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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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8421 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Dec 2012 at 10:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-05 01:26:31 PM
we need to outlaw all trains... these things are more dangerous than guns!

lh3.googleusercontent.com
 
2012-12-05 01:27:55 PM

poot_rootbeer: Also whether you're on an express or local track.


I knew I was forgetting something. Maybe the best advice if you end up on the NYC subway tracks is to look for the lit signal on your track and run towards it. At worse you get a little extra time for the train to stop.
 
2012-12-05 01:37:47 PM
This seems like a problem with simple technological fixes.

1. Big Button on pedestal near platform every 50 feet: PUSH BUTTON IF PERSON IS ON TRACKS

2. Surveillance cameras covering the entire length of the station track bed, connected to a motion-sensing computer that knows when trains are entering station. Nothing should ever be moving around on the tracks when a train is not in station, during normal operations.

,

Either one of these triggers yellow flashing warning lights at entrance to station and 500 meters out in both directions, so the driver knows to slow down and come into the station slowly, watching for anything on tracks.

3. Method for a train driver to reset the warning system from the train after entering station, if all-clear.
 
2012-12-05 01:44:00 PM
gawker sure is milking this story
 
2012-12-05 01:48:43 PM

Isildur: 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).


At atmospheric pressure (temperature and humidity are second-order terms), air breaks down at about 2000V per millimeter. So that 660V rail -- assuming you know that's what the voltage is -- is not going to reach out and whack you. I agree with redditor that it is by far best never to try to step over one, there are too many other things that could go wrong. But if the alternative is being hit by a train... step the fark over the rail. It is not some sort of sci-fi curtain of death.  And nowhere as dangerous as a downed multi-kV powerline... which will reach out and whack you.
 
2012-12-05 02:02:18 PM

whizbangthedirtfarmer: 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.


I don't know where the mysterious "third rail" is either.
 
2012-12-05 02:03:55 PM

Fooby: This seems like a problem with simple technological fixes.

1. Big Button on pedestal near platform every 50 feet: PUSH BUTTON IF PERSON IS ON TRACKS

2. Surveillance cameras covering the entire length of the station track bed, connected to a motion-sensing computer that knows when trains are entering station. Nothing should ever be moving around on the tracks when a train is not in station, during normal operations.

,

Either one of these triggers yellow flashing warning lights at entrance to station and 500 meters out in both directions, so the driver knows to slow down and come into the station slowly, watching for anything on tracks.

3. Method for a train driver to reset the warning system from the train after entering station, if all-clear.



My father just retired after 34 years as a subway operator and I've picked up way more than enough to address your points.

1) People are assholes. Aside from pranksters you are going to have people push the button to delay a train.Ever see people rush a subway and prop the door open so they can get on rather than wait for the next train? That triggers a safety switch that prevents the train from moving until a driver or other employee manually resets the switch and is the #1 cause of train delays.

2) Already exists and is standard operating procedure worldwide.

There is already a set of traffic lights to inform the operators of conditions ahead and how to proceed.

3) Also exists.
 
2012-12-05 02:04:13 PM

EddyKilowatt


At atmospheric pressure (temperature and humidity are second-order terms), air breaks down at about 2000V per millimeter. So that 660V rail -- assuming you know that's what the voltage is -- is not going to reach out and whack you. I agree with redditor that it is by far best never to try to step over one, there are too many other things that could go wrong. But if the alternative is being hit by a train... step the fark over the rail. It is not some sort of sci-fi curtain of death. And nowhere as dangerous as a downed multi-kV powerline... which will reach out and whack you.


Oh right, like we're going to take electricity safety advice from someone named EddyKilowatt.


:-)
 
2012-12-05 02:04:22 PM

Amos Quito: 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.


[www.thepanamadigest.com image 475x340]

Which is good, because those Japanese can be pushy.


"They used to call me Pusher..."
/Hated it that he was grenaded at the end.
//Was funny seeing all the jerries drop to give a clear shot at the guilty one.
///Should be enough hints for anybody.
 
2012-12-05 02:11:45 PM

Englebert Slaptyback:


Oh right, like we're going to take electricity safety advice from someone named EddyKilowatt.


:-)


blogs.ocweekly.com

You must be thinking of my cousin.
 
2012-12-05 02:13:12 PM

spentmiles: I was on the platform waiting for the same train as this guy. You can be sure that he wasn't smiling.

He was fighting for his life, probably thinking about his little daughter or son waiting by the door for him to get home that evening. Or how he'd been working really hard lately, dedicating himself to his recovery, and how it was all starting to pay off. Or what his wife would like for Christmas.

Looking into his face was like looking through a rip in the very fabric of reality. Underneath our thoughts and emotions is the primal energy that flees insecurity and death with every ounce of its power. I haven't been able to get the spiralling look in his eyes, like hypnotic circles, out of my mind.

