October 6, 2022

Pedestrian simulation can help the designers of buildings, stations, stadiums, and other public facilities streamline people movement, avoid congestion, and manage crowds. Simulation is also essential for planning security and emergency evacuations of large and heavily occupied buildings, such as stations, airports, and stadiums. Pedestrian movement is fast becoming a critical design criterion, essential to many decisions during conceptual and detailed design on new buildings. Among this year’s submissions in Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure Awards were six excellent examples of how pedestrian simulation is being used by rail owner-operators to analyze and simulate people movement within existing stations as part of their ongoing operation and for maintenance and upgrade planning.

Faced with the challenge of moving an average of 3 million passengers every business day across the seven lines that service the São Paulo metropolitan region, Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) is pioneering the use of dynamic pedestrian simulation at railway stations in Brazil since 2013. Using LEGION on São Paulo’s Morumbi Station enabled CPTM to identify the work that was required to solve the challenges that it faced with queueing on platforms and at the turnstiles in its entrance hall. The modeling helped CPTM develop a new design that considered the segregation of embarkation, disembarkation, and transfer flows to manage the capacity saturation within its existing infrastructure.

“CPTM’s use of LEGION is strategic for the development of new station designs and helps resolve passenger flow problems at existing stations and operational situations at major events, making the tool indispensable,” said Fernando Galego Boselli, head of project consistency and innovation with Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos.

Once the heart of London’s 2012 Olympic Games, Stratford Station is now the seventh busiest station in Great Britain. From 2012 to 2017, the station saw the number of daily passengers increase by approximately 100,000, and with several major nearby developments either planned or under construction, passenger numbers over the next 10 to 15 years is expected to increase. While Network Rail owns most of the infrastructure, overall management of the station sits with Transport for London’s delivery unit London Underground (LU), which operates the Jubilee and Central Lines from the station.

Working with MTR Crossrail, LU first identified that crowding at Stratford Station would require more intervention than the day-to-day management of flows by station staff. Initial attempts to assess pedestrian flows against LU’s own design standards statically, failed to capture the interaction of flows at key pinch points or adequately distinguish between the options being assessed. Using LEGION, however, meant that LU could capture important factors, such as different train service types, accurate pulsing of demand, and the impact of train capacity on platform crowding. The application also enabled the team to easily identify and visually present the key constraints within the station.

Interventions that LU considered ranged from the short-term lower cost, such as moving a gateline, to the long-term higher cost, such as providing a new wide overbridge. LEGION enabled each option to be modeled in isolation and in parallel with complementary options, to create a prioritized list of interventions. To date, this approach has allowed land required to create a new entrance to be safeguarded and has caused LU to reconsider an already-committed structural intervention. Moreover, LU has been able to examine different options for the management of current day event flows and provide evidence to secure financial contributions from commercial developments in the vicinity of the station.

“LEGION is one of a suite of tools used by Transport for London to assess and quantify station congestion impacts across the network,” said Madeleine Cox, principal planner transport modeling with Transport for London. “It is instrumental in the support of business cases, providing not only visual outputs that identify congestion hotspots, but also outputs that can easily be monetized, directly contributing to the calculation of a benefits cost ratio of a project.”

When completed in 2021, Beijing’s Fengtai High-speed Railway station will be the city’s most important transportation hub and one of the largest stations in Asia. Faced with the challenge of concentrated passenger flows and an innovative double-deck platform design, the client and the design team realized that the planning of passenger movement and layout of facilities within the station would be critical to its safe and effective operation.

Having found it difficult to perform comprehensive and direct assessments of the design using static computation and other software for that kind of complex environment, transport consultancy China Architecture Design and Research Group (CADG) turned to LEGION. CADG conducted pedestrian simulation analysis of the station’s aboveground and belowground floors, as well as functional supporting facilities for national railway, subway, bus hub, taxi ranks, and other traffic transfer. LEGION helped the project team determine a design strategy and, because of its ability to predict the station’s future performance, create a plan for its operational management.

“Bentley software helped CADG simplify the analysis process to demonstrate the optimal design for Fengtai High-speed Railway Station, improving design coordination efficiency and streamlining the production of deliverables that enabled us to help the design team successfully pass the relevant design reviews,” said Pingyi Ye, deputy director of the transportation planning and research center for the China Architecture Design & Research Group.


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