Friday, April 07, 2006

MacGyver



It never fails on Metro North's New Haven line. The railroad that's always got poor service, poor design, or disappointment waiting for its commuter.

On Wednesday morning, riding car #8701, I got to see a sight that I hadn't seen before...

As background, every side door, on every car has an emergency lever that can open the door. The emergency lever is hidden behind some fake wood panelling. The panel opens by turning two metal clips and then swings free. Once open, you could free yourself from the train in case of an emergency.

What does Metro North do when the two metal clips on the panel are broken? Does it replace what's probably a $5 item? No... they rip an Emergency Exit sign from the end door of the car and slap it across the panel to seal it shut. Problem? How will a commuter get it off? Got a Swiss army knife, screwdriver, or should a commuter pull off all their nails while trying to get free?

The pics:
  1. The panel with the sign stuck across it
  2. A close up shot
  3. What a normal panel looks like...
  4. ...with a working metal clip
  5. The emergency instructions
Perhaps we should amend the instructions from:
  • Listen for directions...
  • Open this panel
  • Follow instructions inside
  • Exit the train
to:
  • Listen for directions...
  • Find a weapon or tool
  • Break the seal
  • Open this panel
  • Follow instructions inside
  • Exit the train

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