Another Suicide

In Europe, EEC Health and Safety rules mandate that all driverless or automatic passenger transit systems must have platform gates to prevent suicides or accidental falls onto tracks. Not so in Canada, as “Death by SkyTrain” continues unabated.


UPDATED: Massive delays after SkyTrain medical emergency

February 02, 2016


UPDATED: Massive delays after SkyTrain medical emergencyCrowds pack SkyTrain platform / Stanley Lai – Twitter

UPDATED: SkyTrain service should resume by about 6:45-7 p.m.


Commuters across Metro Vancouver are reporting transit chaos, after a medical emergency at Burrard Station set SkyTrain delays in motion.

The issue affects both the Expo and Millennium Line.

Trains are still running, but only single track.

Offficials have also set up shuttles between Waterfront and Main Street stations, and passengers coming into downtown on SkyTrain will need to switch trains at Stadium Station.

With rush hour in full swing, thatai??i??s meant major delays and lineups at many stations.

Attendants on site tell CKNW there is no timeline yet for resumption of regular service.


3 Responses to “Another Suicide”
  1. Haveacow says:

    This is a sad reality for rail systems worldwide. Unfortunately the true numbers across the planet, not just in Canada, are guarded by transit agencies with a level of security that resembles the security around nuclear weapon launch codes. Growing up a transit geek in Toronto I was always the only one of my friends who wondered why there were big orange boxes at the either end of Toronto’s Subway station platforms. I found out when I was much older that, the boxes contains a special sand and sawdust mixture, it soaks up the blood and goo from the crushed bodies after the poor soles are “picked/soaked up. Once their “medical emergency”is either considered hopeless or has been moved to a hospital and is switched to a clean up situation, the boxes are opened and used. The orange boxes I spoke of are located where they are because the spot of choice, on most train station platforms for suicides is at the ends. Its the place that most people usually ignore the most and if you pick the end of the platform where the train enters the station the operator or train control system has the least chance of stopping in time before hitting the person committing the act. The sad fact is that, most train station platform security walls and gates can be easily opened by the person committing suicide and only stall the act, they never stop it, a fact I for professional reasons, I am very reluctantly to admit to. My brother in law is a fire fighter in Toronto, who is often one of the “lucky guys/girls” who get to help in the clean up after the act is complete. He told me that, the vast majority of suicide attempts on the Toronto subway aren’t successful and often the person has to recover with terrible permanent disfiguring injuries/disabilities as well as mentally recovering from the suicide.

    I once saw a person attempt suicide at Yonge-Bloor station around noon, I was too far down the platform to stop him, he survived, you could here him screaming under the train as we were ushered out of the station. Being a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Navy, I have been in war zones and saw some horrific acts committed by so called sane, people and these terrible images that still haunt me. However, that pitiful screaming I heard that day, from that poor guy in the subway still makes me want to cry, I am actually tearing up thinking about it. One other fact from that day still amazed me however, how fast a steel wheeled train can actually stop when it needs too. It sure couldn’t have been very pleasant for the poor passengers on board having to stop that quickly! The horrible reality is that, once someone has actually made this decision internally, its a very hard act to stop.

  2. zielgerade says:

    I am not sure if EEC Safety and Health rules mandate platform gates as the quite new driverless and fully automated U2 and U3 lines of the underground service in Nuremberg don’t have them.

    Zwei replies: I read this from an article in Tramways and Urban Transit some years ago and I am trying to find the article. I believe if the metro or light-metro have attendants on board (VAL & Docklands), then there is no need for platform gates. Lille’s VAL ensures that roving attendants are on every train and Docklands have “train captains”. This is not for preventing suicides per se, rather to ensure customer safety.

    I was also told many years ago by BC Transit type, that Milan cancelled their “ICTS/ALRT” UTDC contract, in part, due to safety concerns and legalities. Vancouver took delivery of the “Milano” cars and they are easy to spot because the do not have end doors.

    In Vancouver in 2014, the SkyTrain stopped operation several times in the summer and with no attendants on board and the only communication available was with central control many km. away, conditions on the trains after 30 minutes in the sun became intolerable and thousands of passengers abandoned the metro and walked to the closest station.

    The problem with station gates is that you must operate only cars that conform to the spacing of the gates and again in Vancouver with the light metro operating ICTS/ALRT Mk.1′s, with Bombardier Mk.2′s, with different door spacing, it is impossible to install such gates.

  3. V CH says:

    stop calling them medical emergencies. it’s a suicide.

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