I really wish that I could've grabbed him and pulled him up, but it all just looked so surreal in the viewfinder of my iPhone.


you never disappoint.
 
2012-12-05 02:35:14 PM
Not terribly familiar with subways since I only rode one once, but why do the trains not come to a stop before the entrance way and then slowly roll into the station? (kind of how roller coasters work)
 
2012-12-05 02:48:40 PM

OhioUGrad: Not terribly familiar with subways since I only rode one once, but why do the trains not come to a stop before the entrance way and then slowly roll into the station? (kind of how roller coasters work)


You could do that if you wanted an even slower transit system. On the whole there aren't that many injuries or deaths with subways when you consider how many people use them on a daily basis. A better idea would be if people would just stop crowding the platform and stand back from the tracks. Every subway I've ridden has a line clearly painted that you are supposed to wait behind while waiting for the train to stop and the people on the train to exit.
 
2012-12-05 02:52:28 PM

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?


In much (all? New York Farkers, help me out) of the NYC system, it's refreshingly simple; the trains follow the drive-on-the-right-side rule, like the cars on the streets above. If you're standing on an outer platform, the trains will come from your left and exit to your right.
 
2012-12-05 03:14:27 PM

cryinoutloud: whizbangthedirtfarmer: 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.

I don't know where the mysterious "third rail" is either.


Lesson learned: if you fall onto the tracks in any city other than NYC, you're basically completely screwed.
 
2012-12-05 03:15:42 PM

Maul555: we need to outlaw all trains... these things are more dangerous than guns!

[lh3.googleusercontent.com image 512x350]


Quite the opposite, every home in America needs 10 of them. Also, the super fast bullet trains are for hunting and engineering practice, nothing more.
 
2012-12-05 03:22:44 PM

OhioUGrad: Not terribly familiar with subways since I only rode one once, but why do the trains not come to a stop before the entrance way and then slowly roll into the station? (kind of how roller coasters work)


A subway train is many times the length (not to mention mass) of a roller coaster. Inching its way into the station would take much more time. Additionally, extra stops and starts waste a significant amount of power. (Currently only the 2, 4, 5, 6, L, and N train have electrically regenerative brakes. I think other trains still manage to recover some energy through the fact that stations were sometimes deliberately placed on a rise compared to the midpoints between stations, to let gravity assist trains during the acceleration and then let them store up potential energy as they slow down and rise during the approach to the next station. )

As terrible as this is, it's a relatively rare event, when you consider that literally millions of people ride the subway each day. You would probably save more lives, at less expense, by once a month employing a nurse at each express station to set up a booth and provide free blood pressure checkups.
 
2012-12-05 03:28:12 PM

RTOGUY: Fooby: This seems like a problem with simple technological fixes.

1. Big Button on pedestal near platform every 50 feet: PUSH BUTTON IF PERSON IS ON TRACKS

1) People are assholes. Aside from pranksters you are going to have people push the button to delay a train.Ever see people rush a subway and prop the door open so they can get on rather than wait for the next train? That triggers a safety switch that prevents the train from moving until a driver or other employee manually resets the switch and is the #1 cause of train delays.


Fine, then put them down where the track is. I certainly wouldn't jump down there and try and push a button near the track under the assumption that the Union POS actually wired the farking thing right or that some rat hadn't chewed a hole in the line somewhere. I know I know there are people Darwin enough to do it but at least you wouldn't have THAT big of an issue with it
 
2012-12-05 03:33:07 PM

cryinoutloud: I don't know where the mysterious "third rail" is either.


It's located outside the other two tracks (meaning, not between them), and looks different because the wheels don't run on it, so it's not load-bearing. The train just just has an electrical contact projecting from its side that runs along the rail. Most, if not all subway systems put the third rail on the opposite side of the tracks inside stations, so if someone goes down to track level, they don't have to cross it to climb back onto the platform.

This pic isn't NYC, but it gives an idea what I'm talking about. The third rail is the noticeably different one.

www.trackoff.org
 
2012-12-05 03:58:19 PM

kitsuneymg: 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.


Maybe you can explain something for me. My grasp of electrical physics is pretty basic - how does the whole "it's not the volts that kill, it's the amps" thing mesh with Ohm's Law, exactly?

By which I mean, Third Rail shock Vs. Taser shock. I=V/R

Both shocks are being delivered to a person, so let's just say the R value for a person is X.

So for the third rail, I = 600/X
And for the taser, I = 50000/X

So what am I missing that makes the taser, in fact, mostly harmless, and the third rail an instaBBQ?

Is it an AC Vs. DC thing or something?
 
2012-12-05 05:32:23 PM

Mega Steve: cgraves67: All right, big smiles everyone. On the count of three say "ChooChoo!"

[24.media.tumblr.com image 500x377]


That... that train wants to eat my soul, doesn't it?
 
