Suggestions by transport experts to introduce level boarding at suburban stations was informally rejected by the railways during field trials for a platform height of 1200 mm conducted Wednesday night, with the Siemens test coach dislodging a deck created to simulate a platform at the proposed height.
“The 1200 mm height, as suggested by transport expert Sudhir Badami, is ruled out. Also, the 50 mm gap from the edge of the platform further increases the gap between mail/express coaches and platforms, making it difficult for passengers to board and alight,” said a railway officer.
Following appeals by Badami, who is also a member of the expert committee appointed by the Bombay High Court, the HC directed the railways to check the feasibility of a platform height of 1200 mm at suburban stations for both suburban and mail/express trains.
Badami said, “The coach dislodged the deck created at Mumbai Central. As the railways mandates a gap of 150 mm and not 50 mm between the platform and the coach floor, the design suggested would be more unsafe for passengers. However, it can be reworked.”
The team also checked the lateral gap for 920 mm height for mail/express train coaches. Following the test, officials concluded that raising the height to 920 mm would not be a problem for long distance passengers using suburban platforms.