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subway mapHere’s my plan …

1. Quickly try boosting myself back up onto the platform, while I don’t count on somebody helping me, I’ll shout out for a hand — some people need to be told what to do! The track well is deeper than it looks.

2. Shelter between the train and the platform overhang if there is lots of space. There usually isn’t.

3. My best bet: Jump the 3rd rail and take shelter between two sets of tracks or in the niches/alcoves in the wall opposite the platform.

4. Lie flat between the tracks — hoping the train will pass over me. The depth is uneven, often crowded with switch equipment. Last resort.

When the track is clear, walk to the nearest end of the platform to the steps which will bring me back up to the platform level.


  1. Technicians working on active lines always take shelter midway between the 2 tracks.

    • You’re right of course Cliff, but they’re wearing protective clothing and have sufficient warning to take shelter — thereby avoiding contact with the killer third rail. The rail beds are often wet, so a fall into that will likely have your pants a willing conductor of electricity if you brush the third rail as you step over it. I’m hoping to clear the third rail in a panicked jump — but hopefully won’t overshoot into the opposite rail and an oncoming train. Wait, what? I should hope instead that I never find myself down on the subway tracks, eh?

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