2012-12-05 05:32:57 PM
The Insane Clown Posse called to remind us that no one really knows how Ohm's formula works and that it's really a big farking miracle..
 
2012-12-05 05:34:29 PM

China White Tea: kitsuneymg: 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.

Maybe you can explain something for me. My grasp of electrical physics is pretty basic - how does the whole "it's not the volts that kill, it's the amps" thing mesh with Ohm's Law, exactly?

By which I mean, Third Rail shock Vs. Taser shock. I=V/R

Both shocks are being delivered to a person, so let's just say the R value for a person is X.

So for the third rail, I = 600/X
And for the taser, I = 50000/X

So what am I missing that makes the taser, in fact, mostly harmless, and the third rail an instaBBQ?

Is it an AC Vs. DC thing or something?


mmm BBQ pulled pork
*droools*

cdn.blogs.babble.com
 
2012-12-05 06:49:50 PM

suziequzie: Mega Steve: cgraves67: All right, big smiles everyone. On the count of three say "ChooChoo!"

[24.media.tumblr.com image 500x377]

That... that train wants to eat my soul, doesn't it?


Maybe. This one DEFINITELY does:

www.conservativecommune.com
 
2012-12-05 07:17:20 PM

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 in that direction.


What if I only see a red light? I stop, right?
 
2012-12-05 07:56:34 PM

whizbangthedirtfarmer: cryinoutloud: whizbangthedirtfarmer: 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.

I don't know where the mysterious "third rail" is either.

Lesson learned: if you fall onto the tracks in any city other than NYC, you're basically completely screwed.


img690.imageshack.us

The DC metro has a recess under every platform edge in every station (see page two), and the third rail is always on the opposite side of the track in regards to the platform in every station. So if you fall on the track in any DC metro station, throw your ass against the platform wall and lie straight. If it's an open-air station or two-track station, you might be able to jump to the other track, but you'll have to deal with the electrified rail.

If you know the rules, falling on the tracks on the DC metro is a helluva lot safer than NY. They built that safety platform on purpose.
 
2012-12-05 08:04:47 PM

China White Tea: kitsuneymg: 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.

Maybe you can explain something for me. My grasp of electrical physics is pretty basic - how does the whole "it's not the volts that kill, it's the amps" thing mesh with Ohm's Law, exactly?

By which I mean, Third Rail shock Vs. Taser shock. I=V/R

Both shocks are being delivered to a person, so let's just say the R value for a person is X.

So for the third rail, I = 600/X
And for the taser, I = 50000/X

So what am I missing that makes the taser, in fact, mostly harmless, and the third rail an instaBBQ?

Is it an AC Vs. DC thing or something?


To grossly simplify the explanation, it's that you're thinking about two different X's.

X (the resistance of the circuit) is the resistance of the human + the resistance of the rest of the circuit. X_h + X_c, if you will.

The TASER has a very, very high X_c. The third rail has a low X_c.
 
2012-12-06 12:40:37 AM

namtok_muu: spentmiles: I was on the platform waiting for the same train as this guy. You can be sure that he wasn't smiling.

He was fighting for his life, probably thinking about his little daughter or son waiting by the door for him to get home that evening. Or how he'd been working really hard lately, dedicating himself to his recovery, and how it was all starting to pay off. Or what his wife would like for Christmas.

Looking into his face was like looking through a rip in the very fabric of reality. Underneath our thoughts and emotions is the primal energy that flees insecurity and death with every ounce of its power. I haven't been able to get the spiralling look in his eyes, like hypnotic circles, out of my mind.

I really wish that I could've grabbed him and pulled him up, but it all just looked so surreal in the viewfinder of my iPhone.

you never disappoint.


Please, PocketNinja would have written something 10 times better than if he put no effort in at all.

Also, iPhones don't have viewfinders.
 
2012-12-06 05:00:04 AM

Quick Fixer: China White Tea: kitsuneymg: 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.

Maybe you can explain something for me. My grasp of electrical physics is pretty basic - how does the whole "it's not the volts that kill, it's the amps" thing mesh with Ohm's Law, exactly?

By which I mean, Third Rail shock Vs. Taser shock. I=V/R

Both shocks are being delivered to a person, so let's just say the R value for a person is X.

So for the third rail, I = 600/X
And for the taser, I = 50000/X

So what am I missing that makes the taser, in fact, mostly harmless, and the third rail an instaBBQ?

Is it an AC Vs. DC thing or something?

To grossly simplify the explanation, it's that you're thinking about two different X's.

X (the resistance of the circuit) is the resistance of the human + the resistance of the rest of the circuit. X_h + X_c, if you will.

The TASER has a very, very high X_c. The third rail has a low X_c.


so the question is, can i cook a raw chicken with a taser? if u can maybe i should be a cop
 
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