Monday, December 23, 2013


Transfer systems denote routes or spaces where concentrated movement of people and goods occur. Stairs, ramps, elevators, escalators, corridors, passages, bridges, etc. are elements or systems that can be collectively identified as transfer systems.  The transfer system denotes an exclusive one or the most efficient node available leading to a concentration of traffic. The intensification of traffic is inherent due to the locational advantage or is generated by specific design.

Transfer systems are perpendicular (vertical), inclined against or towards the gravity and parallel (horizontal) to the earth. Stairs, Elevators and Escalators are movement systems, where goods and persons transfer perpendicular to the gravity. Whereas Corridors, Roads, Auto-walkways are movement systems that are almost parallel to the gravity. These of course by design allow greater concentration of traffic compared to many other parallel to gravity areas like chowks, compounds, halls etc.

All movements are essentially directional. An  unidirectional system is more efficient than any bidirectional or multi-directional (mixed) movement systems. Hypothetically all transfer systems are bidirectional. It is not necessary for the reverse transfer system to occur in the same time and space. However, when there are too many multi-directional movements within a given time and space frame, a clear identity of a transfer system is not perceptible. Within such chaos ultimately all movements cease.

 Transfer systems occur as:
  • point to point (direct system)   
  •  one point to many points (divergent system)    
  • many points to one point (convergent system) 
  • many points to many points (chaotic situation)

Transfer systems are either, open-ended or looped. Open-ended systems have a finite start-point and a termination point. Start-point is one where the first transferee element gets on the transfer system. The end point is one where the last of the transferee element gets off. It is also a point where another system such as the reverse, or parallel movement system begins. Looped systems are continuous systems and have no start-points or terminal points.

The intensity of transfer depends on whether the system operates continuously or intermittently. Continuous systems such as the  escalators, automated walkways, are governed by the speed of movement, while the intermittent systems such as the elevators, buses, railways are affected by the frequency of movement’s module. Both systems however have a traffic capacity limitation.

The efficiency of a transfer system is determined by the fact whether the system is parallel, inclined or perpendicular to the gravity. The additional effort required to work against or towards the gravity, respectively retard or add to the efficiency.

In a transfer system, people move depending on two counts,  anthropometric design of the system, and orthopaedic functionality of the transferee. On the hand vehicles or goods modules are carried by use of external energy through mechanical devices. Variable capacities of the transferee also affect the speed of transfer, and as a result the intensity of traffic.

 Transfer systems are disturbed when elements moving at different pace cause an unwanted change in the speed or direction of the general moving mass. Transfer systems become invalid when all goods and people reach their destinations, or when there is nothing left to transfer.

Transfer systems necessarily have start-end nodes, but most transfer systems have multiple exit and entry nodes or points of transfer on the route. Some points of transfer are very clearly defined, like a door in a corridor, railway station, but many others are not clearly delineated such as path or footpath without a barricade. Transfer systems that are exclusively directional, with high speed or of mixed traffic, require highly defined points of transfer.  At every point of transfer goods and people have to alter the direction and change the speed of movement to embark or disembark the transfer system. Such variations in movements at every entry or exit node reduce the overall efficiency of a transfer system, unless points of transfer provide necessary definitions. Points of transfer provide visual and other information about the available options. A subsidiary system often allows a slow-moving transferee to gain required speed and direction before moving over to the fast-moving main system.

Straight transfer systems have greater efficiency, than any sharp twisting turning system. Transfer systems directed towards gravity or any superior environment such as towards promising - enticing situations tend to have greater efficiency. Point to point systems are superior to continuous systems with many points of transfer on the route. Transfer system with designed points of transfer operate better.

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