Just as a suggestion...
If you want to try and deal with the "annoyance" of being held up by someone taking their own life or whatever it is, I find the following to be particularly helpful.
... and if that still doesn't do it for you... Try a near death experience (mine was an apartment block fire one Christmas Eve) to wake you out of any "my life sucks" pit and then try the quote above again.It wasn't me... I'm still alive... Time to recount my blessings
It's not guaranteed but it certainly helps.
Most of this activity requires the line to be 'dead' (no traffic running except for trains / engines / vehicles need to get things going again, for emergency services, for security or a few very specific functions ... even the Royal Train or the PM stops for it usually!) to safeguard those working on the situation.
There are too many such suicides each year, but this actually gives BTP and other agencies enough practice so that they know the procedures, they work as fast as they can and things are running smoothly again. They know how frustrating it is ... but I am sure you would not want a fatal shooting or a bomb to be quickly swept up just so you could get on with your life ... especially if it affects you directly (eg loved one)?
There are big differences between road and rail. A car can divert easily - our rail system is so tightly scheduled (as someone else said) that this is very difficult for trains. (The reason behind this is because in the 1960s a lot of secondary lines were shut, thus leaving no easy diversion in most cases - and since then there has been huge growth in passenger numbers). Whilst, perhaps, police etc can work around a car accident scene with cones around, the same doesn't hold on the railways - the whole line has to be shut.
I know a fair few rail staff, and quite a few drivers who never return to the industry again. As for lack of information, yes it can be frustrating - however, the staff are unlikely to know when the service will resume, so don't want to give duff information. For example, if you had a teacher asking you when you would fix a projector and you were waiting on a part you had no idea when it'd arrive, would you give her an estimate or would you explain that you weren't sure?
On another note, the jumper often isn't killed instantly - when the paramedics arrive they may still be alive, and indeed in many cases the person can be saved.
Until the police, ambulance etc have finished, the line must remain closed - the simple reason being that only rail staff are permitted to be on the track on a live railway, for obvious reasons. Then, to re-open, there are set procedures - not to mention repairs of things which may have been damaged in the incident.
And, once the line is re-opened, the signalman is left with a huge mess to contend with. Trains in the wrong place, drivers in the wrong place. Drivers need breaks at defined intervals, which must be adhered to if at all possible.
Last edited by grumpy_git; 30th August 2009 at 11:16 PM.
My, what a load of tangential thoughts...
1) There doesn't have to be a crime involved or even suspected. Any death outside a few medical situations will require a coroners inquest. This will require evidence to be collected.
2) This has to be done safely, hence road/rail closures.
3) It can take a lot of time to re-open lines, roads etc as others have said.
4) HOWEVER, there are inherent risks with road closures; people are often involved in accidents primarily because the traffic is congested. I would expect better plans to be in place to divert traffic, and clear the bottled traffic if it looks like a 5 hour hold up is on the cards. Failing to do so is IMHO negligent of the DoT or their agents.
5) More information to those delayed must be a priority. Also some way to communicate from trapped/stopped trains (mobiles may not be usable) to request assistance for anyone needing it. On a hot day, dehydration could be a significant risk, likewise cold could result in further casualties.
6) I know the underground are investing heavily in better station announcements; I know someone who got the contracts for some stations.
7) More stuff that will come to mind.
The announcements thing is silly, IMO - London Underground realised that information was poor, but have made up for it by putting in loads of silly announcements. "There is a good service operating on the Piccadilly line" etc.
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