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New Facility to Improve Subway Safety
Shanghai will add safety barriers in subway platforms to prevent passengers from falling on rails this year, Shanghai Morning News reported Tuesday.

The first such barrier will be installed and operated on trial basis in Hengshan Road Station of the Metro Line 1 in October, subway officials planned.

The electronic barriers, made in glass and aluminum alloy, will automatically open when trains arrive and will remain close at other time. They will be solid enough to resist push and will prevent passengers from entering rails, officials said. Concerns about subway safety increased in the city after several accidents happened last year along metro lines. Early last December,a metro train killed a woman in her 20s who was pushed off the platform by a crowd at Metro Line 1's People's Square Station.

Local legislators discussed new regulations to improve railway transportation safety and efficiency later, which required a better performance of both the operators and passengers to achieve a safe and normal railway operation. It said subway managers will be legally responsible for malmanagement.

Total cost of the project has not been declared.It is known however that the metro line 2 connecting Pudong and Puxi will not be included in the project so far because of financial problems.

Instead of focusing on safety, however, subway operation experts said the new facilities work mainly to save energy as they have been used worldwide.

The facilities will effectively prevent a discharge through tunnels of energy created by subway air conditioners, they said, thus to reduce economic costs and bring a more comfortable environment.

(eastday.com March 5, 2002)

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