* This article was originally published in Urban Rail Transit on 6 January 2020, 6(1):15–27
Associate Professor Phumin Kirawanich Ph.D. - Cluster of Logistics and Rail Engineering & Department of Electrical Engineering, Mahidol University, Thailand
Sebastian Ludwig Gintschel - System Integration Manager, WSP in Asia
Design practices in regard to passenger hazard exposure in mass transit stations that are directly open to the atmosphere, so-called open stations, are the focus of this study.
The benchmarking exercise intends to provide a comprehensive review regarding the application of existing international and national design codes, standards, and guidelines in terms of their ability to mitigate hazards at key points of contact (POC) between passengers and station, such as walking surfaces, stairs, lifts, escalators, and wayfinding, during normal and emergency conditions.
By adopting the safety-related risk assessment model, the benchmarking exercise uses national Thai station design practices as a baseline in order to identify applicable national codes, standards, and guidelines, and to conduct a parallel comparative analysis with respect to their international counterparts in order to identify, rank, and evaluate the potential impacts of missing regulations and practices. The analysis shows that a number of station environment-related risks appear along the different paths of egress and at different POC that must be addressed.
With the application of Thai national codes, standards, and guidelines alone, the designer is still susceptible to design decisions that do not reduce risk levels. It was also found that more than half of the risks in paths of egress remain undesirable or intolerable after the design, and thus pose a threat of injury to passengers and create growing concerns for operators. Based on the findings of the study, a recommendation can be made for the use of a design handbook for stations by ranking different existing standards in accordance with their importance to the design endeavor, with legal support from involved parties.