Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Comfort studies of rail passengers
  1. J. F. Nicol,
  2. C. Doré,
  3. J. S. Weiner,
  4. D. E. Lee,
  5. S. P. Prestidge,
  6. M. J. Andrews
  1. National Institute of Medical Research, Hampstead NW3
  2. MRC Environmental Physiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1
  3. British Railways Southern Region, Croydon


    Nicol, J. F., Doré, C., Weiner, J. S., Lee, D. E., Prestidge, S. P., and Andrews, M. J. (1973).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,30, 325-334. Comfort studies of rail passengers. A short series of trials is described in which a specimen car of the new High Density Rolling Stock was laden with passengers at different densities and under different environmental constraints, designed to simulate `shut-down' conditions.

    The results suggest that the limit for comfort, 21·8°C corrected effective temperature (CET), proposed by Bell and Watts (1971) is reasonable but that temperatures some 3 or 4°C higher can be tolerated without undue discomfort.

    The physiological limit for safety recommended by Bell and Watts is a CET of 30·6°C. This will be reached in less than 20 minutes if there is a power failure in warm conditions in crowded trains.

    An undesirable, possibly dangerous, level of discomfort will be experienced by passengers in ventilated but crowded trains after 30 minutes.

    In any case it is recommended that the globe temperature in a carriage should not exceed 30°C.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.