Sometime in the next 24 hours we will be switching European Tribune over to a new layout. This will involve a little downtime and no doubt some teething troubles. Do not adjust your set. - Colman

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I remember a documentary on TV about train drivers who couldn't hold down their jobs anymore because of the trauma. Among other things they talked about the memory of the barbecue-like smell produced by the hot brakes. Apparently people need time off and counseling right away. Conductors too.

Once I sat in a train that was just starting when the driver hit the emergency brake. Some imbecile, a guy in his late twenties (he really seemed mentally deficient), tried to catch the departing train by crossing the tracks right in front of it. The driver or the conductor (don't remember exactly who), extremely agitated, started yelling at the idiot's face, something about having to pick up human pieces, and threw his keys around. He had just been back from some time off after a deadly incident. The idiot was left with the police who had been called and after a half an hour the train left.

by epochepoque on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 02:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I've smelled that too - but wasn't sure whether it was a nasty figment of my imagination... My girlfriend has a better nose than I have, and didn't notice it at the time.

Without pointing fingers, I've been surprised since that the train company had so little to no outreach to passengers on possible trauma. Nor did I get the impression that there was a ready-made script for the passengers transported away from the scene - hundreds of people were dumped on a deserted train station, all connecting trains had left, not announcements or supervision were made, it took another hour (3 hours after the incident) before an alternative shuttle was arranged. For a company that deals with hundreds of suicides per year, it all took me as surprising, in retrospect.

by Nomad on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 09:30:03 AM EST
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The lack of a psychological approach towards the passengers is indeed surprising, if there is a (however imperfect) policy for crew. But the traffic situation might be an indcation of other things: a lean operation with little or no emergency consists where the default is to expect stranded passengers to board the next train (even if it is already full), a system in which those stranded with the last train of the day fare especially bad.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 03:13:03 PM EST
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In addition to suicides and crazy drivers, the third group of casualties I'm more angry at than symphatetic is people with total disregard of basic traffic and safety rules, so basic I remember learning them in first elementary. Almost five years ago, I wrote another diary on this with some case studies (thankfully none of them personally witnessed). I'm still non-plussed about most of those cases. Then again, having re-read the 1975 book quote in my above linked diary from a year earlier, I see such basic disregard is not exclusive to the youth of today (I mean that old man having his meal sitting on the rail and standing up just in time).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 03:03:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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