Girl was dragged by a green line train at Riverside!..

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Girl was dragged by a green line train at Riverside!..

Postby JayZ » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:34 pm

Just watched a report on the news. A 19 year-old girl was dragged alongside the tracks when her foot got caught in a type-7's door.

What happened was this: she fell asleep in the second car, and wasn't noticed when the train reached riverside. When she woke up she was standing in the middle of the riverside yard, with the doors closed, and no operator in the second car. She started to panic, and pulled the emergency release lever, the doors opened, but as she was exiting, the operator in the first car closed the doors and started moving the train, her foot got caught in the door and she was dragged with the car. She was injured, but not critically.

She blames the T for screwing up. I dunno. I'm NOT a big fan of T operations, I think they screw up probably more than reason might allow, but in this case I think the whole thing was just a huge scary coincidence. Who's fault was it really, that the operator in the first car - who probably didn't have anything to do with it, as he was replacing the operator who brought the train into Riverside, and was sure the trains was empty - started moving JUST at the moment when the girl woke up and was exiting the car...
The only one I see here that is to blame is the operator of the second car that was present on the outbound trip - he/she didn't check the car properly for remaining passengers who might have fallen asleep on the Riverside stop. But also, the girl could have first tried to figure out what was going on and where she was before pulling the lever.

One thing is for certain: this discovered a minor design flaw of the Type 7, that could get the T into trouble. Apparently, after the emergency lever was pulled, something in the door mechanism gets altered, and the doors do not recycle on the next closure. At first, it seemed a ridiculously insignificant flaw to me, but after thinking about it, I got to the conclusion that in order to get the train moving, the operator of the front car had to get a green light. So not only the door did not recycle, the car also reported that the door was closed, when in fact it wasn't, and got a green light. If ANY of the doors are blocked in any way, the car should not budge, and yet it did, and dragged the girl for a pretty long time, as - of course - the operator of the first car could not hear her scream, nor see her...

Sad.
JayZ
 

Postby NIMBYkiller » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:36 pm

I'm not a big fan of suing...but this one does make sense.
NIMBYkiller
 
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:24 pm
Location: Port Washington

Postby efin98 » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:40 pm

Her fault and the operator's fault for not checking to make sure that the car was fleart of passengers. She should not have fallen asleep and she should have waited for an operator to let her out. Lawsuilt will be thrown out, but the T is going to take alot of blame for it irregardless.
efin98
 

Postby jwhite07 » Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:49 am

The young lady's on the second car, right? She pulls the red emergency T-handle to open the doors and get out. That puts the train into emergency, and the door opens as was reported in the media. Now, unless I'm gravely mistaken, that train isn't going anywhere until somebody comes along, manually resets the T-handle back into normal position, and closes the door. And I am absolutely certain that the doors on the second car could not have been closed by an operator in the first car! Each car's door controls are independent!

Something obviously does not add up! The only clear thing is that it was a truly unfortunate incident.
User avatar
jwhite07
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:39 pm

Postby JayZ » Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:22 pm

The door controls are not as independent as you think. I've seen a number of times how an operator in the first car, after closing the doors and waiting for a while for the second car to do so, gets impatient and starts clicking the door switches again, even though the doors of the first car are all closed. I guess that if you click the switches enough times, the second car's doors also react. It would be wise to implement such a feature, as the FRA guard law might be changed again in the future... In many european countries' light rail systems the second car is unmanned, and operator of the first car controls all the doors.
Also, maybe, the independent door controls are only switched on when the operator panel is manned, that is only when the operator key is in the socket at the control station.

In any way, you can observe at almost any final station of a line, how the operator of the second car LEAVES THE CAR and walks to the operator's booth, as the operator of the first car remains alone in the train and takes it to the yard. The doors of the second car are closed by the operator of the first car every time that happens. So the door controls are not 100% independent, as you claim them to be.

