Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

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Patrick Boylan
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Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by Patrick Boylan » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:55 pm

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130 ... n.html?c=r
SAMANTHA HENRY , The Associated Press
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013, 10:16 AM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - One man says people screamed and there was panic when an escalator changed direction at the Exchange Place PATH commuter rail station in Jersey City.

Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico says four people were injured when the escalator malfunctioned Monday shortly after 9 a.m. At least one person was taken to the hospital, but the extent of the injuries was not known.

Nick Lukish of Brooklyn, N.Y., says he was headed to work and midway up the escalator when the moving staircase started going down.

The 33-year-old says he saw a stampede of people at the base while others jumped on an adjacent escalator.

Lukish says he sustained cuts and bruises.

Two of the three escalators at the station have been shut down.
ironically there are some posts in the Amtrak 'Short of rebuilding Penn Station...' thread http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 55&start=0 that complain about deliberately inappropriately, in the poster's opinion, changing escalator direction.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:25 pm

I have to wonder if someone did this intentionally or if it was a mechanical failure of some kind...

Maybe it's time to get new escalators. They do actually slip a bit from time to time due to load.
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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by lirr42 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:11 pm

It was probably some sort of mechanical failure. EXP most likely took on water during the Hurricane, so maybe some of the escalators were messed up.

But I'm fascinated how the simplest of problems caused so much chaos...the escalator changes direction so you just ride back down and calmly try the other escalator... I mean it's not like the thing burst into flames.

And there's no real way for the public to change the direction of an escalator. What happens often enough (like what was mentioned in the Short of Rebuilding Penn Station) is the people use the emergency stop button to stop the downward moving escalator, then walk up it like a staircase. You'd need a key or a computer to get it going again.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by Patrick Boylan » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:34 am

Calmly riding back down depends on how slowly the escalator changes direction, and how many folks behind you, and how many of those lining up to get onto the escalator get out of the way. Although I can't imagine that it stops and reverses so quickly that anybody would fall over, there may be a problem if there are many people getting off a couple of trains who don't quickly enough get out of the way of those ascending folks on the escalator who now are descending, which may have been the case since
he saw a stampede of people at the base

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:27 pm

If you look at the video you can clearly see the malfunctioning escalator is going down much faster than the one that it was being recorded from.

Yelling stop - useless.

I've actually ran up the down escalators at WTC, so i think i coulda ran up this one and got off at the top, but definitely the last thing anyone would be expecting. I've had escalators stop on me numerous times. Those metal treads are not forgiving.
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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:33 pm

Next stop the square, journal square station next!

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by Allan » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:14 am

25Hz wrote:If you look at the video you can clearly see the malfunctioning escalator is going down much faster than the one that it was being recorded from.

Yelling stop - useless.

I've actually ran up the down escalators at WTC, so i think i coulda ran up this one and got off at the top, but definitely the last thing anyone would be expecting. I've had escalators stop on me numerous times. Those metal treads are not forgiving.
I have only been to Excahnge Place a few times and those escalators have always concerned me (did you know it takes 2 minutes to ride from the platform to the street? I timed it.)

I am no expert on the workings of escalators but from what I saw it would appear that the drive mechanism snapped or somehow got disconnected from the motor or the treads. What I saw was basically gravity (and the passengers weight) pushing the treads down. That is probably why the downward motion was faster than it would be if the escalator was going down under power.

Or perhaps the power failed and the braking mechanism also failed.

PATH and escalators - they are almost as bad as the MTA.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:52 pm

It is definitely related to the storm i think. Both headhouses were totally submerged in feet of salty hudson river. They totally did not put enough sand bags to keep the water out.
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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by lirr42 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:59 pm

You would need an excessive amount of sandbags to keep that water out. EXP is right on the water...even full on storm walls probably couldn't keep all that water out.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:53 am

Well, i'm thinking more along the lines of sandbags with plywood inserted to form a wall. On the other hand, that area is windy on clear days, they probably didn't want to put anything there that could get airborne.

All moot now. Maybe for next time they could have some kind of shutter system for where the doors are.. that they installed to seal up the whole place.
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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by CLamb » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:38 pm

lirr42 wrote:But I'm fascinated how the simplest of problems caused so much chaos...the escalator changes direction so you just ride back down and calmly try the other escalator... I mean it's not like the thing burst into flames.
For some reason most people are unable to fully grasp the concept of an escalator. I've seen folks get off of one and just stop--until the people behind start yelling. People also get aboard escalators without checking to see if there is room to get off at the other end. For that reason escalators have to be shut down in extremely crowded conditions.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by lirr42 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:49 pm

^But there's nothing more confusing than a stationary escalator, plus there are some people who could not manage to walk up a set of stairs by themselves...

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:37 pm

I think the weight of the people on the treads was forcing it backwards. It wasn't just an escalator going into reverse, it's like the drive chain slipped off or broke and the brake didn't engage, allowing the tread loop to move backwards under the weight of the people sill on it.

If the handrails were tied into the tread drive the handrails would have been going back also, making it nearly impossible without good coordination to climb off to an adjacent escalator.


"it seemed as if it was speeding up"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRSdK83OlE4

What would have been worse is if the lights went out - you can't see ANYTHING down there without the lights!
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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by Head-end View » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:28 pm

That's why it's a good practice to carry a Mini-Maglite or similar small flashlight when riding, in case the lights go out in a station or a tunnel.

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Re: Exchange Palce escalator accident injures 4 Jan 7 2013

Post by 25Hz » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:33 am

Head-end View wrote:That's why it's a good practice to carry a Mini-Maglite or similar small flashlight when riding, in case the lights go out in a station or a tunnel.
No kidding. After sandy i'm never leaving the house without at least a pocket flashlight.

Speaking of lights going out, it must have been interesting down at the WTC as the water flooded in from the streets and the power suddenly going out. I know 1 wtc had generators, but the station, church, veesey, w broadway & broadway were all dark. Not a place i'd want to be!!!
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