L train service was suspended during the morning rush today when the emergency brakes were activated on a Brooklyn-bound train. Mondays, amirite?
Service has resumed, but with residual delays. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says the emergency brakes were activated shortly before 8:30 a.m., and service resumed at 9 a.m. It's unclear if a passenger pulled the emergency brake. According to Lisberg, the brakes could have been triggered by an obstruction on the tracks:
Every train car has small devices hanging off of them near the wheels that trip the emergency brakes if they encounter an obstacle. So if some debris is on the roadway, it stops the train to make sure it doesn’t cause damage. (I’ve seen a couple of alerts for basketballs on the tracks which stopped trains, would you believe.) When the brakes go into emergency, the operator has to take a flashlight and leave the cab to walk all the way around the train, try to find the obstruction, and clear it if possible. Sometimes it’s relatively easy and sometimes it isn’t, but in the middle of the morning rush on a line as crowded as the L, no emergency brake issue is easy.
As an aside, please don't pull the emergency brake. An MTA spokesman circa 2010 explains:
When a straphanger pulls the cord, it brings the train to an immediate stop using compressed-air brakes. The train crew must notify a control center, which in turn alerts police. The NYPD then advises the control center on how to respond, and that message is relayed to the train crew. It can take between 5 and 15 minutes for the crew to reset the braking function and get the train moving again.
Lisberg adds, "If there’s a problem on your train car that requires police or EMS, DON’T pull the emergency brake. All that does is stop you from moving... and make it harder for police/EMS to reach you."
— Nik Nadolski (@niknadolski) December 15, 2014
In this case it took a half hour for service to resume, plus residual delays. Making matters worse for local first world residents, UBER had no black cars available in parts of Williamsburg:
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) December 15, 2014
UPDATE: Turns out the L train's contempt for one Patrick Yacco is also to blame:
— Patrick Yacco (@patrick_yacco) December 15, 2014
Come L train, must we all suffer because of your crazy beef with Yacco? How was he supposed to know you had a crush on the G train?