8.2 Mid platform fencing

This measure consists of the installation of a fence along the center line of a platform (usually an island platform) to split it in two parts, thus blocking access from one edge of the platform to the other edge. It is usually used to separate people from the trains passing at high speeds or to isolate fast lines where trains might not stop from the regular lines which should be easily accessible.
  • For practical grounds there needs to be a gate in the linear fence to provide access to the tracks in case this is needed.
  • The systems for securing gates and their use need to be considered. Gates operable with a standard industry carriage key can be, and generally are, provided, to allow access for rail operations and maintenance staff. They are also needed as an escape route in case of emergency.
  • Try to fit the fencing to the trespassing pattern and environment.
  • Try to reinforce the desired behaviour by providing an attractive corridor alternative for biking, hiking, jogging, and walking (such as using an overbridge).
  • Building of fences affects how people can cross from one side of the railway to the other. This can require the building of under- or overpasses to enable safe access from one side of the track to the other. In the case of mid-platform fencing to stop access to the fast line at an island platform, it may also be necessary to restrict access to fast lines at other disused fast line platforms (e.g. near to other station entrances), whilst enabling access to other parts of the station. Fencing will likely be considered in conjunction with one or two other measures: surveillance, cameras or operational planning (e.g. fast trains running close to platforms with easy access).
  • The effect is stable assuming that control and maintenance is done. However, trespassers might change location over time and fencing could result in more dangerous routes for trespassers. Therefore, maintain the integrity of the fences and repair defects without delay. At the same time keep monitoring a much wider perimeter than the fenced area in order to spot possible new trespassing locations.
  • The type of fencing needs to be considered - strand, chainlink, paling, security - height, etc.
  • The measure can be applied in different scale and different kinds of environments.
  • When installing mid-platform barriers removal or repositioning of climbing points such of benches should be considered.
  • Fencing can also be combined with warning or prohibitive signs. The signs can be posted on the fence itself.
  • Mid-platform barriers were rated highest of all programme activities in terms of their effectiveness with 65.9% (338 / 513) of respondents stating that they believed that these would decrease the number of suicides (RSSB  , 2013).
  • Mid-platform fencing was tested by UNOTT   in several stations in Great Britain as part of RESTRAIL   pilot tests conducted in 2014.
  • Mid-platform fencing has the same rationale as mid-track fencing which has shown to prevent suicides in a pilot study in Sweden (Fredin-Knutzén et al 2022).

last update: 2022-12-01 Print