CharlieP wrote:I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the high-speed walkways at the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station:
Heh, that's exactly why I came to the forums for this one the good old trottoir roulant rapide, down that long-ass hallway. Wife and I lived outside Paris in 2004-2005, and took the walkway once (or maybe twice). There were a lot warning/explanation signs, plus it was a popular TV news story (completing with video of people eating it, hilarious).
Using it was odd; it was unclear exactly how the acceleration/deceleration areas worked. The instructions were basically "step on, hold the rail and don't think about it too hard". It felt a bit weird but we had no trouble with it. I think it involved lots of little spinning rollers that would collapse as you stepped on them, with more at the front as less as you go on. So I think you were slipping relative to the moving service, but less and less as you got up to speed. But like I said, I couldn't tell what was going on so this is speculation 8 years removed.
I always wondered why they didn't just use proven technology, the way Randall has it sketched. I.e. sections of belt moving at independent, increasing (then decreasing) speeds. Make each belt a different color and give them all some striping so the eye can easily pick up relative speed and boom, problem solved. Little kids and first-timers would have a problem with it, but everyone who's solved the "walking on a normal moving walkway" problem could use this with no training.