Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

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Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby danib62 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:09 pm

Stop if it seems like you've seen this before... https://twitter.com/StuartLong81/status ... 5009668096
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:25 pm

Christ. How many smoke incidents is this now?

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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby CSRR573 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:34 pm

so how much does it cost the T ti fix the windows?
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:28 pm

Orange Line is now resuming service on the entire length of the line, at approx 6:20pm. There was a shuttle running between Jackson Sq and Copley Sq during the outage between Haymarket Sq and Jackson Sq. I've never seen that done before, and I'm curious how well it worked. Give this was at 5pm, a number of regular bus routes must have been impacted.

Also, initial reports are citing that a traction motor blew out and ignited some trash. I've never noticed large accumulations of trash as NYC has, but it would seem it must occur often enough with all these trash fires that pop up. How does the MBTA currently keep the tunnels clear? Perhaps they need a hi-rail track vacuum and hit each line once a week.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:34 pm

From news video , I can only conclude that its about time for Boston Commuters to read the emergency procedures on how to open doors.
what a Cluster F**k
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dieciduej » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:47 pm

This is STRICTLY CONJECTURE my educated guess is one of the traction motors was a runaway, aka if the controller is off and the motor keeps running. Now since the train is in the station the operator would open the door, but due to the safety systems on the train that one running motor prevents the doors from being opened, it thinks the train is still moving. So now the operator in a pickle because they have to bailout and get to the car with the runaway and cut-it-out then manually release the doors, either way your talking at least 3 minutes without permission from OCC. If there is an Inspector on the platform I still think you talking 3 minutes.

Now 3 minutes of smoke to a passenger in a car is an eternity, now matter what the PA system is telling you to be calm! So your going to try to bailout any way you can, window, door, escape hatch, ejector seat, whatever. So us in the field that have dealt with this have to be mindful of what the persons in the car/cars who have never been through this are dealing with. Smoke, maybe some popping sounds, arcing and maybe some flames. We are all human.

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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dieciduej » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:51 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:From news video , I can only conclude that its about time for Boston Commuters to read the emergency procedures on how to open doors.
what a Cluster F**k


The only door with emergency procedures, on the Orange Line, are the narrow end doors, which since passengers never go through. So they wouldn't even think of it.

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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dbperry » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:38 pm

This tweet seems to include a plausible explanation of the sequence of events. I'm not justifying the operator's actions (or inactions), but at least we can understand why the doors were closed.

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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby octr202 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:55 am

DutchRailnut wrote:From news video , I can only conclude that its about time for Boston Commuters to read the emergency procedures on how to open doors.
what a Cluster F**k


Ironic point well made - I don't think any of our cars have actual evacuation/emergency instructions as you'd find on WMATA, etc. Probably about time we caught up to where others were years ago...
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby CRail » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:24 am

There are instructions on how to exit the car through the end doors. They don't want you opening the side doors as someone could take it upon themselves to do so in a tunnel and potentially electrocute a bunch of people. You CAN manually open them from inside the car, but the general public doesn't know that (come to Maine and I'll demonstrate with 0622/23). In a situation like this, there's probably greater danger to people outside the train than in it, and certainly better air quality inside the train than outside. People should NEVER evacuate a train without being instructed to, and this bashing out windows nonsense needs to be called what it is, VANDALISM. It's stupid and it's going to get someone killed. None of the windows are emergency exits for a reason, it wasn't a manufacturer oversight. I don't understand why the T's PR people don't express that, they need to!
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby jaymac » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:43 am

Absent instruction and training of passengers and periodic practice by passengers in incident protocols, panic seems a predictable -- even reasonable -- response by passengers in a confined situation to the actuality of smoke inside that confinement. Add a station being on the other side of the glass, and it again seems predictable -- even reasonable -- that passengers would take initiative to remove that transparent barrier to reach apparent safety. The operator may well have been on the PA system giving instructions, but the ambient noise inside the cars would probably have been far greater than the PA could overcome.
At the risk of betraying my age, it sure makes the days of having one guard for each pair of cars seem like best practice. This event should be remembered by the pro-OPTO faction.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby octr202 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:51 am

