Platform Screen Doors

BostonUrbEx

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Isn't there an overhang on each platform with enough room for for a reasonably sized person to lay under, out of the way of the train?

Granted in a panic mode, it might be too much to ask for someone to figure that out.
I think a majority of platforms are like that, but perhaps not all. Some might not appear big enough to someone that they think of it, if the fallen person even notices the space is there that is. And occasionally it will be stuffed with wiring and conduits. Also, I'm not sure if all platforms have this (overwhelming majority probably do).
 

davem

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Isn't there an overhang on each platform with enough room for for a reasonably sized person to lay under, out of the way of the train?

Granted in a panic mode, it might be too much to ask for someone to figure that out.
I think someone survived that way recently, I can't recall the event however.


They have proximity sensors to detect if people walk into the tunnels from the platform, that are programmed to ignore small things like rodents or big things like trains. Is there any reason these can't be installed in the pit? Tie it into an in-station alarm to alert both the incoming train and anyone along the platform. I imagine it would be vastly cheaper than platform doors.


At the same time, I dont "get" how this keeps happening. Perhaps it was from growing up outside of NYC, with parents who grew up in the Metro area, but I was always taught to be respectful of the subway. They told me to stay away from the platform because crazy people can push you in for no reason. Even today if I'm standing within 3' of the edge I habitually stand with my feet braced against just such an event. Perhaps city's have lost too much grit, and people are no longer reasonably fearful of them. No matter how pretty we make it, citys are a churning machine that don't care if Kelly from Kansas is on her phone walking off the edge of a platform.
 

Nexis4jersey

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Because trains move fast? Remember, NYC has much longer platforms than we do, so trains enter the station at higher speeds. This isnt exactly a Harvard situation with a training moving at 3mph.

Same reason dude on the track didnt walk away from the train.
Blah , some trains enter at 45-50mph....thanks to the wonderful Rail community we have footage of every station....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stG20d7FrAo
 

Nexis4jersey

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The photographer claims he was running towards the man, and "using his flash" to warn the train.
Whats being floated around the Rail community is that he might have blinded the motorman or caused him not to see the guy before it was too late.... There was anywhere between 20-45secs before the train entered....
 

datadyne007

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They told me to stay away from the platform because crazy people can push you in for no reason. Even today if I'm standing within 3' of the edge I habitually stand with my feet braced against just such an event.
Ever since I was assaulted by a crazy at Symphony (never looked at him or said a word to him) and pushed while a train was approaching, thankfully further away from the tracks, I hug the wall at all subway stations in fear of this ever happening.

Whats being floated around the Rail community is that he might have blinded the motorman or caused him not to see the guy before it was too late.... There was anywhere between 20-45secs before the train entered....
Yeah, the cameraman's story is a coached cop-out story. It's totally bull. The photo is crystal clear and aimed directly at the subject, not the mistaken result of "trying to warn the driver" by a means that would actually impair the driver's visibility.
 

KentXie

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Another man gets shoved into an incoming train. Granted this doesn't happen often but it's terrifying to imagine one day standing and waiting at a train station next to your mom, dad kids, family member, or friend one moment and the next, he/she is gone. It's unfortunate that it may take many more of these deaths before any transportation agency in the US decides to implement platform doors.

Man killed by train was pushed onto tracks
Associated Press November 17, 2014

NEW YORK — A man standing with his wife on a Bronx subway platform Sunday morning was pushed onto the tracks by another man and was struck and killed by an oncoming train, police said. The assailant fled.

Police said an unidentified man pushed 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok of the Bronx off the platform at the Grand Concourse and East 167th St. station in Highbridge, an act that appeared to be unprovoked.

Kwok was struck by a southbound D train at around 8:40 a.m. and pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was not injured.

There was no indication that Kwok knew the man or had had an altercation with him before he was pushed, police said. Witnesses told police they believed the man fled the subway station after shoving Kwok and jumped on a city bus.

There have been three other incidents in recent years that involved a person being pushed onto the tracks.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/11/17/man-killed-train-was-pushed-onto-tracks/kTHJYdWRd15cC0YosBwsGL/story.html
 

cozzyd

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I suspect the fatality rate for subway riders is far lower than the fatality rate for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
 

Matthew

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Yeah, it's not much different from getting pushed in front of a truck. Terrible, in either case.

