Railway stations are no longer public spaces where passengers come and go, they are now combining the two concepts of “public” and “private” facilities. Besides being transited by passenger trains, clients visiting the shopping area or people who simply pass by, railway stations also combine public transport services: trolleybuses, buses, trams, underground, bicycles etc. Access control technologies, CCTV and ticketing solutions, alarm systems, detection solutions and scanners, all these are extremely important inside railway stations where the number of threats is increasing every day.
At times when every country implements projects with the purpose of boosting the rail transport capacity and, consequently, the number of passengers and the design of stations is every day more focused on operational components, it is imperative for all railway stations to have security systems capable to guarantee the safety of passengers and of people transiting the stations in maximum conditions of comfort: passengers have to reach destination in the fastest, most comfortable and safest way possible.
Security systems consist in the prevention and counteraction of threats, these two critical factors relying mostly on relevant real time information. Conventional security systems have been designed to focus on post-event legal actions, but, in case of terrorist acts, this solution has not been very efficient. However, latest technologies relying on an analytical approach, next to traditional security systems, mitigate risks using real time security management.
First of all, a railway station must have an access that meets security demands, which means that it has to be easy to access, equipped with automatic or conventional access facilities permitting a rapid evacuation. Another feature and, perhaps, one of the most important, is the access to platforms through automatic door systems, as these automatic control units guarantee the boarding of only those passengers who had previously bought a ticket. Most of the times, passengers are monitored while accessing the platforms. Therefore, sensor barriers and passenger monitoring scanners are extremely important, but equally important is their modular and ergonomic design dedicated to facilitating access, optimising the transfer in case of a large number of passengers, as well as their equipment facilitating the access of disabled people.
Also, “the staff restricted area” is another space with increased security inside railway stations. Aside from its specific design, this area is equipped with a particular security system. In areas where there is no staff monitoring, security consists primarily in the implementation of access control systems with card readers or biometric mechanisms which record every person who enters or exits the restricted area (and additional information). For an enhanced security, improving the passengers’ monitoring systems can be achieved through sensor monitoring systems.