Open the damn platform edge doors!

Open the damn platform edge doors!

You’d think people wouldn’t want to try forcing platform edge doors open? Well they do! In a strange sort of quirky parallel world two brand new metro systems had their platform edge doors forcibility interfered with a few days of each other.

These were both London and Mumbai. In the case of the former it was someone wanting to get on an Elizabeth line train even though the doors had almost fully closed. As for the latter it was someone attempting to get onto the rail tracks or something of the sort. It wasn’t even an emergency but what likely seems a deliberate case of trying to vandalise the equipment – unless he had dropped something on the tracks – and in that case he should have approached station staff.

Both systems opened within a few weeks of each other – the new Mumbai Metro Line 7 on 2nd April 2022 and the Elizabeth Line in London on 24th May 2022. Both suffered instances soon after each other – Mumbai on 7th August and London on 26th August 2022.

The incident at Mumbai caused the alarms to go off and the metro services to be stopped temporarily whilst the authorities investigated what the problem was. CCTV shows a man attempting to open the platform edge doors but he got away and no-one knows who he was or what he was trying to do. There’s actually severe penalties for interfering with railway equipment on the Mumbai metro. These are a fine of 5000 rupees and imprisonment. In a way I expect that explains the guy’s quick disappearance….

‘The incident happened at 6.24am when a passenger was seen pulling apart the platform screen doors at Dahisar. As he kept trying to do so, the alarms on the doors was triggered which automatically stopped all trains… After the alarm was triggered checks were conducted which revealed that it had been set off due to tempering of screen doors number M, which was immediately fixed. Security personnel later examined the CCTV footage of the incident and found out about the involvement of a passenger.’

As for London’s Elizabeth line, the instance alluded to occurred at Canary Wharf station and its thought to be the first such instance of anyone trying to seriously breach the Elizabeth Line’s platform edge doors (PEDs) or platform screen doors as they are sometimes called.

The set of platform edge doors as seen from the escalators. The doors began closing once the guy had made his way down the escalators.

The result? A set of platform edge doors out of action for the rest of the day.

As the 08.30 am service from Abbey Wood (train 9Y37) due to leave Canary Wharf at 08.41am was closing its doors someone ran off the escalators and seeing the train was still at the station they dashed up to the platform doors and tried to force them open even though these were by this time almost fully closed.

The protective rubber edging was pulled out of place rendering the sensitive door mechanism ineffective.

Alas they couldn’t open the doors but they did damage them in the process. This delayed the train that was trying to depart from the station. Instead of waiting five minutes for the next train the service was delayed considerably with the 08.30, 08.35 and 08.40 from Abbey Wood being affected.

Close up of the notice placed on number 6 platform edge doors at Canary Wharf.

Even though the doors were damaged little could be done other than to give the person concerned a brief education upon the futility of trying to force platform edge doors open.

The switched out doors with the yellow barrier evident from inside an Elizabeth line train. The doors switched out light can be seen illuminated.

Fortunately the person was on their way on the said affected train some ten to twelve minutes later once the PEDs (numbered six on the westbound platform) had been isolated and Romford Control Centre had reprogrammed the line’s computers to ensure all trains from Abbey Wood used Canary Wharf station with their relevant doors switched out.

The situation lasted the entire day with the doors being repaired as part of an emergency overnight possession at the station – this being due to the fact part of the work would need to be undertaken from the trackside.

The fact no staff are seen in my photos is because I did ask if they could stand aside briefly as I didn’t want things to be too officious! Elizabeth line staff were indeed present at all times by the escalators & the affected doors.