Remember watching movie scenes where people would attempt suicide by throwing themselves onto the railways tracks? Remember flinching away from such scenes because you can’t bring yourself to watch the goriness that follows?
After that, you probably thought to yourself: do incidents like these really happen in real life?
Unfortunately, although such incidents do happen in real life, although not all are due to acts of taking their own lives. Instead, many of them are due to unforeseen accidents.
For instance, in April this year, a pregnant woman fainted and fell onto the tracks
at the Damai LRT station, shocking many onlookers.
Thankfully, the woman suffered only minor injuries, largely thanks to the LRT's Platform Intrusion Emergency System
, better known as PIES.
In fact, the efficiency of PIES was credited for saving the pregnant lady's life.
So, what exactly is PIES and how does it save lives on a daily basis? Rojak Daily
recently spoke to LRT Kelana Jaya Line Chief Operating Officer Ismail Abdullah for a better picture.
PIES save lives
The way PIES works is remarkable, Ismail told us.
Any time a presence is detected on the train tracks, electrical flow will automatically be cut off, in just a snap of the finger.
“PIES stops the electrical flow to the LRT system if an impact of more than 7kg is detected on the platform.
“When the sensing panel detects a load of 7kg on the sensing panel, an intrusion signal will be sent to the Automatic Train Control Systems,” he explained.
Ismail said that PIES is a proven platform safety system that reliably detects the accidental intrusion of patrons on the rail track area in front of passenger stations.
“Among its advantages include its infallible non-active moving parts require almost zero maintenance and it is effective with dry contact to external systems for absolute triggering systems that does not require a secondary verification system," he said.
Not only that, PIES is always operational, whether the train is entering, leaving, passing through, or stopped at a station, Ismail also added.
“The system also gives an immediate warning to transit drivers and operators regarding transgressions into the protected track area, before the trains arrive at a station and has a simple operating system that require minimum human interface.
The entire system is almost fool proof, too.
“It is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMF) and radio frequency interference (RFI) generated by the trains or control and power systems and is immune to environmental effects such as heat, rain, wind and hail,” he said.
PIES in Malaysia
Ismail said that contrary to people’s belief, the system has been around for a very long time.
“PIES was first developed in 1982 in Vancouver, Canada, modeled after the Vancouver Sky Train in Canada.
“In Canada, it was first developed to detect intrusions on the guideway, to be immune to electromagnetic fields, radio frequency interference and also environmental effects".
Ismail told us that in Malaysia, PIES has been in place since 1996 - which is more than 20 years ago!
PIES was first installed at the Kelana Jaya Line (formerly known as Putra Line) and the new version was developed in Malaysia in 2014, Ismail told us.
“A total of 32 stations now boast the system and it is maintained by the Kelana Jaya Rail maintenance team,” he said.
The need for PIES
Ismail said the pregnant lady’s case was, unfortunately, not the first one reported by the system.
“In that incident, the 26-year-old woman fainted and fell onto the tracks as a train was reaching the platform. PIES automatically stopped the train when it detected an intrusion on the tracks," he explained further.
Ismail told us that the system has detected many intrusions since the line began operations and since the system was put in place.
“However, we have recorded zero fatal incident to date,” he breathed a sigh of relief.
With its impressive track record, Ismail told us that the company views PIES as an important part of its infrastructure.
He added that the system is also currently being installed at the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines and the work is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.
So, now you, too, can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that LRT has your back.