Here’s a video I took Tuesday night on the Metro of an electrical locker swinging open and shut as the train moved. Looks like someone didn’t close the doors properly, and I was wondering just how dangerous it was to have all these sensitive electronics and switches and leads exposed. This was on Blue Line train #3262AC. I’ve read enough about WMATA rolling stock to know that this is one of the Alstom-rehabilitated Breda cars, but I need a WMATA engineer or some other DC transit railfan to tell me what kind of systems are in this locker, specifically. Anyone know?
(And should I have hit the emergency call button? I don’t know if it was safe, but no one was touching it, and I was already at my stop and didn’t want to put the train out of service and cause cascading delays up and down the Blue and Orange Lines.)
In a little more than the time that it took for you to record the video, you could have simply pushed the call button, given the car number, explained the situation to the driver, and then gone on your way.
I would have pressed the button personally, but I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it either. If that stuff was really sensitive it would have something better than that shitty lock on it. Those things can be “bumped” open with a penknife in about 5 seconds.
Despite all the fervor over security in recent years, much of our society continues to function uninterrupted on little more than basic trust. I can’t count the number of unsecured breaker switches I walk past every day. Most electric meters are secured in their boxes with a thin metal loop, despite their being expensive equipment that would leave a building powerless if it was removed.
I’m sure that’s horribly frightening to people who believe that it’s only the threat of capture and punishment that keeps society from degenerating into complete anarchy, but I find it kind of reassuring.