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Driverless trains tested during rush hour on the Yamanote line

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It might be automated but there will still be a need for platform personnel. There are many automated Metros but most are low capacity trains with the capacity of single articulated tram.

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FWIW, ATO operation such as this is already in regular use on the Joban Local Lines (Joban Kankou Sen), and since March 2021-a very high capacity commuter line too.  Yamanote Line iconic status probably why the media spotlight.

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we have a similar High capacity Metro that runs on ATO

a train personel is still present in the cab in case of manual operation and dooroperation

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Should the DLR be considered a high-capacity train?


I mean, I've seen it in ATO during Comic Con and the trains where packed.
Sure, there was always staff inside the train and on the station making sure no-one does anything stupid, while being able to act in case something goes wrong.

Even in normal days the DLR stock always has a conductor inside, and they are obligated to manually drive the train after a set number of services in ATO.

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It will be interesting to see how it works. Obviously haven't seen the Joban line in operation since Japan has been closed until this week. Presumably there is some signal from the staff on the platform to the train, or have they automated that part too?

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15 hours ago, bill937ca said:

There are many automated Metros but most are low capacity trains with the capacity of single articulated tram.

If we are looking for high-capacity automated systems, the Paris subway has been operated at level 2 automation since the late 60s (minus line 10 and the bis lines). Trains drove themselves, engineers were kept to operate the doors, order station departures and deal with emergency situations. They had to drive trains manually from time to time to retain qualification. Fully automated operations started in 98 with the opening of line 14. Line 1 has since been fully automated and line 4 is being switched over next year. The RER A central section is also fully automated since 2019 and was I believe running at level 2 automation since 1989.


edit: Also have to keep in mind that the capacity of a VAL, for example, is not a good way to evaluate overall capacity, as full automation allows high throughput of trains with very short intervals. VAL lines in Toulouse or Lille transport a relatively high number of people.

edit 2: The Joban line is run at level 2 of automation; with input from the staff. https://www.railwaygazette.com/infrastructure/joban-line-ato-ready-to-launch/58591.article

Edited by disturbman
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What happens when there is a delay? At the moment the train parks outside the station and the drive comes on the PA to apologise and explain what is happening.


I'll miss the drivers who like to do the announcements themselves, instead of just using the recorded messages.

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