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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

This morning's train evacuation adventure (San Francisco Muni, J-Church line)

posted: Feb 6, 2004 12:38:47 PM

The J-Church train I was on this morning kind-of blowed-up! Actually, no explosion or anything, but a loud smashing sound followed by an immediate stopping of the train and the lights going off. After a few minutes, the conductor (driver?, engineer?) informed us "if you can hear me, we are going to have to walk out of here, this train is as dead as Julius Caesar!".

The train was about 100 yards out from the Van Ness station, so we were evacuated off the train (in an orderly fashion) and walked through the tunnel to the station (cool!). Lots of SF Muni guys were coming down into the tunnel, and there were a bunch who were being really helpful making sure everyone got out OK (very nice, thanks!).

All trains upstream (inbound) were (are, I imagine, since this just happened) stopped, and I think they were going to also stop some of the outbound trains before Van Ness (maybe so they could route some inbound cars on the outbound tracks?).

So, it sounded like something fell off the train. One of the SF Muni guys I asked about it said he thought maybe the ?panic platform fell off? (not sure exactly what he said, I was evacuating at the time ;-).

Anyway, it was an interesting experience, and it also reaffirms my appreciation of this train system—even in this kind of situation, things were being handled very efficiently.

So, if you are reading this on your mobile now in SF, Friday morning, and wondering why your train is stopped or why it isn't coming, hope this is useful ;-)

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Comment by: Tim ·
posted: May 19, 2004 7:04:25 PM

I live in Southern California and with the exception of the trains in L.A., there just aren't too many opportunities to jump on one.

But, I have friends in New York and London who take trains to their office every day. I've yet to hear any of them experiencing what you did Jay.

Pretty wild.


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posted: Mar 21, 2006 12:22:15 PM

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