Red Line Door Open While in Operation

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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:35 pm

1.

The door was fully open on the near side and partly open on the other side. That means that two door engines were either defective or cut out. The door circuit is "fail-safe" i.e.. no power - door closes.

2.

Given that two door leaves were not closed, the door interlocks on both sides should have been open. That means that the cut-out switch for the car must have been operated to allow the train to start.

Therefore we have two mechanical failures and a rules violation together creating the condition which allowed this to happen.

Then we have nobody noticing this from Quincy center to Andrew where the doors on that side of the train had to open and close four times, and the train operated for several periods at 50mph! Why didn't someone do something before Andrew? Some rules were violated somewhere! With one-man operation, the operator might not have been aware that something was wrong. The car was probably taken out of service for the defective doors and stored in Cadigan Yard awaiting a shift to Cabot. The operator probably grabbed it for service and didn't do a full circle check.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby wicked » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:04 pm

Author's note on the video: "I got on at Quincy Center and one side of the door door next to me wouldn't shut even when the train was moving. This is inside the tunnel pulling up to Andrew."

Author's additional comment (bolding is mine): "I actually got off at the Andrew stop and tried to flag down the train operator but she ignored me and then I ran upstairs and saw a transit police officer and informed him of the open door on the train and that it was inbound to broadway. I actually forgot about the emergency button on the end of the car to be honest."
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby Finch » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:29 pm

I don't think it's very likely that anyone would deliberately allow a car to remain in service with a door flapping in the breeze. That is an incredibly unsafe condition.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby CRail » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:51 pm

wicked wrote:Someone should get fired over this.

Well thankfully you're not the one responsible for the livelihoods of others. If a door opens while a vehicle is in motion, I think it better be instinct to get away from it. If not, Darwinism takes effect.

I'm pretty familiar with that door set up, the Hawker-Siddeley cars have the same door engines and I've worked extensively on troubleshooting Seashore's. The door leaves appear to be discharged, otherwise they'd be stuck in one position or the other (opened or closed). The relays had no impact on the indication which disables traction power, so either the door bypass was on or there was a relay problem (either stuck or not wired). The way the system is set up (as Gerry basically explains), if there is one thing cut out or not working, the door stays closed. The arm which pulls it open rests at an angle below zero degrees so that pushing the door only forces it down, this way the door cannot be opened unless that arm is pulled up. It is designed to be fail safe. Many of the delays experienced are because of door problems not allowing the train to move. So, these door engines were not in their normal configurations which is something the operator would have no idea about without being informed by someone who was too busy filming to remember a red button with signs and arrows pointing to it all throughout the car. What needs to be investigated is why the door components and safety features had been cut out or disabled, as it is way too coincidental for all of those systems to fail simultaneously on the same door.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:05 pm

CRail wrote:
wicked wrote:Someone should get fired over this.


Well thankfully you're not the one responsible for the livelihoods of others. If a door opens while a vehicle is in motion, I think it better be instinct to get away from it. If not, Darwinism takes effect.


This. I can't understand the whole up-in-arms over this... the operator did not know the door was open. Nobody pressed the emergency intercom, end of story.

Nobody is going to think it's perfectly safe to walk out the door, nor anywhere near the door while this is happening.

Everyone needs to relax. One occurence of a critical door failure in decades of MBTA operation, nobody is hurt, the train was taken out of service once the operator knew of the problem... and everyone is out for blood. Sheesh. Give me a break.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:00 pm

Aging equipment breaks down and needs to be either replaced or overhauled. End of story. Considering the length of time that this problem went un-noticed, I hardly think that anyone should be used as a fall guy for the T to be taken out "to show the public that they (the T) runs a tight ship. The cutting down of service on the trains coupled with the CSA, conductor, and operator's other duties which must be attended to will cause stuff like this to happen in an aging fleet. A cry to arms to "fire someone" isn't a fair nor appropriate call in each and every situation. Get real !
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby wicked » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:32 pm

My issue is with the passenger trying to get the operator's attention, and the operator totally ignoring her.

I understand OPTO makes running a train a more difficult endeavor, however.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby CRail » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:35 pm

This happened in what, the 5th car? How does anyone know the motorman had any idea the person was allegedly trying to get his/her attention from 5 cars away? There's a lot of jumping to conclusions and pointing fingers without having been there to witness what actually occurred.

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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby BandA » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:59 pm

Hmm, if I was on the train, and had a choice of filming the door, or pushing the red button so that my own commute got screwed up, I'd pick the first.

