The Soviet Union has developed a variant on the escalator staircase which can be used not only at underground stations but also outside in streets.
The Soviet Union has developed a variant on the escalator staircase which can be used not only at underground stations but also outside in streets. The "miraculous staircase", as it is called, does not require the pedestrian to raise his foot, he simply walks forward and the staircase carries him upward.
The normal escalators, which are in use in underground stations all over the world offer a reliable service for passengers. They help them to climb or to descend heights easily and quickly with little effort.
The Russians argue that while they are useful for that purpose, they are nor suitable for underground passages in the street. Not only are they expensive and very complex, say the Russians, but more important they can not be operated outdoors. The snow, rain and even the sun-rays effect the complex mechanism and would put them out of action very quickly.
Soviet researchers have suggested, what they call, a more convenient and reliable escalator design; a mechanical staircase. Movement along this staircase does not required even the raising of a foot, one simply walk along as if it was a pavement.
This device has been designed for use in the underground passages of Moscow. The first prototype unit soon be mounted in Komsomolskaya Square, one of the capital's busiest spots.
The decking of steps in these mechanical stairs will be covered with asphalt to facilitate its operation in any weather conditions. The designers feel that the stairs of this type will find broad application not only at underground passages in busy streets in the larger cities, but in stone quarries, mines and pits in the country.