences by 2017.
Subway suicide can significantly impact the general public. Platform Screen Doors (PSDs) are considered to be an effective strategy to prevent suicides at subway stations, but the evidence on their effectiveness is limited.