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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Pennsylvania professor designs handicapped-accessible rail cars

A University of Pennsylvania professor of transportation and systems engineering believes he has found the solution to disabled rail passengers’ accessibility problems.

Edward Morlok recently designed a split-level car divided into three sections, enabling mobility-impaired passengers to board and exit rail cars with little or no attention from the train crew. The ends of the car would meet at the level of a high platform, and the middle portion would be accessible from lower platforms.

Doors would be placed at both levels, and a small lift within the car would enable passengers to move between levels. Because the middle part of the car is lower, a second level could be added above it, increasing capacity.

The university has filed for patent protection on the design.

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More News from 2/26/2003