The side grab rail, it is the rail that runs with the escalator. It is meant to provide additional support to the user. These rails also run in the direction of the escalators and at the same speed. It is indeed a great feature for the elderly users and in general every user of escalators. This rail or as more commonly referred to the handrail has a set of small wheels under it. Its made up of rubber and is powered by the same motor which powers the main escalator.
The only con side with escalators is that it cannot move people across large distances. However, they can move lots of people over the shorter distances. On an average, escalators moving at 145 feet per minute can carry about 10000 people in an hour.
Types of escalators:
Step Type Escalator:
The most common type that we see every day at malls and airports. The working mechanism of the same has been discussed above.
This type has an attendant attached to it. When a person with a wheelchair wants to use it. Then the machine is put on a special mode, where 3 steps will flatten to form a floor for the wheelchair. Once the wheelchair is on the escalator then spikes emerge to hold the wheelchair in the place.
Belt Type Escalator:
Here in lieu of steps, you have a flat belt to step on. They are used more to transport luggage than persons.