A bridge to?
December 17, 2009 8:23 AM   Subscribe

What are these... bridges?

I've been taking the LIRR for years, and I've always wondered. At Woodside station, there are these devices that look like expandable, movable bridges that purportedly go over the tracks. There are at least 8 of them, very close together towards the west side of the platform. I've never seen them in action. What the hell are they for? I get one, two maybe at either side, but this many?
posted by monospace to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
My understanding is that they are to provide egress if a train is stopped on one of the center tracks (i.e., not next to the platform). We had a bunch of them set up at New Roc City for a while a couple of years ago.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2009

Are they actually ramps for getting workers/equipment off the platform onto the rails?

On second look, I guess they are supposed to be supported by those yellow bars - so maybe a way for workers/equipment or emergency personnel to quickly get from one platform to the other without going on to the rails (assuming there's an electrified rail?).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2009

When the track closest to the platform is out of service, the bridges are erected and used to move people from the train to the platform. You need one bridge for every set of doors that will open on the car. Back when I took NJ Transit, they used these when they were doing track work in a few stations.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 8:48 AM on December 17, 2009

Best answer: They're called bridge plates. They're normally used when they are doing track work near the station on the outside track, so the trains stopping at the station need to use the center (express) track.
posted by smackfu at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2009

(To be perfectly clear, railroads seem to refer to a lot of different things as bridge plates, this being only one of them. Example: "the contractor working on the overhead 'catenary' wire project will install 'bridge plates' that will allow commuters to walk from the southbound platforms across one track to board New York City-bound trains.")
posted by smackfu at 8:56 AM on December 17, 2009

Response by poster: That makes sense. There are indeed three parallel tracks there. Thanks!
posted by monospace at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2009

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