Moving Sidewalks

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moving Sidewalks


a continuously moving means of passenger transport. Moving sidewalks are used as an auxiliary type of urban transportation, capable of carrying up to 10,000–20,000 passengers per hour on a single moving band (1 m wide). During peak hours moving sidewalks make pedestrian traffic more efficient by a factor of 20–40. Moving sidewalks were first demonstrated in 1900 at the World’s Exhibition in Paris and came into widespread use in foreign countries around 1952. In the USSR moving sidewalks are being studied by the Academy of Housing and Municipal Economy and by the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Transport and Lifting Machinery, which has produced experiméntal installations.

The following types of moving sidewalks are known: belt type on a hard base, for lengths up to 60 m; belt type on roller base, for lengths up to 200 m; and link (or plate) type for lengths up to 100 m. Moving sidewalks can be operated on horizontal routes, inclined routes (angle up to 8°), or mixed routes. The width of the belt is 0.6–2.6 m (most common are widths up to 1 m). Low-speed moving sidewalks (speed 0.5–1 m per sec) afford safe passenger entry and exit in motion. High-speed moving sidewalks (speed up to 6 m per sec) can be built as multiband installations, or disk-type entry equipment can be used. For belt-type moving sidewalks the belts are usually made of steel 1.2–1.4 mm thick covered, on one or both sides, by a rubber layer 8–10 mm thick. There are also installations using rubber belts with kapron cords as in the Federal Republic of Germany or multiple-strand steel cables as in Japan; in these cases the total band thickness reaches 25 mm. The endless belt is driven by friction drums. Moving sidewalks of the link type are equipped with wheeled carriages that roll in guide channels. Here the chain drive is of the type used in escalators.

Large two-band moving sidewalks are in operation in the Bank subway station in London (belt width, 1 m; length, 90 m), Place du Châtelet subway station in Paris (width, 1 m; length, 132 m), and at Orly Airport near Paris (width 1 m; length, 100 m). Moving sidewalks 1,500 m long were used at the site of Expo-70 in Osaka (Japan). Among the possible application areas for moving sidewalks are pedestrian tunnels (underpasses) and overpasses, subway transfer stations, platforms in railroad stations, passenger departure hallways in airports, river ports and seaports, quays, stadiums, exhibitions, museums and galleries, department stores, and rest homes.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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