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(Gawker)   Experts say that the best advice for people who fall onto subway tracks is to run to the end of platform, also make sure to smile big   (gawker.com) divider line 129
    More: Followup, train operator  
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8426 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Dec 2012 at 10:30 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-05 11:01:03 AM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: If you're unfamiliar with the schedule, or a relative n00b at the subway, how would you know for certain which direction to run before the train appears?


The signals at track level for the arriving train should indicate which way it coming from. If you can see any green or yellow lights, walk in that direction.
 
2012-12-05 11:01:47 AM  

fruitloop: I had no idea a head had that much blood in it. It's like a tomato.


It's a well known fact that the human body contains approximately 18 gallons of highly watery blood under intense pressure.

I just hope Jon iz teh kewl brought a big enough boat to troll all those fish back to shore with.
 
2012-12-05 11:02:46 AM  

Rakishi: Jon iz teh kewl: If 660 volts is enough to kill a person what the fark are cops doing with 1000000 volt tasters

Sigh, in the future I recommend you learn to google something before running your mouth off. It's the amps that kills you not the volts.The volts just make it easier to overcome your skin's resistance. A 9v battery can kill you, and has resulted in a darwin award in fact, if you managed to get direct blood contact on both hands.


i KNOW that. i'm just pointing out the fact that the person writing this article is a douchebag for saying something is DANGEROUS because it is a few hundred VOLTS.
 
2012-12-05 11:02:58 AM  

nburghmatt: BronyMedic: Guys, I've been doing some digging, and I found live video of this poor man's death. I warn you, it's NSFW and totally graphic, he literally gets gibbed by the train.

Graphic Train Station Security Footage

the cover of the newspaper upset me a little. no thanks.


He was joking, the video was a scene from the Suicide Club movie. Not real.
 
2012-12-05 11:03:39 AM  
If the dude who pushed him onto the tracks had instead attacked him mma style then it would have been OK to farkers because there is no good reason for a concerned citizen to randomly walk up and confront someone who is up to no good. Those sorts of people deserve a good beat down.
 
2012-12-05 11:03:54 AM  

ha-ha-guy: You'd think that would be standard everywhere.


Major parts of the NYC subway system are over 100 years old. It would be extremely expensive in capital and in lost station usage to retrofit all stations with such recesses under the platforms. The system only experiences a track-related fatality about once every two weeks, so clearly it's not worth the cost.

/besides, they would immediately become sleeping quarters for homeless
 
2012-12-05 11:03:54 AM  

ha-ha-guy: whizbangthedirtfarmer: If you're unfamiliar with the schedule, or a relative n00b at the subway, how would you know for certain which direction to run before the train appears?

The signals at track level for the arriving train should indicate which way it coming from. If you can see any green or yellow lights, walk run as fast as your short, stubby legs will take you in that direction.

 
2012-12-05 11:06:33 AM  

Jon iz teh kewl: Comic Book Guy: Jon iz teh kewl: If the platform appears flush with the approaching train, you could take shelter in the space between the two sets of train tracks. This is a dangerous choice, though, because you'd have to traverse the third rail, which carries 660 volts of electricity, more than enough to kill a person. A final option is to simply lie flat - there may be enough clearance for the train to pass over you.

If 660 volts is enough to kill a person what the fark are cops doing with 1000000 volt tasters

It's not the volts, it's the amps that kill. 660 volts with a shiatload of amps to power the onboard motors will turn you into KFC pretty quickly. 50,000V at .5 amps or whatever is enough to start involuntary muscle spasms and generally piss you off, but not (usually, there are exceptions and everyone's physiology is different) enough to kill you.

i'm perfectly aware it's the "mills that kill". the problem is what does that have to do with electricity?? wind energy??



Well played, looks like you got plenty of bites. Give yourself a bro-five.
 
2012-12-05 11:06:45 AM  
NYC subway's actually do have some safety mechanisms on most tracks. There are recesses on the walls of many stations that you can lean against to get out of the way of a train. In the center tracks there's also spaces to stand. These aren't accidental, they are intentional.

Worth noting however they were made 80 years ago... for skinny people. You fatties are going to get dragged.
 
