Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I never imagined it would be edible.

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Subway guard rail

Prosaic! Plebian! But it would work.
  [vote for,

Folks fall in front of subway cars all the time. They seize, they stumble, they are pushed, they are chased - then they are crushed. It seems strange that the path in front of the car should be wide open.

I propose there be a 4-foot high fence separating passengers from the tunnel. This would be on hinges with a pivot point and a spring below platform level. As the train pulls into the station, in the last few feet before it comes to a stop it would push a plate which swings down the fence to below platform height. When the car leaves, the spring moves the gate back up. The gate would not be bars, but would be solid plates - to prevent people sticking arms or fingers through it, then being dismembered as the gate slides down.

Such a system would be purely mechanical. It would use the energy of the incoming car to drive it - energy currently wasted. It would help keep people from falling onto the tracks. It would not be expensive. You would need to grease it every few months.

No-one can prevent idiots from jumping on the tracks. However a google will show that most people killed on the tracks had no intention of going down there, but simply fell.

bungston, Jan 08 2007

New York Subway Rescue http://www.theage.c...81613.html?from=rss
Inspiration. But I love this story! [bungston, Jan 08 2007]

Jubilee Line London http://www.trainweb...rune/PSDs%20JLE.jpg
Platform Automatic Doors "A new feature for London Underground is the provision of platform screen doors - sometimes called platform edge doors or PEDs. There was considerable discussion over whether these should be provided, since their true value is in extreme climates where they can reduce station energy costs. In London perhaps their value is more in preventing suicides - London has 100-150 a year - and in showing the public that they have a modern railway. Certainly, at over £1 million a platform face, they don't come cheap. On the Jubilee Line, they are interlocked with the train door operation so that they cannot open unless the train is berthed within a +/- 250 mm margin. It takes 3 seconds to align and open the doors. Here is an example of what they look like. " [xenzag, Jan 08 2007]


       An excellent plan. A delay in the raising mechanism, though, would be especially helpful to prevent the plates from coming up while people are hurriedly trying to squeeze into the cars before the doors shut, or who are banging on the windows in pursuit of international criminal masterminds.
shapu, Jan 08 2007

       The gate would not come up until after the train had left the station. If someone took the opportunity to fall on the tracks right after the train left, it would provide maximal time to retrieve him or her.
bungston, Jan 08 2007

       baked on Jubilee line in London - see pics in Link
xenzag, Jan 08 2007

       Those are much slicker than what I envision. Much more spendy too. Though the rail would not do much to prevent suicides.
bungston, Jan 08 2007

       Elevators have this sort of thing, why not trains? But I do wonder what happens if someone's standing on the plates position when it's due to raise. Also, if you do retrieve someone from the track, you might have to climb over the plate to get back onto the platform.   

       Can you make it swing open like a door, or otherwise let them back on easily?
caspian, Jan 10 2007

       I fear people would take advantage of their ability to push harder towards the the train without killing anyone.
caspian, Jan 10 2007

       sp. plebeian
pertinax, Jan 10 2007

       Forsooth, in the fair city of Glasgow there was but Yesterdaye a Gentlemanne who, hatless, fell, perhaps with intent, into the Path of an Undergrounde Carriage, whiche Carriage was moving forward at a Velocity that was near galloppe. The Undergrounde Carriage – being of a Masse greater than that of the Manne, suffered little, though the Undergrounde carriage service was subject to Severe Disruption. The Gentlemanne, howsoever, was thoroughly dismembered and was dispatched poste-haste to the most convenient Sanatarium for Amputation and Lobotomie, this being the Usual Treatment for such Injuries as he sufferede.   

       Glasgow's Undergrounde Carriage Way is more modest than those found elsewhere in Cities of Brittanic Dominion, being as it is, but two Circles Concentrick, with Ingresse and Egress acheivable at a mere Dozen of locations. Withal, I feele that the Mechanick Solution to this most vexatious Problem, as proposed by The Rt Hon member for Bungstone Southe, should be implemented within Glasgow, as it is both Useful and Pleasing in its Imagined Appearance. For these reasons, Mister Speakere, I awarde the proposal my Croissante.
calum, Jan 10 2007


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