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BrooklynIRT

So if elevated train lines are so unwanted these days...

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...and you cannot really build heavy rail on any surface roads in NYC or any other dense urban area, meaning that the only place we can build heavy rail in dense urban areas these days is underground, then does anybody have any opinion on the issue with employees being underground for so long and not getting any sun down there (and the steel dust issues)? I was also thinking about the fact that much has been said about tearing down existing els (someone on subchat once said the Astoria el will be gone in another 40 years since the population of that community will increase a lot and they will eventually demand its demolition).

 

I suppose there is simply no way of getting away from this issue and whatever happens happens. I was just wondering if anybody had anything else to say about this. The main focus here is employees being underground for such long periods of time, particularly as the number of employees doing this and the amount of time they spend in these conditions increase.

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I don't think population in Astoria will be a problem but fact is: current residents don't want an extension of the Astoria line as long as it's an EL, so it could be true that they may not want the current EL part either.

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...and you cannot really build heavy rail on any surface roads in NYC or any other dense urban area, meaning that the only place we can build heavy rail in dense urban areas these days is underground, then does anybody have any opinion on the issue with employees being underground for so long and not getting any sun down there (and the steel dust issues)? I was also thinking about the fact that much has been said about tearing down existing els (someone on subchat once said the Astoria el will be gone in another 40 years since the population of that community will increase a lot and they will eventually demand its demolition).

 

I suppose there is simply no way of getting away from this issue and whatever happens happens. I was just wondering if anybody had anything else to say about this. The main focus here is employees being underground for such long periods of time, particularly as the number of employees doing this and the amount of time they spend in these conditions increase.

 

To be fairly honest, they may very well want to keep the El, since the only logical subway to extend up there would be the Crosstown, and any subway extension would mean a loss of a direct QBP transfer.

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then does anybody have any opinion on the issue with employees being underground for so long and not getting any sun down there (and the steel dust issues)? I was also thinking about the fact that much has been said about tearing down existing els (someone on subchat once said the Astoria el will be gone in another 40 years since the population of that community will increase a lot and they will eventually demand its demolition).

 

I suppose there is simply no way of getting away from this issue and whatever happens happens. I was just wondering if anybody had anything else to say about this. The main focus here is employees being underground for such long periods of time, particularly as the number of employees doing this and the amount of time they spend in these conditions increase.

Studies does confirm this to be the case with railroad engineers and exposure to the exhaust fumes from diesel locomotives where the incidences of COPD are a cause for concern. 

 

However long term adverse health effects of RTO personnel and exposure to rail dust in an electrified rapid transit subway setting are actually very low from tests done on volunteers in studies done by a collaboration of universities in a joint study with the MTA Office of System Safety and TWU Local 100. As for what is actually really the case in real life despite what the medical studies suggests, I would not know, I am not a transit worker but from what I've read it suggests that RTO personnel operating electrified transit cars in subways are not at the same risk for cardiopulmonary disorders such as COPD or lung cancer as diesel locomotive railroad engineers are in a FRA regulated setting.

 

Sources are quoted below:

 

Exposure or railroad engineers to diesel fumes and COPD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658724/

 

 

......in a case-control study of railroad workers that after adjusting for smoking history there was an increased risk of COPD mortality with increasing years of work in a diesel exhaust-exposed job. We now assess this association in a retrospective cohort of railroad workers followed from 1959 to 1996.

 

Exposure of RTO personnel to rail dust in a rapid transit system and conclusions: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155846/#FN1

 

 

Given these results, and because the levels of steel dust observed in this study fell well below levels with known health risks, we conclude that the potential for health impacts in the worker population studied, at the levels observed, appears to be low. It is not clear whether the lack of a consistent pattern of positive associations between pollutant dose and biomarker response is due to poor biomarker selection, limited statistical power, or levels of particulate metals that are so low that they genuinely do not present a health risk.

Edited by realizm

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The surviving Els aren't going anywhere, it is much cheaper to upkeep them or even upgrade them, than to build subway line from scratch.

For example; the Market-Frankford line was upgraded for mere ~ 1 billion dollars, much cheaper if it was built as subway and also much nicer than the Els around here.

 

Regarding employees, well, not everyone has to work for TA, if some can't work underground, they can find job elsewhere, its not that they are forced to work there.

Edited by overclocked

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To be fairly honest, they may very well want to keep the El, since the only logical subway to extend up there would be the Crosstown, and any subway extension would mean a loss of a direct QBP transfer.

 

Well that response was quite a shocker. LMAO

 

realizm, any comment about the lack of sun exposure?

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Good questions.

 

Kamen Rider you touched upon something vital so if I may build your your point. We have circadian rhythms in the form of sleep-wake cycles, which is indeed affected by exposure or lack of exposure to the sun (waking hours and night hours). It is well known that persons who work night shifts can have their sleep rhythm thrown off in the long term after a matter of time. Many persons as a result start to suffer from chronic insomnia. At first the human body does adjust but over time the abnormal patterns of sleep will catch up with us as the years go by.

 

The sun is beneficial for many reasons towards good health and proper bodily function. Yet many people are affected by the lack of sunshine. And it just isn't just the T/O's and C/Rs in the MTA. Straight across the board in many professions, you name it, we are working under a fake illumination of florescent light during waking hours or on the graveyard shift.

 

I'll give an unrelated example: The US Air Force. When the F117 Stealth fighter was in flight in the 80's (not the 90's, it was still a top secret CIA project during the late cold war) pilots were running missions at night. They were ordered to see to it they sleep *before* sunrise because if they don't they will not fall into REM sleep properly, which will pose risks towards their next mission upon dusk.

 

It's something we all have to contend with in the US workforce, as we are all sleeping at abnormal hours many times, sleep deprived and overworked because of the demands of our professions we are all in. This definitely applies to the MTA with RTO personnel working around the clock 24-7 in artificially mechanical environments under stress .

Edited by realizm
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It was basicly the cause of the Williamsburg wreck. Poor guy kept getting caught dozing off at work till it ended up killing him.

 

Though keeping that rythim and having it be sun dependent are not exactly tied to each other. You also have to consider the two extremes. You have people who staff the artic stations where night and day last 6 months each at one end, and at the other, the crew of the ISS, who see a sunrise and sunset about every hour and a half.

 

Then there are the crews of nuclear powered subs. Limited by only thier food stores, they can stay under for months. They literally tell the time of day by the galley and mess, what's cooking and what condomints are on the table.

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That reminds me of the R143 overshoot in 2006 in Canarsie yard due to a T/O suffering a seizure. I guess what we are all saying is that as straphangers we all realize that being in RTO is obviously not fun and games.

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yes, as realizm and Kamen Rider have stated plenty of people other than RTO employees deal with these issues (lack of sun exposure, circadian rhythm issues, etc). not much more to it than that I suppose.

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