2012-12-05 11:07:17 AM  

indarwinsshadow: Comic Book Guy: Jon iz teh kewl: If the platform appears flush with the approaching train, you could take shelter in the space between the two sets of train tracks. This is a dangerous choice, though, because you'd have to traverse the third rail, which carries 660 volts of electricity, more than enough to kill a person. A final option is to simply lie flat - there may be enough clearance for the train to pass over you.

If 660 volts is enough to kill a person what the fark are cops doing with 1000000 volt tasters

It's not the volts, it's the amps that kill. 660 volts with a shiatload of amps to power the onboard motors will turn you into KFC pretty quickly. 50,000V at .5 amps or whatever is enough to start involuntary muscle spasms and generally piss you off, but not (usually, there are exceptions and everyone's physiology is different) enough to kill you.

.5 is above 500 milliamps. Way above the threshold to kill you. It hurts at .01


I fail at the maths, you're right.
 
2012-12-05 11:11:03 AM  

DIGITALgimpus: There are recesses on the walls of many stations that you can lean against to get out of the way of a train. In the center tracks there's also spaces to stand. These aren't accidental, they are intentional.


They're designed to be used by trained track workers doing maintenance work, to allow trains to travel through at very low speeds without having to completely evacuate the tunnels.

It's better than nothing if you're a layperson and a train is coming into a station at normal speed, but it still doesn't offer guaranteed survival.
 
2012-12-05 11:12:22 AM  

poot_rootbeer: ha-ha-guy: You'd think that would be standard everywhere.

Major parts of the NYC subway system are over 100 years old. It would be extremely expensive in capital and in lost station usage to retrofit all stations with such recesses under the platforms. The system only experiences a track-related fatality about once every two weeks, so clearly it's not worth the cost.

/besides, they would immediately become sleeping quarters for homeless


As stations get retrofitted/go through the general maintenance you could take them out of service during off peak hours to put a few alcoves in under the platform though. They don't have to be sleeping human size, make them big enough someone could go cower in them in a near fetal position. That way only homeless midgets will use them for sleep.

Just toss in some LED lighting to mark the alcove and paint "cower here" in the alcove.
 
2012-12-05 11:12:53 AM  

Jon iz teh kewl: i KNOW that. i'm just pointing out the fact that the person writing this article is a douchebag for saying something is DANGEROUS because it is a few hundred VOLTS.


Fair point although I'd say it makes sense from a readability point of view here since it's an implied comparison against other high amp sources (including car batteries). The alternative is to mentions that it's both high voltage and high current which seems pointlessly pedantic in this case to me.
 
2012-12-05 11:13:12 AM  
Why do the trains come into the stations going so fast that they can't stop is someone has fallen onto the tracks? Do they really think that someone's impatience in needing to get where they're going is more important that a life?
 
2012-12-05 11:13:15 AM  
They need to get those mariachi bands out of the subway.
 
2012-12-05 11:15:13 AM  

occamswrist: If the dude who pushed him onto the tracks had instead attacked him mma Gangnam style then it would have been OK to farkers because there is no good reason for a concerned citizen to randomly walk up and confront someone who is up to no good. Those sorts of people deserve a good beat down.


/the only style I now accept
 
2012-12-05 11:15:34 AM  

Rakishi: Jon iz teh kewl: i KNOW that. i'm just pointing out the fact that the person writing this article is a douchebag for saying something is DANGEROUS because it is a few hundred VOLTS.

Fair point although I'd say it makes sense from a readability point of view here since it's an implied comparison against other high amp sources (including car batteries). The alternative is to mentions that it's both high voltage and high current which seems pointlessly pedantic in this case to me.


so is swallowing a 9 volt battery as effective as cyanide?
 
2012-12-05 11:17:58 AM  

Jon iz teh kewl: so is swallowing a 9 volt battery as effective as cyanide?


No, but it will kill you.

www.learningradiology.com

ars.els-cdn.com
 
2012-12-05 11:20:17 AM  

BronyMedic: Guys, I've been doing some digging, and I found live video of this poor man's death. I warn you, it's NSFW and totally graphic, he literally gets gibbed by the train.

Graphic Train Station Security Footage


Er, that's OK, I'm good...
 
2012-12-05 11:21:31 AM  

BronyMedic: Jon iz teh kewl: so is swallowing a 9 volt battery as effective as cyanide?

No, but it will kill you.