CRail wrote:There are instructions on how to exit the car through the end doors. They don't want you opening the side doors as someone could take it upon themselves to do so in a tunnel and potentially electrocute a bunch of people. You CAN manually open them from inside the car, but the general public doesn't know that (come to Maine and I'll demonstrate with 0622/23). In a situation like this, there's probably greater danger to people outside the train than in it, and certainly better air quality inside the train than outside. People should NEVER evacuate a train without being instructed to, and this bashing out windows nonsense needs to be called what it is, VANDALISM. It's stupid and it's going to get someone killed. None of the windows are emergency exits for a reason, it wasn't a manufacturer oversight. I don't understand why the T's PR people don't express that, they need to!


Thanks, now I remember that they are on the end doors. Can't believe I forgot about that.

Perhaps in the long run, it's worth having more visible instructions near the side doors. I suspect that most riders would think that there is no other way out except through the doors they use - they just never give any thought to it.

I also totally get where you're coming from regarding passengers not self-evacuating, but let's be realistic about the world we live in right now. We can't close the door on this issue now - public confidence is too low. There's no way you can tell someone who thinks their life is in danger not to self-evacuate when they don't have confidence in the system protecting them.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dieciduej » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:33 pm

Again emergency instructions can be a double edge sword. Instructions at the end doors will get a person into the next car and hopefully out of harm's way. Trying to get off the train between the cars is not easy, balancing on the anti-climber, pushing the pantograph gate out of the way and stepping on the platform or climb down to trackside. Oh, watch out for the 3rdrail, boy I miss at this moment.

I agree with CRail on the point about instructions on opening the main doors. In this case the bulk of the train was on the platform, but if the train was between Mass Ave and Back Bay going NB what doors should I open? The layman would most likely go for the doors towards the bigger tunnel space and not the space between the car and wall. That would get you fried.

I disagree with CRail regarding vandalism. Maybe my fire time is clouding my judgement but when you see smoke filling your space human nature is to get out. That may not be the smartest thing but it is the human thing. I've had people blow by me, with me dressed and humping hose, and go the wrong way into trouble. When I catch up with them, "Why did you go that way?", "it's the way I always leave the build." Just human nature not vandalism.

End of rant!

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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:11 pm

Two things need to be considered:

1. It is my understanding that the doors could not be opened because the operator was out of the cab, possibly trying to isolate the bad traction motor or something else. Once they or someone else was in a position to open the doors, they couldn't be opened because people had no information on what to do and were climbing out through the door windows. They'd be pinned and perhaps crushed as the doors are only designed for recycling when they strike something in the closing direction. It would thus be reasonable to assume that none of this would have happened had a second person been present to make announcements and/or open the doors prior to any panicked attempts to escape through windows. I was pro-OPTO, but I never realized the operator would need to leave the cab so much. We have an operator leave a cab on the Red Line and a runaway train incident ensued. We have an operator leave a cab on the Orange Line and a panicked response to a trash fire ensues.

Either the operator never leaves the cab, or a guard is still needed. Have the guard rove up and down (only feasible during non-rush) for security sweeps and customer service since having them sit around would be much less productive. This would also be a preliminary step towards POP, as the roving guard could check for proof-of-payment.

2. All of this is moot if the PA is junk, and guess what? The PA is often junk. A working PA system is a safety issue, not a customer service or convenience issue. A car with a bad PA system should be isolated from service. If it were treated as a safety issue, PA systems would be better maintained.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby DaWolf85 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:38 pm

It's also worth pointing out that some of the PA issues seem to me like operators aren't using them properly - i.e. staying too far away from the mic, not speaking loudly enough, not realizing there's a delay between the button being pressed and the riders hearing you, etc. I suspect not all operators have been trained on what riders hear when they do different things with the PA system, and don't realize how much a small difference in volume or position can be amplified when it's transmitted on the PA. So even if the PA systems were fully functional, I don't think the PA confidence issue would be solved.
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