#653: Trainstile

I travel quite a lot on trains. These are haunted by ‘guards’ who seem to make a fetish of checking the doors are open or closed, waking up sleeping passengers and bellowing the names of stations after the PA system has just done this. Their main function is to check that people have paid to travel, in a rail network where fitting ticket barriers at all the minor stations would be prohibitively expensive.

Today’s invention does away with all this ridiculous manual ticket checking. Each train door would be equipped with pair of unidirectional gates like the ones which are used at football grounds. People could leave the train freely through one side and enter via the other side by inserting their ticket.

Only the trains would thus need barriers fitted and they could therefore be removed from all stations, greatly improving the flow of passengers and their safety in emergencies. This approach would allow an accurate count to be made of the individuals on board a train and thus ensure that dangerous overcrowding was detected and minimised.

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