[www.learningradiology.com image 650x759]

[ars.els-cdn.com image 527x314]


i'm only counting 6 volts
 
2012-12-05 11:22:09 AM  

Frankenstorm: occamswrist: If the dude who pushed him onto the tracks had instead attacked him mma Gangnam style then it would have been OK to farkers because there is no good reason for a concerned citizen to randomly walk up and confront someone who is up to no good. Those sorts of people deserve a good beat down.

/the only style I now accept


In a couple days I just might call you on that. I'll try to remember to link to what I'm pretty sure will end up on YouTube...
 
2012-12-05 11:24:25 AM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Why do the trains come into the stations going so fast that they can't stop is someone has fallen onto the tracks? Do they really think that someone's impatience in needing to get where they're going is more important that a life?



A R32 NY Subway car has a mass of 36,260 kilograms. A train of four of them weighs in at 145,040 kilograms. The subway system would have to creep into a station not to have the momentum to squish someone.
 
2012-12-05 11:29:52 AM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: If you're unfamiliar with the schedule, or a relative n00b at the subway, how would you know for certain which direction to run before the train appears?


Run away from the light. Unless you just experienced severe pain. Then run towards the light.
 
2012-12-05 11:31:45 AM  
the best way to not get hit by the train is to stand firm, thump your staff on the ground and say "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
 
2012-12-05 11:32:58 AM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Why do the trains come into the stations going so fast that they can't stop is someone has fallen onto the tracks? Do they really think that someone's impatience in needing to get where they're going is more important that a life?


Maybe the trains should just never travel faster than 5mph.

Of course, that will turn a 30-minute commute into a 2-hour one, and multiply that by 5 million riders per day and you're wasting two thousand man-years of time every day, the equivalent of twenty-five lifetimes. So as long as train accidents are killing more than 25 people per day, we'd come out ahead.
 
2012-12-05 11:33:52 AM  

Englebert Slaptyback: If you were to fall and hit the ground at 30, 20, or 10mph you would at least get the wind knocked out of you. Now imagine trying to find a handhold and maintain a grip on the front of a train at that precise moment.


In pure theory, if you can manage to jump onto the train, subject yourself to less than 7 kN of force (since the pelvis breaks around 7 kN according to teh Googles), fly off the train and take less than 7 kN on the landing (and then the train stops before it runs off you) you'd be okay.

The reality is you likely get run the fark over. That said getting squished between the platform and the train is always the worse in that the momentum of the train will have a lot of time to act on you (and you're caught between metal and concrete). Trying for the ladders, safety alcoves, hoping the train has the ground clearance to pass over your prone form, etc, are all the best bet. However if the shiat hits the fan and you have no other option, the trying to grab the train is better than the platform squish.
 
2012-12-05 11:35:22 AM  

ha-ha-guy: Just toss in some LED lighting to mark the alcove and paint "cower here" in the alcove.


Sign would need to be multi-lingual. Do you think the text will be large enough to read easily if it's in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Korean?
 
2012-12-05 11:37:49 AM  

Jon iz teh kewl: BronyMedic: Jon iz teh kewl: so is swallowing a 9 volt battery as effective as cyanide?

No, but it will kill you.

[www.learningradiology.com image 650x759]

[ars.els-cdn.com image 527x314]

i'm only counting 6 volts


1.25V - 1.65V depending on the material. None of those are in series.
 
2012-12-05 11:39:01 AM  

poot_rootbeer: ha-ha-guy: Just toss in some LED lighting to mark the alcove and paint "cower here" in the alcove.

Sign would need to be multi-lingual. Do you think the text will be large enough to read easily if it's in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Korean?


I'm sure you could convey it with a picture just like every airline in the world does with their safety brochures. Plus you could have a graphic on the platform (or elsewhere in the station, in the train cars, etc) that conveys the existence and purpose of these niches.
 
2012-12-05 11:43:32 AM  
I doubt anyone could run far or fast while negotiating the ties and other assorted crap that lies on the floor of the tunnel.

If no one was willing to help pull him up his best option was to step over the rail and wait between the columns.
 
2012-12-05 11:47:23 AM  

bulldg4life: Ok, so, why haven't they designed lower profile subway trains that don't require such high platforms.

Too much retrofitting to decades old subway stations?


Same reason why they don't have automatic brakes. People would wander around on the tracks and cause problems.

