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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
On the Rate of Horizontal Acceleration in Trains -vvw

One of the things really pisses me off is people stepping on my shoes. Unfortunately, it happens a lot more often than it should.

The reason is that many of the commuters who share the train I take to work have problems balancing themselves. Everytime the train jerks, they have to shift their feet and step somewhere else to regain their balance.

This reflects certain inadequacies in the train system. In my opinion, a well designed train should have an upper bound on the rate of change of horizontal acceleration (relative to the train carriage) that is manageable for an average human. Or in simple terms, one should not have to move one's feet to remain in balance while standing in the moving train.

I don't think this is asking for much, especially when trains in Japan have gone one step further by minimizing the horizontal acceleration by banking the tracks on curves.


-- permalink --
Yiheng made
10:10 PM

6 Comments:

I bet you do that to other passengers yourself too so don't complain!
By Blogger Soqcrates, at 10:33 PM  

Once again, soqcrates, you are mistaken.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 8:59 AM  

There are good reasons why you can't build banked tracks inside an underground tunnel. So for the individual, rather than lose your balance and step on someone's toes, why don't you take a step back first to balance yourself throughout the ride?
By Blogger Soqcrates, at 10:58 PM  

There are indeed times when balancing yourself is near impossible.
Try taking a ride from Bukit Batok to Jurong East for instance, something I do everyday. At about the midpoint, an announcement will ring "the train is changing to the middle track soon. for your own safety, pls hold on to the rails or handgrip". About a min later, the train will do a semi violent jerk to throw the people first left, then right. Believe me, nearly everyone standing will move.
The greatest irony happens on occasions when you begin looking around for grips as per the announcement, and becos you are standing in the wrong place, and becos the super-packed train has no extra room to offer, alas you find that there are NONE to hold on to. The second irony is that theres a greater chance of this scenario happening on the newer trains, which seems to be so designed to have lesser handgrips at certain locations. I can never really totally understand this.

By Anonymous Anthony, at 4:35 PM  

I have no problems balancing myself because I use my umbrella as a third point of contact with the floor if there are no handgrips within reach. But I can't help it when other people lose their balance and step on my shoes.

From my experience, the East-West Line is a lot worse than the newer Northeast Line, at least between Outram Park and Tiong Bahru where I usually travel. I can only imagine what it must be like at Jurong East.

By Anonymous yiheng, at 11:47 PM  

I can play psp and balance myself on the train with my 3 inch heels. I get up on the train at Jurong East too, it's not so bad.
By Blogger fEatHeRs, at 1:01 PM  

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