Mystery locks in the Dutch trains

I take the train from Eindhoven to Schiphol almost every work day. And some time ago I noticed mysterious locks in the Dutch NS-trains:

For me it brought up some questions: does it have a function? If so to who? If not, why is it so visible? How did I not notice these before? Are these in all trains (after looking out for them, they are present in all trains of a specific model)? Why is the metal piece so large? Why is the metal gold coloured? Is there a mechanical system in the chair? Why is it placed where it is placed? Etc.

Thanks to TokyoMonorail (a friend of mine and apparently public transport expert), we have learned the truth:

It operates the elevator. No joke. It’s built for taking food trolleys up and down. It’s in between the staircases :-)

From a design perspective the locks still raise some questions, but sometimes you just have to settle for knowing that function of an object.

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