Installation of platform screen doors for dynamic tests on the representative segment
Throughout the year, the South Shore construction sites have transformed before our very eyes, from the elevation of stations to the installation of the catenaries (cables above the tracks to supply cars with electricity) and rails. Today, the landscape increasingly reflects the upcoming testing period on the 3.5 km representative segment between Brossard station and Milan Boulevard. Among the final preparations under way is the installation of platform screen doors at the Du Quartier and Brossard stations by teams from Groupe PMM and its suppliers. Here is a close-up on this system and on this crucial stage in the project.
An innovative system
This is the first time in North America that a public transit system of this size will be equipped with platform screen doors. Also called platform edge doors, these glass doors located along the station platforms, separating the platform from the tracks, open automatically and only when the metro is stopped at the station.
Platform screen door technology is used in large networks around the world, particularly in Paris, London and Tokyo where its many advantages have been demonstrated. For the REM, the use of platform screen doors offers many advantages: increased service reliability and safety, easier flow of passengers entering and exiting the metro cars, and minimized heat loss between the cars and the station.
Innovative installation using robotic arms
The platform screen doors for the REM stations are installed using a modular platform specially designed for the project; an innovative and, above all, highly efficient installation technique. The modular platform, which moves on the rails, allows the platform screen door modules to be installed from outside the station platform, using two robotic arms. The result is an extremely precise installation, carried out in complete safety for workers following a door module pre-assembly process carried out in a factory in Montréal, Québec.
Equipment suited to Montréal winters
The platform screen doors currently installed on the South Shore have been tested under real conditions and in a Québec laboratory to demonstrate their ability to function during Québec winters. A prototype equipped with a heated threshold performed more than a million cycles (opening-closing) under real conditions during the 2019–2020 winter, confirming good performance in extreme cold, icy conditions and snow. In addition, tests carried out in a climatic chamber subjected the equipment to extreme conditions such as temperatures of -40 °C and freezing rain of up to 40 mm to ensure that the equipment was in good working order .
The platform screen doors already installed at the Brossard and Du Quartier stations will be fully tested in synchronization with the REM cars as part of the tests carried out in the representative segment.
The use of platform screen doors will prevent objects from falling onto the tracks, which is a frequent cause of service slowdowns or interruptions. In the case of the Montréal metro, nearly 50% of service interruptions are caused by customer-related behaviour (people who are ill, doors held back, objects on the track, etc.).
Platform screen doors also prevent the piston effect caused by the rapid movement of trains (the airstream felt by passengers waiting on the platform and that can knock them off balance). This technology therefore prevents accidents and falls onto the tracks, but also unauthorized access, making travel safer.
A capacity indicator located above each platform screen door will inform users in real time of the space available in each section of the train. Coloured indicators will allow passengers to know when the car’s occupancy rate is low, medium or high. Passengers will be able to move to a less crowded car. This is possible due to the platform screen doors that, using integrated sensors, will evaluate at each station the number of passengers exiting and entering through the various car doors. The information will then be transmitted to the capacity indicators at the next station.
Comfort on board
The REM will operate in both summer and winter, and the platform screen doors will be able to compensate for the temperature fluctuations that Quebecers experience. By opening only exactly when the car doors are positioned in front of them, the platform screen doors provide superior insulation for the stations, making it possible to effectively control temperature and ventilation. Platform screen doors will help maintain a comfortable atmosphere in the stations and cars alike.
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