Also, it seems, that a car in emergency status needs not to be reset. In the report they specifically said that the operator of the first car DID NOT KNOW that the emergency lever had been pulled in the second car, that also means there is no signal on the dash of first car that denotes the second car's emergency status...
JayZ
 

Postby efin98 » Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:55 pm

jwhite07 wrote:The young lady's on the second car, right? She pulls the red emergency T-handle to open the doors and get out. That puts the train into emergency, and the door opens as was reported in the media. Now, unless I'm gravely mistaken, that train isn't going anywhere until somebody comes along, manually resets the T-handle back into normal position, and closes the door. And I am absolutely certain that the doors on the second car could not have been closed by an operator in the first car! Each car's door controls are independent!

Something obviously does not add up! The only clear thing is that it was a truly unfortunate incident.


The train would not have even moved unless someone was inside the car to operate it. You are right, something doesn't add up. By the looks of her and the reports of her injuries she appears to be a shyster trying to extort money from the T. Time will tell though.
efin98
 

Postby trainhq » Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:05 pm

Anybody want to guess how much they'll try and get from the T? I'm
betting at least half a million, maybe more. Lawyers can find
ways of getting the big $$$ for stuff like this.
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Postby jwhite07 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 8:29 am

The door controls are not as independent as you think. I've seen a number of times how an operator in the first car, after closing the doors and waiting for a while for the second car to do so, gets impatient and starts clicking the door switches again, even though the doors of the first car are all closed. I guess that if you click the switches enough times, the second car's doors also react. It would be wise to implement such a feature, as the FRA guard law might be changed again in the future...


No. I have confirmed from a photocopied Type 7 operator's manual that, quote, "Door control is not a trainline function". Thus, you cannot control the doors of a second car from the first car. Every time I've seen an operator or guard leaving a car unattended, they either use the keyswitch next to the front door to close it, or do a less safe "click and run" where they hit the rocker switch on the operator's panel and then try to beat the closing doors!

While it is true that elsewhere in the world (heck, elsewhere in the US too!) that doors on LRV trains can be controlled by one operator no matter how many cars there are, that is not the case in Boston. We have a more, shall we say, traditional operating environment, work rule structure, and method of fare collection that makes it necessary to have an operator or guard on each car, and since that has always been the case and will be for the immediately forseeable future, the T has never bothered to add trainlined door control capability to the specs for its light rail equipment. The FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) has nothing to do with it because it is has no authority in transit matters, and besides, the Guard Law (which dealt primarily with rapid transit, not streetcar, manning levels) was a Massachusetts state law, and it was repealed in 1981.

The only thing I can think of that may have happened with this young woman is she pulls the T-handle only partway, just enough to unlock the doors and get them open a little, and tries to squeeze through. I've been told that it may be possible that if the T-handle is pulled partway, and not fully all the way over, it may slide back along with the doors (which seem to be slightly weighted or sprung to default to a closed position). Doors close on her foot, T-handle snaps back into place, the operator apparently ignores the alarm and panel light that had come on because it just cleared itself a few seconds later, with the known result.
User avatar
jwhite07
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:39 pm

Postby efin98 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 9:52 am

Thanks for clearing that up Jon.
Out of curiosity, can someone provide a link to the story from one of the two newspapers about the incident? No article was linked in the first post.
efin98
 

Postby JayZ » Sat Apr 03, 2004 12:40 pm

jwhite07: The girl did what the sign on the door said: "Pull the handle and push doors apart". The handle only releases the door lock; it does not open the doors. The doors must be opened by hand. The point is, that if she would have already opened the doors enough for her body to be able to squeeze through, there is no way her foot could have gotten stuck in the door. Plus, any way you look at it, the train still STARTED MOVING. That means that all the doors must have been closed.

