• "Push Button" Doors

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by jamestrains1
Doc Emmet Brown wrote:Tool is correct, only one slight error.. the dragging death was at Huntington not syosset.. it was a doctor seeing off his son, and at the time the platform had a slight bend on the west end.
The train actually moved only a few feet, and the dragging did not kill him, when he fell off the platform he came in contact with the 3rd rail, and was electrocuted.
Dec. 1, 1974 LIRR passenger Dr. Robert S. Donnenfeld is dragged to his death
after getting leg caught in M-1 car door at Huntington Station.

The "Passenger Release" feature was not used in route. It was used at the initial teminal, it was intended to keep the heat in, during the winter, and the air conditioning in during summer.
It did little good though, because the passengers liked pushing the button at their favorite door, and after a few minutes all the doors were open on the train.
The more effective way was keying one door open in each car, that kept the cars from losing too much heat, or AC.
After the dragging death of the doctor.. they started modifying the doors.
Before the doors were modified, the Conductor would press the door close buttons and there would be a ding, and the doors would close seconds later. The Conductor had no way to close the doors immediately.
The modification was the alarm type bell and the doors closing immediately, as we see on the remaining m-3's today.
One problem at first, was the RR started modifying the doors without telling the train crews.
This led to a funny incident at syosset.
Since syosset was on a curve, we had to step out away from the train to pass a hand sign to let the conductor know the doors were clear.
When we heard the ding.. we had enough time to walk back onto the train before the doors Closed.
So, you guessed it, me and two other collectors were passing the hand sign at syosset, and we had a newly modified m-1.. we leaned over the railing as we always did to pass the hand sign, and the doors closed and we were left at syosset.. we all got together as the train left and said.."what the heck was that" to each other.
True story, I had 2 years on the RR at the time, the 2 other collectors had several years. We had to call divide to let the Crew know we were left at syosset, and ask them to bring our gear to the NY station masters office. No cell phones then.. Pay phone or block line.
The two other Guys were George M. (from Port wash) and Ed K. (from bethpage) Not a bad deal, got out of working the train with a good excuse...
The full NTSB report on this accident can be found here:
Long Island Rail Road Company door accident, Huntington Station, New York, December 1, 1974
[National Transportation Safety Board. Bureau of Surface Transportation Safety] ; adopted April 30, 1975.
  by Arborwayfan
UTA TRAX and FrontRunner (greater Salt Lake City) use buttons to open doors. It's especially nice when boarding a commuter (FrontRunner) train that's waiting fifteen minutes at the end of the line before heading back the way it came: walk up, push button or tap ticket, door closes soon after so car stays warm or cool, as appropriate. It's also good on the TRAX light rail cars, which have so many doors that with all doors open they are practically open-air cars, but which often don't need all doors at most stations.

It seems to work fine.

I first saw this in Calgary. I think the MBTA Blue Line also works this way now.
  by deathtopumpkins
Arborwayfan wrote:I think the MBTA Blue Line also works this way now.
Only at Bowdoin, because the eastbound (boarding) platform is only 4 cars long. At all other stations all doors open automatically.