COMMUTING: Don't Touch the Third Rail
Gothamist reported this morning on the unfortunate death of a man at the Spring Street subway station on New York's C Line (Eighth Avenue Local). The death was due to electrocution from the third rail, the conduit that supplies electricity to subway cars. The Oculus, who has transit-safety training from a prior life, is amazed that someone (and the guy was apparently drunk) managed to touch the third rail. Unless the conduit is deteriorated significantly, the cover protecting the part that can kill you should prevent such things from happening. But I wouldn't advise testing your luck. Track beds are for trains. Platforms are for people.
In case you are interested in ramping up on your subway safety skills, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has a fun Flash animation on its safety guidelines, including helpful hints on how to evacuate a subway car in the event of an emergency.
"Death By Third Rail" [Gothamist]
... An Artistic Statement or a Fed-up Civil Servant? In an unrelated piece of transit news, DCSOB snapped a photo of a necktie tied around the ceiling handrail on a Red Line train car.
Randolph responds to DCSOB's post with this explanation:
If the rules I learned in college are correct, I beleive it technically means that someone is having sex on the other side of that door. Given that the train travels across the city, above ground and under it, the tie use falls within the bounds of the rule, in an Amelie sort of way.