Dynamic Simulation Assessment of Train and Tram Platform Interfaces

Dynamic Simulation Assessment of Train and Tram Platform Interfaces


Paul Clifford, Mott MacDonald, Elizabeth Melville, Mott MacDonald, Sonja Nightingale, Mott MacDonald


This paper describes the need for detailed assessment of platform and train carriage interfaces and the development of a new program (ALIGHT) to assist designers and operators in their business case and operational assessments.


The dynamic simulation of passengers and pedestrians within stations and buildings has been undertaken for many major infrastructure projects, using specialist software. Simulations have been undertaken to assess capacity and resilience to forecast growth and to evaluate the impact of improved train service capacity. A particular issue that has arisen for many investment and design decision makers is how to assess the performance of new rolling stock and station layouts in sufficient detail to ensure a realistic cost benefit analysis and passenger level of service assessment. Such analysis requires detailed simulation of the boarding and alighting processes and detailed representation of the internal layout of train carriages, including seating, grab handles, vestibules and corridors. It also requires an approach that can assess variations in passenger demand, station layout detailing and specific train stock variations, including door configurations.
To assist with this process Mott MacDonald have developed a detailed train/platform interface simulation program (ALIGHT) which considers the detail of the train car layout and the behaviours of boarding and alighting passengers. This paper introduces the concepts involved, the software approach, the collaboration with academic institutions and the results of a validation against a busy station. This program is able to import 3d CAD drawings for the interchange and train carriage layouts and display the simulation results in 2d or 3d video output, as well as provide summary performance statistics.
The paper outlines the potential applications and value of this more detailed simulation approach and how this will benefit train, tram and other public transport investment decisions by designers and transport operators.


Association for European Transport