Solutions in Motion™

    Why Pneumatic Rodless Cylinders are Ideal for Passenger Train Doors

    Posted by Troy Branham on Nov 14 ,2018

    pneumatic rodless cylindersPassenger train doors have to work smoothly, quietly, safely, and reliably. Often, they have to function in extreme conditions, where heat and/or humidity are very high, or temperatures are well below zero. They have to endure constant vibration and frequent shocks, no matter how well-maintained the railroad tracks. And passenger train doors are heavy. This is a job for pneumatic rodless cylinders.

    Here's why pneumatic operating systems are the ideal choice for both internal and external passenger train doors.


    Pneumatic driven door operators (a.k.a. pneumatic rodless cylinders) work with the air pressure system which is already used on trains for other purposes such as braking. So, there is no need to add more cost by implementing a second electronic system.

    On long-distance passenger trains, doors do not have to open and close very often. Furthermore, opening and closing speed is not an issue, as it can be with short-run trains on tight schedules. In this less demanding type of installation, a pneumatic-driven door operator is absolutely reliable yet less costly than other types of cylinders would be. (As an analogy, both a Porsche and a Prius will get you to the grocery store, but it will be less expensive driving a Prius.)


    Pneumatic-driven door operators are worry-free, reliable, and easy to handle, providing tens of millions of linear feet of travel. You may not think of cylinder lifespan in quite that way, but you get the idea — like the Energizer Bunny, pneumatic rodless cylinders just keep going.

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     Pneumatic Rodless Cylinder Operating a Passenger Train Door

    Compact Size

    Pneumatic-driven operators offer the decisive advantage of a very compact design. They do not require extra space for opening and closing the train door whereas cylinders that use a rod (for example, an ISO/NFPA cylinder or an electric actuator) need more room to accommodate the rod as it extends. Pneumatic rodless cylinders can save as much as 45% of the body length.


    Passenger train doors are either open or closed. There is no intermediate door position required. This simple linear motion is the sweet spot for pneumatic rodless cylinders. That said, pneumatic-driven door operators can be configured or customized with the specified internal cushioning length, based on door weights and travel speeds. This provides smoother breakaway when accelerating, and it enables the door to decelerate safely.


    Train owners and operators have to consider passenger safety above all else. Should a passenger or some other object interfere with door operation, pneumatic-driven door operators and the pneumatic circuit reduce driven force faster and safer. Pneumatic operators can also be easily disconnected from the door during emergencies when quick access is needed.

    These myriad attributes of pneumatic rodless cylinders make them an ideal choice for many applications beyond passenger train doors. Want to know more? Just give us a call, or drop us an email.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators