>Cool, so that was you then? I was on that train when that happened,
>standing at the very back. I must commend you for coming out to check
>on people and trying to explain something for which there was apparently
>no explanation. I saw one woman fall to the ground immediately and
>another stumble pretty hard. I was not holding on to anything but
>leaning against the back wall so when it stopped I went straight
>vertical and almost tipped over.
>I'm getting a little scared to ride the new Bredas. Once, I was on a J
?Breda car. I looked down to read after Van Ness, and I look up to see
>I'm at *Church* station. Turns out the train got the wrong signal,
>according to the driver. While he is standing there and explaining this
>to me the train takes off. This was *Before* the rollout of the
>automatic system. So the trains get the wrong signal to change tracks,
>they move automatically without the driver being prepared for it, and
>now they brake for no reason. I sense a possible disaster in the making!
>I think the fact that these bizarre things are happening in automatic
>mode is more frustrating to riders. Had it *not* been in automatic and
>some moron driver braked for no reason, we would have words. But then
>again, a driver wouldn't brake like that unless there was a good reason,
>or at least I would hope so. But who am I supposed to get mad at when
>the train brakes for no reason and throws people to the floor?
Thanks for your post. I'm really glad to get some feedback from a rider
who is bothered by this problem of unpredictable emergency brake
applications in automatic mode. Interesting that you happened to be on
that train on one of the rare days that I actually worked the subway! But
I've known about the problem for a long time. Other operators have swapped
"EB" horror stories with me. "EBs" in automatic mode usually occur on
downgrades, and most frequently when leaving the signal at the entrance to
the Duboce Portal, and at low speed, where the potential for injury is
greater, because passengers don't have time to react. But this was the
first time I'd ever experienced an "EB" elsewhere. I don't know if any
other operators ever had an "EB" at that location. When I gave the
location, everyone I talked to--managers, inspectors, operators, even Chief
Operating Officer David Stumpo--was surprised it happened there. But it's
a downgrade going inbound to Church Street Station, and the problem is most
prevalent on downgrades.
I think it would be a good idea for operators to pass out witness cards
whenever there's an emergency brake command in auto mode. We have to make
a miscellaneous report whenever we have an "EB" in auto mode. Our position
on this design failure must be backed up.
As far as being on a Breda assigned to the J and ending up at Church Street
Station goes, that's not the Breda's fault. It could just as easily been a
Boeing. It's the ATCS system's fault. See my post on this subject, which
will probably appear with this letter in RM Digest V001.n.316.
Green Light Rail Division