Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Train Operators Have Mental Boundaries Too

The people commit suicide via train are selfish and a**holes. They do it to Caltrain operators here in the bay area all the time. If you feel your life is so awful that you want to end it, do it on your own and don't get anyone else's mind involved. Really it should never be that bad but that is another topic of discussion. I really feel for the drivers that can do nothing but watch. It's sickening and there should be a campaign against it so that people who do contemplate it might think about the people they are hurting while trying to end thier own pain.


Justin said...

Wow. That's harsh. Suicides are awful, but considering how crappy your healthcare system is, maybe they could not even afford the help, or people are too self-aborbed in their happy lives to even care about someone else's demons. Your post just shows how self-absorbed people can be, and the failures of society.

Matt! said...

I agree with Justin. Though I read your blog every day, your posts often reflect a twentysomething-I-know-everything mentality; but this is over the line even for you. People do not commit suicide of this type with the intent to inconvenience others; they commit suicide because their mental and emotional states have left them awash in helplessness and devoid of rational thought.

I strongly suggest you learn more at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at http://www.afsp.org.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, the blogger isn't over the line. As one who has worked for an East Coast transit agency, and has seen co-workers after watching someone die, it's devestating. The fact of the matter is that it has little to do with the health care system, but with the individual's own issues.

As to Matt!'s comment, no, it's not to directly inconvenience others, but the effects that suicide by train has not only on the crew, but the passengers can't be overlooked-try to imagine being the engineer as you come upon someone, knowing that even when you pull the brakes, you will be inadvertantly repsonsible for the death of another human being-or the crew that has to then get of the train, walk the train to confirm the fatality. Yes, one person lost their life, but look at how many have been potentially destroyed due to this one act. That's why systems are beginning to look at ways to reach out to those who may be contemplating suicide, via poster and announcement campaigns that advertise ways to get help, people to listen.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a railroad employee, just an ordinary commuter who likes to look out the front window once in a while, and let me tell you, it really is a traumatic experience when your train hits a person. The realization that the foreign object on the rail is in fact a person, and that the THUD was the end of their life. I was physically ill afterwards, and it took several days to get over it emotionally. It's still somewhat painful to talk about. So please, please, don't kill yourself on the tracks.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I agree with you Justin and Matt! that suicides are awful. It's an issue that doesn't get enough attention partially because giving it attention would seem to make it worse.

However I don't believe that one person with these serious and under-attended issues should transfer them to many other people upon impact. I've heard too many stories of operators and now passengers who have been crushed mentally even when they should know they had no way of stopping what happened.

I'm in no way trying to say that people's issues and demons are to be ignored. I agree with anon1 that they are not intending in their minds to inconvenience others as they most likely are going through some serious feelings of helplessness. I am saying that there are serious consequences to taking the action of jumping in front of a train, not the least of which is seriously affecting the operators mental health such that it stays with them the rest of their lives.

cjh said...

Considering the prevalence of suicide by train in the UK, I'm not sure that the health care system has much to do with it, Justin.

Anonymous said...

Remember the guy that wanted to kill him self by driving in front of a Metrolink train in L.A. but some how derailed the train and killed passengers on board.

Spokker said...

The biggest problem is the amount of time suicide by train delays passengers. You want to be a good and sensitive person but the amount of time it takes to return to normalcy is insane. Enough is enough. Scrape them off the track and get those trains moving.

njh said...

I saw an 18 year old splattered by a v'locity high speed train when I was riding to work one day. He wasn't committing suicide, he just crossed double tracks behind the southbound train and got hit by the northbound. All because he wanted to save a little bit of time.

At 160km/hour, the train took a km or so to stop, and there wasn't anything much left of him. He just made a stupid mistake and ruined many people's day: the driver's, his family's, onlookers, people who were late for work. But he's totally dead: He lost the most.

I'll never forget the noise (I didn't see the actual impact, thank god) and the bloody smear on the front.

(On the other hand, it does annoy me when a car gets hit by a tram and everything has to stop. If the car driver isn't injured why can't the tram move on and leave the driver to contemplate their priorities? Perhaps it is for the tram driver's well being?)

Bob Davis said...

As a subscriber to the Trainorders.com website, I see all too many reports of people terminating their lives by stepping in front of a train, whether intentionally or from carelessness. I suspect that some of us would like to say to a despondent person, "If things are that bad, here's a gun with one round in it. Go off into the woods somewhere and take care of your problems." Many years ago I worked for a major railway, and I still remember a radio call from an engineer who had a young woman jump in front of his train near where I used to live. There could be quite a discussion about why it seems to be more common for desperate people to use a train for their final exit than a bus or a heavy truck.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I think one of the reasons that more people choose a train for a suicide than buses or trucks is that buses and trucks can swerve, and have a greater chance of not killing you than the train does. Very few people that attempt suicide by train fail. Even if just "clipped" by a train, major arteries and limbs can be hit, and the person is often gone by the time emergency personnel arrive on scene, particularly if not near a grade crossing or station.

I've responded to disruptions of various natures, and when the train involved in the initial incident is not near a crossing or station, getting to the train for any reason, whether to assess the scene or get to the passengers still on said train is not the easiest thing to do. The entire situation is difficult all around.

Justin said...

Pantograph: I totaly agree that suicidees should not be affecting others lives in such a tragic, and shocking way. My issue was with the tone of the blog post. Most suicidees(is that a word?) are probably not thinking about the consequences of their actions.

Personally suicide by trains has to worst way to go. One transit operator told me, that most people SURVIVE being crushed by a train. Not only are you alive, but you are worse off than before.

Oh, and the TTC can clear a suicide within 30 minutes.

Spokker said...

"Oh, and the TTC can clear a suicide within 30 minutes."

Someone up there should teach Metrolink how to do that!

The last suicide I read about happened at about 6PM. The train was not released from the scene until 11PM. All passengers were stuck for 5 hours.

Blogger is a Stinking Heap of Pig Dung said...

On the one hand I share the sentiment but on the other hand I gotta say that when people commit suicide the exact problem is they are in a world of hurt to such a degree that they are not thinking clearly.

In Japan suicide-by-train was such an obviously popular method that I think they did PSAs to discourage the practice. You might could save two birds with one stone: killing yourself with public transit traumatizes others and leaves a heavy burden on society, so maybe you should rethink the suicide thing.

Every person who hears a positive message and changes their mind about suicide-by-train is a win in my book.