A visit to the Air Rail Link at Birmingham Airport was arranged by Elaine Mackie, second year tutor overseeing the second year automotive and transport students undertaking the People Mover project proposed by Birmingham Airport, which will form a key part of the HS2 Interchange Station development.
Students were shown around the vehicles and facility by Nicholas Warren-Brownhill, Assistant Operations and Maintenance Manager at Doppelmayr Cable Car UK in order to appreciate the design of the carriages and automated system requirements.
Students commented that: “…it really helped me to understand user priorities from the perspectives of both the service provider and the passenger. Typical design concerns like ease of access, comfort, personal space, providing information and aesthetics are tempered by many technical requirements that were highlighted during the tour. Talking to the staff helped to raise important issues and provisions that we can now take into account with our new designs, which are intended to complement the existing setup while offering a marked improvement in all areas of the passenger experience. Scouring the web for information really is no substitute for an on-site visit like this, and I also appreciated how forthcoming the Doppelmayr staff were in answering our questions.”
“(The trip) allowed me to understand how the train and the system overall worked. Previously I had little knowledge of the system but now I understand what we will be having to package within our designs. Another helpful advantage was seeing first hand some of the problems with the existing system by using the system ourselves and observing others.”
“I found last weeks visit to be very informative and insightful into the way a mass transit system is operated and put into perspective for even such a small system how much work is needed for the employees to keep it running (and with such an amazing availability rate). It makes me really curious about much bigger systems. The experience of been able to see all the inner workings and the different aspects of the job and line was also very interesting towards my design brief. Objects I had not considered to be that important within the brief – parameters such as evacuation of the system, was one of the most interesting, and looking at ways this could be done even better and more effectively. All in all a very informative visit and glad I got to speak to the staff from DCC.”