Except people get killed by trucks a lot more often than subway trains.

Platform screen doors have advantages for ventilation and should be part of new build metros but the value proposition is minimal for retrofits. You'd save a lot more lives by working on street-safety policies that lower the speeds of motor vehicles inside cities, etc.

Of course, we're not exactly a country known for measured and reasonable responses to problems. Hence the country-wide freakout over Ebola vs the collective shrug about the 33,000 deaths each year due to car crashes.
 

Arlington

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Platform screen doors have advantages for ventilation and should be part of new build metros but the value proposition is minimal for retrofits.
Platform doors are also handy for:
1) Keeping trash/debris away from track switches and 3rd rail
2) Faster loading/unloading (if trains stop precisely, people can line up)
3) Switching to Zero Person Train Ops (like airport people movers)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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These get publicized a lot more than road pedestrian accidents, but in real terms they're very rare. Even suicide-by-train is way rarer than suicide-by-truck with some dude just flinging themselves in front of a big rig.

Platform-screen doors are a good idea for new stations if you're building entirely new lines or have NYC-level ridership demand. But...boy oh boy is it difficult to retrofit on old stations. And it's way low on the bucket list of meaningful things to attempt to rebuild. I can't ever foresee an era where the MBTA is in a position to do it. NYC arguably has crowded enough legacy lines to consider it, but they too probably can't justify the structural difficulty of retrofits.


The accidents can be mitigated by more security cams and warning sensors. Not gonna stop the guy who jumps 4 seconds before the train, but if somebody falls on the tracks and the train operator has a security cam feed on his operator panel that switches to platform view on station approach it'll allow safe braking distance. Likewise a sensor for obstructions in the track area can tell the signal system (probably only a modern CBTC system...not the analog Red/Orange ATO system) to dump the emergency brakes involuntarily. Might send some standees and cups of coffee flying onboard, but it corrects for human response times and probably can make more of the close calls survivable.


No such options on commuter rail just because the track area is more open and the stopping distance on a RR is way longer. It's kind of remarkable (and a little disturbing) at how much mental health and grief counseling Metro North, LIRR, Amtrak, private contractors like Keolis, and some of the better-equipped freight operators have to keep on-staff to treat their engineers for PTSD after a suicide-by-train. There was a recent article in the (Times?) about Metro North's whole treatment process for that and how much it's advanced over the years. You start to realize what a toll it takes in the cabin, and how the odds over a 30-year career as a train engineer start to favor witnessing at least 1 traumatic event or having to face a colleague who's witnessed a traumatic event.
 

Matthew

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Platform doors are also handy for:
1) Keeping trash/debris away from track switches and 3rd rail
2) Faster loading/unloading (if trains stop precisely, people can line up)
3) Switching to Zero Person Train Ops (like airport people movers)
(2) and (3) kinda go together (yeah it's possible to stop precisely without computer control, but these days, why wouldn't you go whole-hog?).

So yes, I would support platform screen doors if it meant fully driverless operation (e.g. Paris Line 1 for a famous conversion). That's an example of investing capital for a major operational savings and improvement.

On the other hand, as F-Line notes, is it really necessary? Modern computer vision systems are good and getting better. They can probably react more quickly than a human operator to track intrusions. A bigger issue would be ensuring that the doors close safely at each station, and that nobody is being dragged, which platform screen doors help by creating an extra layer of sensors and wall.

From what I've been told, the remaining crossing gates on the NEC are all outfitted with sensors and video that allow an oncoming train engineer to know of any obstructions ahead of time. This is probably the best that can be done for such. And even full grade-separation isn't perfect -- trespassers can still get on the tracks. Just like what happened a few months ago down in Mansfield or so, with that SUV parked on the high speed section.
 

jass

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Even suicide-by-train is way rarer than suicide-by-truck with some dude just flinging themselves in front of a big rig.
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Do you have a source on this?

When I lived in DC, suicide was a weekly thing. However, it was never publicized, as to not encourage copycats. Usually was "police activity, single tracking at Farragut North, 30 minute delay"
 

cozzyd

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I suspect it might be related to the ubiquity of trucks nationwide, while only a few metros have subways?
 

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