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Published on Feb 23, 2007
Experimental 185 metre long high speed moving walkway at Montparnasse - Bienvenüe métro station in Paris, France.
At first it operated at 12km/h but too many people were falling over so the speed was reduced to 9km/h. It has been estimated that commuters using a walkway such as this twice a day would save 15 minutes per week and 10 hours a year.
Using this walkway is like using any other moving walkway, except that for safety there are special procedures to follow when joining or leaving.
Staff (seen here in yellow jackets) vet who can use it as you must have at least one hand free to hold the handrail. So, if you are carrying bags, shopping, etc or are infirm you must use the regular walkway to the right.
On entering there is a 10 metre acceleration zone where the 'ground' is a series of metal rollers - you MUST stand still with both feet on these rollers and use one hand to hold the handrail and let it pull you so that you glide over the rollers; the idea being to accelerate you so that you will be travelling fast enough to step onto the moving walkway belt.
Once on the walkway you can stand or walk; there is no special sensation of travelling at speed.
At the exit there is a deceleration zone where again you MUST stand still and let the handrail pull you as you slow down, again whilst gliding over metal rollers. Then you just walk off.
This clip is hand held, and at times it is a little unsteady. Towards the end of the clip note how the other people leaving the moving walkway stand with both feet firmly on the ground and one hand on the handrail whilst passing through the deceleration zone.