Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by CLamb
I saw on a television news report that 55 deaths were caused by train collisions last year. If one happens to find oneself on the track at a station with a train bearing down when is the best thing to do assuming one can't sprint to the end of the platform or climb up on it in time. Is there enough clearance under the train for it to pass over a non-obese person? Is there enough clearance between tracks or is that too close to the 3rd rail?
  by lirr42
Yeah, at most stations, and if you aren't accustomed to eating large amounts of crap, you could might be able to lie down in the well between the tracks (but seeing some of the stuff in the middle of those tracks, I might take my chances with the train ;-)). You might all also be able to squeeze in between the two tracks as well, but the layouts and designs of all hundred-something stations are all different and it would take a while to detail them all. Naturally, the best advise is to stand well back from the platform edge and not fall off the platform in the first place ;-)
  by SlowFreight
Run away from the train and head into the tunnel, because you know it can stop short of the end of the platform, and possibly faster once the motorman sees that you're down there. You might even have time to climb up the steps and get back onto the platform.

If you can't get off the track in time, get under the platform if you can (this works in many old IND stations). Lay down in the corner outside the rail if you can't get under the platform. Don't do this within third-rail striking distance or the third rail shoe will mess you up--this means you'll want to roll away from the third rail side of the track, but you will still have to worry about the shoes because both sides have them. I'm not a big fan of the middle trough because I'd rather have the train next to me than above me. Unfortunately, when there's nice person-shielding steel columns between parallel tracks, you'll almost always have to step on/over the third rail shields to get to safety. Still, it's an option and you're probably safe as long as you don't touch both rails; DC doesn't arc through the air the way AC does, and you can't ground yourself out with DC quite the same way you can with AC.
  by DaveBarraza
Step one: PREVENTION!!!!! Stand the heck back from the edge, FCOL.

If the ties go all the way across (there is no drainage trough) YOU WILL NOT FIT.

If you cannot see a large space that is under the platform, then don't go there. A lot of these openings have been fenced off as well, so look out. Rats and homeless people live down there, so hope you get along with rodents and schizophrenics.

I would never, ever, try the "corner" on the non-3rd-rail side. Death. You'll have no way to gauge that one until its way too late.

Running on the tracks, as suggested above, is much much harder than running on a flat sidewalk. There are innumerable things to trip on, and then there's the ever-present subway sludge which is a tremendous slipping hazard. WALK carefully IF you have the time.

Clearance niches work great, and as long as you stay calm, stepping over the third rail to get there is not so problematic. The wooden protection board is wider than the rail is. Between columns works too, just watch the traffic on the adjacent track. Stand sideways and center you shoulders between the columns.

Don't assume that trains can stop shorter than their car stop marker. Proficient train operators often take a full brake application in the middle of the station and stop right on the mark, but there's no headroom there. (Full service braking is air brakes AND dynamic brakes, emergency braking is only air brakes. The train is not practically going to stop any sooner from 30mph if the operator lets go of the handle and dumps the train.)

Again, please, please observe step one above.
  by farecard
If visiting DC and taking the Metro:

Roll under the platform edge.

Every station has an overhanging platform edge with room to shelter you. The third rail is on the opposite site.
You do need to avoid the third rail shoes on your side of each car.