Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

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

Postby CRail » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:58 am

Urbey:

1.) No. When a motor blows, it automatically cuts itself out (well, the motor doesn't, but the circuit does), same as if you short something in your house and the breaker trips. Mind you, the smoke was not from the motor. When the motor blows it creates an arc, and arcing can light trash in the tracks. This is actually pretty common from third rail arcs but the train doesn't usually end up stopping over the fire so such an episode doesn't ensue. The doors could not open because not the entire train was in the station, and with OPTO, it's all open or all closed. You could open all the end doors up to the first car completely in the station, and set up the drum switches so that you opened only the doors from whatever cab you were in to the rear of the train (i.e. set yourself up as a guard mid train, and do what they used to do), but I doubt a motorman would be instructed to do that. One of the many reasons I was (am) very much against OPTO is because it's impossible for 1 person to control 6 car loads of people. It's not easy with 2 people, but just having the assurance of not being alone helps.

2.) Spot on. It's not a speaker issue, as Frank comes over clear as day (on ASA equipped cars) but manual announcements are often muffled. Process of elimination suggests the mics are junk. A worthy investment in my opinion.

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.

If this were an isolated incident, I wouldn't feel this way. There have been multiple cases of people smashing out windows in various situations (including the Red Line runaway, WHILE THE TRAIN WAS MOVING). Also, this was a fire outside of the train, on the tracks, not in it. Why would you want to open an airway to where the fire is? Sure, you can smell it inside, buy you're breathing filtered air conditioned air. This is people turning into a violent mob and I firmly believe it's for the sake of being dramatic, not self preservation instinct.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby BandA » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:19 am

How much trash is on the tracks? Why doesn't the T remove it as part of their standard maintenance? Or is it the ties that caught on fire?

Clear emergency procedures should be posted inside the train.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dieciduej » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:29 am

CRail wrote:If this were an isolated incident, I wouldn't feel this way. There have been multiple cases of people smashing out windows in various situations (including the Red Line runaway, WHILE THE TRAIN WAS MOVING). Also, this was a fire outside of the train, on the tracks, not in it. Why would you want to open an airway to where the fire is? Sure, you can smell it inside, buy you're breathing filtered air conditioned air. This is people turning into a violent mob and I firmly believe it's for the sake of being dramatic, not self preservation instinct.


Remember we are different, where we have be trained on trains and or firefighting. If we were to erase our knowledge/training, love of transit and so on what would we do? Most likely look for a way of escape by any means. That doesn't mean we wouldn't get killed in the process. Although in today's world it would be whip out the phone and video it or take a selfie!

I do believe we have become a more anxious/nervous and faster society.

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

Postby dieciduej » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:33 am

BandA wrote:How much trash is on the tracks? Why doesn't the T remove it as part of their standard maintenance? Or is it the ties that caught on fire?

Clear emergency procedures should be posted inside the train.


In that area there is usually very little trash as far as I have scene over the years. Also that is floating slab method of construction so the rails are mounted to the slab and no wooden ties are needed.

There are emergency door procedures at the end doors only and not at the main doors for reasons mentioned in earlier posts.

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

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:59 am

The MBTA never did a midlife overhaul the #12 fleet. Are the propulsion system and other key components of these still original equipment and only replaced when they fail, or have these systems been updated on the entire fleet without the full car rebuild?
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby Yellowspoon » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:52 pm

CRail wrote:... People should NEVER evacuate a train without being instructed to, and this bashing out windows nonsense needs to be called what it is, VANDALISM. ...
That is an absurd statement. And the fact that it was capatilized it only emphasizes its absurdity. You wouldn't be making that statement if someone had died. (Did anyone need medical attention?) In an emergency, and this was an emergency, there are no rules.

Why are passengers unable to open the doors in an emergency? The driver in car one has no idea what conditions exist in cars 2 through 6. Patrons should be able to pull an emergency cord to stop the train and instructions for opening the door should be plainly visible. The inability to exit a car in an emergency is absurd.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby rethcir » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:20 pm

If I'm in a crowded train (rush hour) and I see smoke.. you bet your ass I'm smashing the window.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby dieciduej » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:10 pm

Yellowspoon wrote:Why are passengers unable to open the doors in an emergency? The driver in car one has no idea what conditions exist in cars 2 through 6. Patrons should be able to pull an emergency cord to stop the train and instructions for opening the door should be plainly visible. The inability to exit a car in an emergency is absurd.


Again those emergency instructions/pull cords are located on the end doors of all of the MBTA rapid transit cars (Orange, Red and Blue lines). Take a look the next time your on the train.

There is no emergency opening of the main doors on MBTA rapid transit cars (Orange, Red and Blue lines). Reasoning if you bailout in a tunnel your first step maybe on the 3rd rail and zap!