I agree, people should be held accountable when supposedly fail-safe devices fail. If there is negligence, I don't understand the reluctance of persons on this board to call it out. Meanwhile we are left with a fun video and the impression that the "T" is falling apart and nobody working there wants to get to the root cause, and the certain knowledge that the root cause WILL NEVER BE REVEALED TO THE TAXPAYING PUBLIC.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:00 am

BandA, your opening sentence to this previous post tells us where you're at. I had to read it twice to believe it as I originally thought that it read that to take action in stopping the train would be your first instinct. Had a child run over to the opened door out of curiosity, falling out to be mangled on the rails, would you have cursed him for causing delay ? Here are the most simple terms that I can describe this event to you; The cars are old and thus deteriorating. The MALFUNCTION happened briefly and in a section of the car which wasn't immediately noticeable by MBTA crew. Being human beings and falling into humanistic habits, there probably was an expectation that the train would not start with an open door due to fail safe mechanisms. This isn't the JFK assassination. Put in it's most concise form, THIS WAS AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY NATURAL DETERIORATION AND NO ACTION OR LACK THEROF WHICH WE ARE AWARE OF BY T EMPLOYEES AMOUNTED TO MALFEASANCE OR MISFEASANCE.(The same may not hold true for persons like yourself who would stand and film such an event and not alert a T employee or press a button.)
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby wicked » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:36 am

3rdrail wrote:The MALFUNCTION happened briefly


In fairness, the malfunction took place for 15 minutes or so.

An employee was alerted. The employee ignored the passenger's alert. That's the problem I have.

I do think this will give more attention to the T's deteriorating equipment issues than another story in the Globe or on Boston.com.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:10 pm

wicked wrote:
3rdrail wrote:The MALFUNCTION happened briefly


In fairness, the malfunction took place for 15 minutes or so.

An employee was alerted. The employee ignored the passenger's alert. That's the problem I have.

I do think this will give more attention to the T's deteriorating equipment issues than another story in the Globe or on Boston.com.

15 minutes as opposed to the length of a shift is "briefly". As far as the employee that "was alerted" - you're taking the reporter's mindset as gospel. #1- an Operator is not supposed to be dealing with incidents inside the train and is supposed to be concentrated 100 % on the operation of the train (That's why they call them "Operators".) It is the Operator to whom this person is referring to according to their own statement. Also, according to their own statement, upon going to the TPD Officer (who's job encompasses inside and outside the train) apparently, the officer took immediate action. So, therefore, the hysterical rant of being "ignored" is hard to swallow. What you don't seem to fathom is that this is the real world and not an HO model train set. On the HO set, you get notified that there is a malfunction and a hundred Artista little mechanics are at the scene in seconds. Real life isn't that perfect and a slight delay is within acceptable limits.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby CRail » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:16 pm

wicked wrote:An employee was alerted. The employee ignored the passenger's alert. That's the problem I have.

Were you there? Do you have concrete evidence of this? Have you heard a report where the operator said "I knew she was trying to get my attention, I didn't care."? If so, prove it. Otherwise, enough with the assumptions and fallacious accusations.

What we do have is an eye witness saying the system in place for reporting this type of issue was not used. That's where I have a problem.
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:10 am

I have never been an operator on the T or anywhere else, but I've spent a lot of time in subway stations. People often go running up to a train that's about to depart, waving their hands -- because they want the operator to wait for them. To keep schedules, operators really can't wait, right? How many times every day does an operator _have_ to ignore someone waving excitedly and somewhat incoherently, in order to do his/her job? We don't have any evidence that the operator knew that someone was trying to get his/her attention. We don't have any evidence that even if the operator knew that, he/she knew _why_ that person wanted his/her attention. We don't even have specific evidence that the person trying to get the operator's attention managed to get out any coherent explanation that the operator could have heard. I can picture myself running up the platform yelling something about a door and not making any sense.

As for the passenger forgetting to push the button or pull the brake, untrained people often don't use the safety features that are there in an emergency. People in burning buildings walk past the fire stairs to the regular stairs they're used to using, for example. Not everyone on the T is like us, secretly hoping to be the one that gets to call the operator or pull the brake lever. And as for the emergency brake, putting a crowded train into emergency could actually make someone fall over...and out the door.

Everything's basically OK, and maybe the T needs a bit more maintenance, as many of you have said!
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Re: Red Line door open while in service.

Postby millerm277 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:53 pm

You all seem to be missing the most likely reason no one pushed the button. It's not that they forgot it was there, they didn't want the hassle it was going to create.

As an average passenger I would think to myself: "The door's broken, that looks like a problem. If I push this button, they might stop the train in the middle of the tunnel or something, it'll definitely go out of service at the next stop, and then I'm going to have to wait 10+ minutes for another train to get me where I'm going, or even more if they have to tow it or something. That's going to screw up my whole schedule. Might as well just sit at the other end and ignore it (as the person at the other end is doing in the video)."

This is a major liability risk to the T. It is not, by and large something actually dangerous to the passenger (beyond maybe this videographer who's chosen to stand that close) in these specific circumstances. As such, they are not scared/concerned enough for that to override the desire to not delay their trip. The train is mostly empty, it's not like there's anyone on it concerned about falling out, and if they were, they could move somewhere else, you can see the entire row of seats on that side has only one person sitting in it.

The point I'm trying to make here, isn't what they should/shouldn't have done, or what you or I would have done, it's what the average person is going to do. Most people are not going to inconvenience their commute for a safety hazard that isn't an imminent danger to them.

EDIT: And why did the person wait until Andrew to alert someone when they got on at Quincy Center? Same reason. They didn't want the problems that were going to result until they got to their stop.
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