Skip to comments.Whizzing by takes on new meaning at Metro
Posted on 01/05/2011 1:19:55 AM PST by thecodont
WASHINGTON - When you have to go, you have to go, but exactly where some Metro train operators have been going is disturbing.
Train operators have routinely been using "pocket tracks" as restrooms, according to a recent employee safety report by Metro's inspector general. Pocket tracks are sections of track just beyond certain stations where trains can be stopped and parked.
According to the report, which looked at safety in Metro's office of track and structure systems maintenance:
"This safety and health hazard is the result of inadequate time being allowed at the end of the line for train operators to have bathroom breaks."
The report also says these unsanitary operators are "causing delays in performing maintenance inspections on some automatic train control (ATC) equipment."
That's double-trouble for the transit agency. Faults with Metro's ATC system were blamed as the main cause of the deadly Red Line crash in 2009.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtop.com ...
I haven't heard of anything like this on BART in the SF Bay Area, but maybe it hasn't hit the blogs yet (BARTrage.com).
Maybe the public restrooms are too dangerous to use?
There are no public restroom facilities at D.C. area metro stations. The idea is to make really certain you won’t need them.
Oh well, that fixed it.
There are several things about this story that make little sense. First, there are rest rooms in each Metro station for the employees (hidden for the most part and certainly not for the public). Second, from the train area to them...it’s a one-minute walk but they aren’t supposed to get off the train until they reach the end of the line (typically a 75-minute run). They just didn’t want to walk the extra steps to get to it, so they did it in the tunnel itself. Delivery drivers, cops, firemen, and lumberjacks do it too....so it’s not really a big deal except some folks consider DC Metro tunnels to be sacred areas where you can’t do anything nasty (on top of the puke, the dead rats, and leaking sewage).
For some reason, on my list of 100 problems with the DC Metro system (I ride daily)...I’d rate this as 101 and not really worry about it. It’d be nice to have escalators that worked or safe trains or buses that ran on schedule....but if the chief achievement of 2011 was to stop urination in the DC tunnels...well...it’s not much to brag about.
'The Parking Garage' Seinfeld Season 3 Episode 6
Allegedly there are, but you have to use the secret code word "Emergency" to get the station workers to unlock them. I've never tested that myself.