Now on the MBTA light rail and buses (Green Line) there is an emergency door release above or to the side of the doors. Difference no 3rd rail, but you may get picked off by a passing train or car.

So the passengers have ways to leave the car in an emergency. Something I never thought of until firefighting training, when you go into a place, restaurant, function hall, hotel and so on, look for the emergency exits. By human nature the only exit we know about it the entrance we came in.

By the way NYC MTA cars are the same way for emergency exits on cars and they have 3rd rail coverboards.

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

Postby Head-end View » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:32 pm

There should be emergency door releases at every door, although they can be misused at times. But passengers still need a way to escape from a burning train if necessary. The commuter rail industry learned that hard lesson after the collision/fire deaths in Maryland in 1996. On the Long Island Railroad's M-7 cars there are door releases at every door. And while an electrified commuter railroad is a little different than subway, they are more similar than not. And the third-rail hazard exists on Long Island too.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:13 pm

[quote="CRail"]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![/quote]

I think you're wrong. If you're in a train, that's clearly in a station, and there's smoke and the doors aren't opening, do whatever it takes to get far away from that situation without harming yourself or anybody else. Be my guest and sit and hangout yourself if you want! To each their own. There will obviously be zero charges or consequences on anybody that broke a window or a door because, regardless of what you think, they were doing the right thing.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby RailBus63 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:09 am

The MBTA needs to take a serious look at this situation and learn from it. Blaming the passengers is ridiculous - the T utterly failed to properly take control of a dangerous situation. Passengers were left to their own devices and reacted predictably.

Perhaps there should be some sort of key control on the side of each car to allow an operator or inspector to open the doors on that car only.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby deathtopumpkins » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:56 am

Yellowspoon wrote:(Did anyone need medical attention?)


Yes, 3 people did. Not sure what for though (I heard smoke inhalation at one point, but not from a reliable source).
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby BandA » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:09 am

How about signs next to the side doors directing passengers to the emergency exit doors at the end? Do the end doors have emergency exit signs? Will the new cars have any different safety features? It's really too late to spend a lot of money on these cars short of an overhaul. Have they released official details of how the fire happened?
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby Type7trolley » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:04 pm

CRail wrote:Mind you, the smoke was not from the motor. When the motor blows it creates an arc, and arcing can light trash in the tracks.
Though it's possible that trash was also ignited, a burning motor can produce plenty of nasty smoke on its own via its internal insulation. Although power would quickly be cut as you said, the smoldering would likely continue for some time.

As for the "filtered air conditioned air" the HVAC blowers are hurting more than helping at that point. Those filters do not eliminate smoke and the system will continue drawing outside air in, quickly polluting the car and likely making it worse than the platform, the car being a confined space. Buildings are required to have smoke detectors in HVAC ducts for this reason, to shut the system down in case of a smoke condition. It's extremely unlikely that the 1979 Hawkers have anything like this, but I'd be curious if the newer cars do.

Don't all the rapid transit cars have external door release kick valves on the lower carbody next to each door? They could at least publicize these, as there's no way a passenger could open a door from the inside IE in a tunnel (we'll keep the interior ones on the down-low :wink:). A bystander on the platform (or the motorman) could have made quick use of them in a situation like this though.
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Re: Back Bay Orange Line Evacuation 10/26/16

Postby Disney Guy » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:12 pm

Right now I think it is hopeless to come up with an easy to follow emergency procedure that would cut down on the number of windows that got broken. There are just too many permutations of kind of emergency, where the fire is located, etc. For starters the train personnel (nowadays just one motorperson) has to size up the emergency before making his first move. Then it takes time to execute the procedure and, concurrently while the motorperson is brainstorming and then executing, passengers are breaking windows further down the train.

I suppose that (probably too late for the next batch of Red Line and Orange Line cars) some artificial intelligence could be built in so only doors at a platform would respond to passenger operated controls, perhaps simple pushbuttons as on the Blue Line cars. Then, too, that is one more feature or mechanism that could malfunction and lead to more in-service delays as the cars got older.

On today's cars the doors can be opened from the outside, but the motorperson or guard would have to go to each door, one at a time. (Or would some passenger who knew how to do it be nearby?)

A few more examples of panic leading to seemingly unnecessary damage and injuries. The Coconut Grove fire (people were tranpled). The Rhode Island nightclub fire. Capt. Sully's plane landing in the Hudson River (apparently someone tried to open a rear door that was submerged, shortening the time available before the plane would sink). An American Airlines plane that caught fire in Chicago yesterday. Some soccer games in countries I will not name (people were trampled).

Hmmmm. About the runaway Red Line train, did passengers know that something was wrong before the power was cut and the train stopped between stations before they broke windows?
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