Thursday, September 28, 2006

Parliament's fastest escalator

Recent frequent trips through Parliament station (which also explains the lack of posts) have had me compare the speeds of the various escalators. In particular, the ones between platforms 1 & 2 up to the barriers.

To do the experiment, you stand on the escalator (left hand side please!) level with another standee on the next escalator. Hoping that the other person has remained on the same step you compare whether they're in front or behind when you're near the top.

Having done this during the am peak for three consecutive days this week, I can confirm that the up escalator nearest Platform 2 is the fastest. It has consistently beaten the two escalators towards Platform 1 (the fourth nearest Platform 1 was going down).

What was interesting was the variability in the speed difference. On Monday and Wednesday the difference was greatest, with the escalator nearest platform 2 about 3 metres in front by the time it reached the top. In contrast, Tuesday was more even, with the difference being about 1 metre.

Research is continuing. But in the meantime, if you want a fast ride to the top, then it's the escalator nearest platform 2 that will do the job.

UPDATE 29 September: The last two days have seen escalators operate in different directions. My favourite was going down, so people going out had to use the three on the right. Of these the one nearest platform 1 was much faster than inner (platform 2 side). Inner escalator, platform 1 side was the slowest.

UPDATE 3 October: Escalators switched back to old pattern. Up nearest Platform 2 is once again the fastest.

1 comment:

russ said...

hmmmm, Pete, the most likely reason for an escalator to go slower is that there are more people on it -- the force of the motor will be about the same regardless of weight. You need to adjust for the total number of people on the escalator. It would seem to me that some are probably more popular than others depending on which platform just had a train arrive, and what escalators are available.