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.
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).
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?