Seriously, that's why. The only thing that keeps thugs from wandering onto the tracks is that it's so obviously fatal.
 
2012-12-05 11:47:26 AM  

Petey4335: Jon iz teh kewl: BronyMedic: Jon iz teh kewl: so is swallowing a 9 volt battery as effective as cyanide?

No, but it will kill you.

[www.learningradiology.com image 650x759]

[ars.els-cdn.com image 527x314]

i'm only counting 6 volts

1.25V - 1.65V depending on the material. None of those are in series.


they don't NEED to be in series. the hydroelectric fluid in the stomach provides super conduction.
 
2012-12-05 11:49:39 AM  

doczoidberg: The key is to stand firm, and confront the train.
If you don't stand up for yourself, the train will never respect you.


If only he'd had a gun he would be alive. He could have stood his ground and the train would have either fled or died. (Or the guy he was fighting with that pushed him, either way.)
 
2012-12-05 11:50:53 AM  

doczoidberg: The key is to stand firm, and confront the train.
If you don't stand up for yourself, the train will never respect you.



I don't know why, but this comment is making me laugh.
 
2012-12-05 11:52:09 AM  
I guess it might vary by humidity, but at that voltage, how far can the third rail arc? I've long wondered how feasible it is to step over it, to stand between the ceiling support columns between the tracks. However, I see in TFA that a redditor who says he's a conductor advises against that (and cautions that the third rail's cover can't be relied on to support human weight).
 
2012-12-05 11:55:19 AM  

doczoidberg: The key is to stand firm, and confront the train.
If you don't stand up for yourself, the train will never respect you.


Lol.
 
2012-12-05 11:58:50 AM  
Yeah, the platform is too high for most people to vault back on. Run away from the train is your best option. Usually there are two sets of tracks as well. Run to the set of tracks where the train isn't.

Although in a ffew panicked 10-20 seconds, many people may make the wrong choice....
 
2012-12-05 11:59:19 AM  

gittlebass: the best way to not get hit by the train is to stand firm, thump your staff on the ground and say "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"


Sure, that sounds good, but then the train grabs you with its whip and pulls you down into the abyss.

Which in New York is apparently full of pink mood slime.
 
2012-12-05 12:00:24 PM  
I doubt this guy if he had known about any track recess or place he could have ducked the train, or anybody else, would have had the capacity to get out of the way of the train after they had been pushed on the track. Anybody that gets pushed on to the track is probably going to be dazed for a few minutes, it is a pretty good fall, and not have their bearings. So just about all of us in the same situation as this guy probably would have ended up dead also.
 
2012-12-05 12:05:42 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Why do the trains come into the stations going so fast that they can't stop is someone has fallen onto the tracks? Do they really think that someone's impatience in needing to get where they're going is more important that a life?

Maybe the trains should just never travel faster than 5mph.

Of course, that will turn a 30-minute commute into a 2-hour one, and multiply that by 5 million riders per day and you're wasting two thousand man-years of time every day, the equivalent of twenty-five lifetimes. So as long as train accidents are killing more than 25 people per day, we'd come out ahead.



2.bp.blogspot.com

Looking at it that way, Jimmy Carter was WAAY worse than Hitler and Stalin combined.
 
2012-12-05 12:07:05 PM  

Amos Quito: Looking at it that way, Jimmy Carter was WAAY worse than Hitler and Stalin combined.


Well given Michigan has been "70 mph on the signs, but in reality your ass needs to be doing 80 mph or face merciless tailgating", we're basically the federal highway version of Auschwitz.
 
2012-12-05 12:13:56 PM  

TWX: Jon iz teh kewl: If the platform appears flush with the approaching train, you could take shelter in the space between the two sets of train tracks. This is a dangerous choice, though, because you'd have to traverse the third rail, which carries 660 volts of electricity, more than enough to kill a person. A final option is to simply lie flat - there may be enough clearance for the train to pass over you.

If 660 volts is enough to kill a person what the fark are cops doing with 1000000 volt tasters

It's the total energy that kills you, not the volts. Voltage just happens to be a bigger number than amps, which is more impressive. If they wanted to convert everything into Watts that'd be a much, much bigger number.

/watts = volts x amps


Incorrect. Amperage is what kills you. Going from memory, as little as 50 mA can kill you. Something like 100 mA means you stop breathing and your heart can't beat. Extreme low voltage DOES mean that you don't conduct (current = 0, in that case), but after you get above that threshold, it's current that kills.

