Thursday, September 9, 2010

Missing your stop is not an emergency

I like to say that if you ride the train enough you will experience everything. A while back on my evening commute home, the train started to pull out of Oceanside station and then there was a loud WHOOSH sound and it stopped immediately. After a minute the conductor came on, and said in an annoyed voice.

"Ladies and gentlemen, pulling the emergency brake without an emergency is a felony and you will be removed by the police. Missing your stop is not an emergency."

We all looked around, wondering what sort of idiot pulls the emergency brake. The conductors, exasperated, walked through the train looking at each emergency handle for the one that had been pulled, so they could close it again. The emergency brake releases a valve that depressurizes the braking system, thus applying the brakes, so that the train cannot get going again until the valve is closed.

Of course, the errant handle was in the last car of the train. The conductors quizzed the passengers and got a description of the kid around 17 or 18 with a skateboard who panicked when he realized the doors had closed, and pulled the handle. They found him, and after what I hope was a stern talking to, they let him off. I saw him jump on his skateboard and saucily swoop down the platform.

I thought that they should have kept him till the next station, at least, but as one conductor commented, by the time they got the police, and a report, we'd all be much later than we already were. So they cut their losses, and we rumbled home.


Spokker said...

So the lesson is that pulling the emergency brake has no consequences. Thanks.

IT said...

What can I tell you. That's what they did. I think they should have left the kid on the train and let him call Mommy from the next stop.