From Mozart and Chopin over station loudspeakers to blue mood lighting and safety patrols, railway companies are taking proactive measures to prevent suicides, which wreak havoc on train schedules that run like clockwork.


Asahi Shinbum

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3 Responses to “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way”

  1. Eric the Read Says:

    What is little-reported is the effect these train suicides have on the people responsible for running the trains in question. The NY Times had a very good article on this a year ago:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/us/engineers-face-horrible-memories-from-deaths-on-the-tracks.html?_r=0

  2. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Eric and the article are spot-on. Many years ago I was involved in a lawsuit involving a very drunk man who was killed on the tracks in a station that the oncoming train was not going to stop at. He was hit at 98 miles per hour. No joke. He survived long enough to get to the hospital before he died. I was involved in a number of depositions of the rail road employees. Every one of these guys had graduated from high school, gone into the service and then gone to work for the rail road. The skills they learn are not easily transferable to another trade. At some point, an engineer may simply not be able to take it anymore. Then what? The engineer in the case I worked on was transferred to moving trains around in the yard, as he obviously needed a break from going over the line. It is a shame that so many of these employees are so affected by the actions of others.

  3. david foster Says:

    I saw a documentary in which an older experienced engineer was teaching the trade to a young woman. He warned her that it was almost certain that, over the course of her career, the trains she was driving would kill at least one person, and how difficult it would be to live with.

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