If You Fall Onto The Tracks, Head For The Ladder…And More Good Stuff To Know

This entire Reddit thread is fascinating: an NYC transit subway conductor answers your questions, including what “sick passenger on the train” is code for (hint: you do not want to be one), what to do if you fall onto the tracks and a train is coming, and when (and when not) to pull the emergency brake.

The most interesting bits (in my opinion, anyway), in case you don’t feel like scrolling through the whole thing:

– “[Suicide-by-train] happened 136 times in 2010 (statistic includes accidental deaths). So about twice a week.”

– “‘Sick passenger’ is code for ‘dead customer ON the train.’ Often times it actually IS a sick passenger though – sick usually refers to some kind of bodily injury, rather than someone puking or passing out, and the delays are mainly from the MTA doing an investigation to cover their asses when that customer eventually files a lawsuit.”

– “‘Police investigation’ is the code for a suicide by train. Service will be disrupted for about a half hour, usually.”

– If somebody faints or has a heart attack: “For the love of god DO NOT pull the emergency brake. Doing so is going to KILL the customer, not save him. Now we not only have a sick customer, we have a sick customer who is stuck halfway between stations where EMS can’t reach him.”

– “The only time the emergency brake should EVER be pulled is if a customer is in danger of being injured/killed by the moving train (their tie is stuck in the door, etc), or if a parent and child get separated due to the closing doors.”

– If you fall into the tracks: “The best thing you can do is run as far down the platform as you can (in the opposite direction from where the train enters the station) and wave your arms frantically to get the train operator and passenger’s attention. Believe me, the passengers WILL be doing the exact same thing, as nobody wants to see you get run over and their train get delayed. If you can get to the far end of the platform, it gives the train more room to stop, and there is a ladder at the end of each platform where you can climb back up – do NOT try to climb up from where you are. So many people have been killed trying to jump back up rather than getting away from the entrance end of the station.”

– Weirdest story: “There was [a] train operator who saw a guy and a girl, both completely naked, both pointing a gun at his train from the platform. He floored it: ‘Forget it, the customers can stand to miss one little station at 3am.'”


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