Also incorrect: watts = volts x amps.
You are correct ONLY for DC. For AC, watts is the real component of Volts 8 Amps and VARS is the imaginary component. This is what "power factor" means. Its the ratio of watts to volt-amperes.

Additionally, for AC systems: Power(average) = Volts(peak) * Amps(peak) * 0.5
 
2012-12-05 12:21:41 PM  

kumanoki: Train platforms in Japan are built with recesses underneath the platforms that you can get in if you fall or get pushed onto the tracks.


Most modern train platforms have this. Not sure why ny subways do not. Not a huge construction project and would save lives.
 
2012-12-05 12:37:02 PM  

ongbok: I doubt this guy if he had known about any track recess or place he could have ducked the train, or anybody else, would have had the capacity to get out of the way of the train after they had been pushed on the track. Anybody that gets pushed on to the track is probably going to be dazed for a few minutes, it is a pretty good fall, and not have their bearings. So just about all of us in the same situation as this guy probably would have ended up dead also.


yep. Shocking enough to be minding your own business and find yourself pushed down onto the tracks. I doubt many people would have the presence of mind to save themselves after they've picked themselves up, thought, OH FARK, and then realized that a train is coming too, and they only have a few seconds to save themselves.
 
2012-12-05 12:45:09 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: how would you know for certain which direction to run before the train appears?


Unless you're at a terminal station (WTC for the E, Times Square for the 7 etc), trains usually come from your left when you're standing on the platform facing the tracks (there may be a few exceptions). When in doubt head to the nearest green/red signal.

/before reading this, my first instinct would also probably be to try to climb right back to the platform
 
2012-12-05 12:51:51 PM  

damageddude: trains usually come from your left when you're standing on the platform facing the tracks (there may be a few exceptions).


Depends on if you're in a station that has center platforms or side platforms. Or, in a number of cases, stacked platforms.

Also whether you're on an express or local track.
 
2012-12-05 12:58:03 PM  

damageddude: whizbangthedirtfarmer: how would you know for certain which direction to run before the train appears?

Unless you're at a terminal station (WTC for the E, Times Square for the 7 etc), trains usually come from your left when you're standing on the platform facing the tracks (there may be a few exceptions). When in doubt head to the nearest green/red signal.

/before reading this, my first instinct would also probably be to try to climb right back to the platform


Here's the thing, though: what if you're a tourist? There's little chance that you would know which direction the train is coming from, and at what time (though the distant rumbling will help that process). I'm thinking about all of my trips on the DC Metro. Depending on which stop I'm on, and the time of day, the train could really be coming from either direction (except for the outskirts). I have also had two conflicting responses: one that says run toward the red light, the other saying run away from it.
 
2012-12-05 01:02:52 PM  

SirTanon: Epic comment from below the article:

"Another way to prepare is to build up your body's resistance to electricity, so you do not have to worry about the third rail. It is kind of like a building up a tolerance for poison by ingesting a little bit at a time. I started years ago shocking myself with small amounts of electricity and then just building up the amps and voltage. This is often what murderers did in the old days, in order to avoid death by the electric chair.

You build up a tolerance quite quickly. Another ancillary benefit is that it seems to have a natural calming effect on the nerves. I suspect I could probably tolerate the third rail, now. Fortunately, I live in a city without a subway, so I don't have to worry about it. But if I go to the big city, I know I will be prepared. "



That only works with iocane powder.
 
2012-12-05 01:13:01 PM  

poot_rootbeer: kumanoki: Train platforms in Japan are built with recesses underneath the platforms that you can get in if you fall or get pushed onto the tracks.

A bonus of this design is that the remains of the people who suicide themselves by jumping in front of trains can simply be shoved into the recess, allowing the full shinkansen service schedule to be maintained until the nighttime garbage collection train makes its rounds.

There are also sluices to collect the blood and viscera so that it can later be pressed into surimi, or "imitation crab stick".


I see Mr Wiggin of Ironside and Malone is still up to his usual level of excellence.
 
2012-12-05 01:13:58 PM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Do they really think that someone's impatience in needing to get where they're going is more important that a life?


Visit NYC for 2 hours and you'll know the answer to that is "yes."
 
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