Looking back at the Yamanote Line train as it approaches the platform and the test gate section.
The Yamanote Line is going to have automatic gates installed on all its platforms over the next few years in an attempt to prevent passengers falling on the rails and delaying services. The installation of the gates will be done in parts starting with Ebisu and Meguro Station.
Ebisu and Meguro Stations are going to be the first to have the automatic gates installed for the Yamanote Line.
You can see the platform has already started to be changed for the gates to be installed.
The work at Ebisu and Meguro will begin this month and finish by the end of June 2010 and August 2010 respectively. JR have released a schedule and details (pdf document in Japanese).
Note the markings near the edge of the platform ready for the gates.
A test section of the gate set up at the end of the platform in Ebisu station.
The train lining up to stop at the right place for the gates to open.
Got my camera settings wrong here, as I was waiting for a shot of the train moving away from the station. Suddenly realized this train was a special test run to check the distances between platform and train in preparation for the gate installation.
The test gate section is not in use yet and is actually at the end of the platform away from where the train stops.
The Yamanote Line leaves the station passing the test gate section.
The door section that opens will be a glass panel rather than just steel. This will allow passengers and staff to see whether any objects have been caught in the doors when they shut, a regular occurrence when trains are busy.
It will be a shame to see the structures go up and block the view of trains coming into the station, but hopefully this will help to prevent accidents and other incidents where passengers end up falling on the tracks. The Chuo Line, which suffers a high proportion of suicides, may also want to consider implementing such a system.
What do you think about these automatic gates being installed?