The provision of emergency escape routes is a growing consideration in carriage design, with analysis of passengers’ responses to incidents showing it is an important factor in the aftermath of a serious incident.
AEA Technology Rail has developed sliding vestibule doors which include a simple mechanism to allow passengers to remove a central panel in the event of the door being inoperable. In a £700000 retrofitting project the doors are being installed on the fleet of 317 High Speed Train coaches owned by Angel Trains and operated by First Great Western. Passengers use a ring-pull to remove the panel from its rubber seal, and the panel is then pushed out without breaking. The panels can only be removed from inside the carriage, and not from the vestibule.