I think the doors are not a trainline function only in the case of normal operation, I.E. when the operator's key is in place in the control panel of the second car. It would be stupid of Kinki to not include at least a partial trainline function for the doors as to when the second car is unmanned. Imagine if the operator of the first car just entered, switched on the train, and then realized that the second car's door is open. He/she would have to exit, walk to the second car, close the door and walk back... That is silly. Maybe it is so, but then how do you explain the fact that the doors DID CLOSE on the girl? I will try and ask an operator about this next time I'm riding a type 7, maybe they'll clear this up.

I do know that in the type 8's, the doors of the second car CAN be controlled from the first car, using the LCD panel, which also controls other train functions, such as coupling. Also, that LCD will inform the operator of the first car of any irregularity concerning any of the other cars trainlined behind. I wonder if the modified Type 7's are also fitted with such a warning system... If would be nice if they are, because such a system would have prevented this unfortunate incident.
JayZ
 

Postby typesix » Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:33 pm

Operators frequently click the door switches not because they are impatient. The green light doesn't come on individually in each car when their doors are closed, only when the entire train has doors closed. So they click the door switches to make sure their car doors are closed or to check door status. What jwhite stated sounds logical.
typesix
 
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:23 am
Location: Boston

Postby MBTAFan » Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:26 pm

efin98 wrote:Thanks for clearing that up Jon.
Out of curiosity, can someone provide a link to the story from one of the two newspapers about the incident? No article was linked in the first post.


Here you go: link to the article


editted to fit the window
MBTAFan
 

Postby efin98 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:43 pm

They have disciplined two Green Line employees,


One was recommended for discharge, and the other suspended for 10 days, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.


Joyce said she reached above the exit and pulled the emergency handle, halting the train and opening its doors.


Thanks for the link, found what I was looking for in it.
That settles the operation dispute. Two operators of the cars, not one. One must have ignored the warning light or not bothered to check the second car.

"Right now, my only desire is that the T be held accountable for the breaches in safety to make sure this doesn't happen to any other individual, ever again," she said.


I don't like that statement, to me it sounds like she is going after the money rather than actually trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. She probably should have worded it a little better.
efin98
 

Postby jwhite07 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:03 pm

jwhite07: The girl did what the sign on the door said: "Pull the handle and push doors apart". The handle only releases the door lock; it does not open the doors.


It does partially open up the doors... just enough so you can grab an edge and push the doors open the rest of the way.

The point is, that if she would have already opened the doors enough for her body to be able to squeeze through, there is no way her foot could have gotten stuck in the door.


Sure there is! She opens the door, enough to get out but not all the way open to the stops. Then she slowly lowers one foot down to the ballast (keep in mind the ballast is quite a bit further down than a platform would be)... now while her low foot is reaching waaaay down there trying to find solid footing on uneven ballast, where's that other foot? Yep, it's still up on the bottom stair, with the doors closing over it! She obviously didn't just leap down with both feet sumultaneously -- and it's ironic that she might have been better off by doing just that, even thought it's normally an excellent way to twist an ankle or bust a kneecap.

I think the doors are not a trainline function only in the case of normal operation, I.E. when the operator's key is in place in the control panel of the second car. It would be stupid of Kinki to not include at least a partial trainline function for the doors as to when the second car is unmanned.


The book says "Door control is not a trainline function". Gotta take it as it reads, Jay, and it reads no trainlined door control. Period. No mention anywhere of any alternate case. Now, whether or not the ability to trainline doors is efficient and smart (and I happen to agree that it is), if the customer does not require that capability in the design specs sent to the builder, the resulting car will not have trainlined door control. That's the case with the Type 7. So what if the guys at Kinki are scratching their heads as to how stupid that is... that's what the customer wanted, that's what they got.
User avatar
jwhite07
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:39 pm

Postby fm535 » Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:01 am

IMHO, the relays that keep the train from moving without a green light from closed doors, should not be able to be reset once that EMERGENCY LEVER has been activated, without it being physically moved back into a locked position, not just because the lever may or may not have swung partially back in place, and the operator can hit the door switches to close it. It sounds like a huge potential for more injuries in the case of an emergency.
fm535
 

Next

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Arlington and 4 guests