Dutch Rail: Keeping safe while saving money
Dutch railway companies NS (train operating company) and ProRail (infrastructure manager) have overcome a major challenge at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol train station. Due to extreme growth of train passengers, which is directly related to passenger growth of Schiphol Airport, a reconstruction was required to increase station capacity. This reconstruction is being implemented while the train station stays in operation. Standard solutions would have been potentially expensive and highly inconvenient for passengers. Planners therefore wanted to find a cost-efficient way to ensure safe pedestrian flows under all conditions, with as low passenger inconvenience as possible. An important part of the total solution has been an innovation by ASE.
The ASE solution is based on crowd monitor sensors that are installed in and around the platform. These measure passenger flows in real time and detect potentially unsafe situations as they arise. Thanks to its intelligent algorithms and alarm functionality, the system can alert crowd control staff at the station or in the Securtity Operations Center to risk areas before the situation becomes critical. That allows them to proactively implement appropriate measures like actively distributing passengers to less crowded areas at the platform or limit platform access capacity to lower passenger inflow. The result is that Dutch Railways can confirm its commitment to passenger safety regulations while keeping train traffic in the station fully in operation. Because the sensor data is saved for historical analysis and optimization, the system also provides important insights that can be used when planning similar projects.