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Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by gbs on Fri Jun 7 21:43:53 2019


Friday evening at the east mezzanine at the Main St station (#7), two of the three escalators were out of service and gated off. These are the two that normally run UP. The third escalator, the only one still working, was running DOWN, its usual direction. Crowds of people had to walk up five flights (or wait for the packed elevator). Because of the hill on Roosevelt Av, this mezzanine is much deeper than the other one at Main St.

I asked the station clerk why the working escalator hadn't been switched to UP, and he said it's beyond his control, I had to see one of the repairmen. When I got to the street I found one of them on a break and asked why they didn't reverse the working escalator. He said it would break the escalator because it's not reversible.

Really? I thought they're all reversible, and for sure I've seen some that have been reversed for various reasons. Is this fellow correct? I've posted a complaint on mta.info.

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(1515112)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Fri Jun 7 22:40:39 2019, in response to Non-reversible escalators?, posted by gbs on Fri Jun 7 21:43:53 2019.

While I have no expertise on the specific units there, I can pass along the following.
Recently asked booth occupant at my closest BART station why since the up escalator was OOS the down one had not been reversed. Got the same can't be done story. I, however remember that when that station opened the escalator in that location was "on call" that is waiting to either go up or down depending on which treadle someone stepped on. BART had many of those until the day one hiccupped and changed direction with many pax on it headed up. No deaths but a number went to the hospital. The treadles were removed and the escalators mostly are either up or down, but I know many are still reversible as I use stations where they are set to ease rush hour direction of travel.

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(1515139)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Andrew Saucci on Sat Jun 8 06:01:02 2019, in response to Non-reversible escalators?, posted by gbs on Fri Jun 7 21:43:53 2019.

I can't believe that any escalator is not reversible. I can believe that a human being would lie or fabricate a story, however.

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(1515175)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sat Jun 8 14:24:54 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by Andrew Saucci on Sat Jun 8 06:01:02 2019.

particularely a BART booth occupant, IMHO

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(1515183)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Andrew Saucci on Sat Jun 8 16:02:53 2019, in response to Non-reversible escalators?, posted by gbs on Fri Jun 7 21:43:53 2019.

By the way, one thing that bothers me lots about changing to the subway from the LIRR at Jamaica is that going from the LIRR platform staircases to the subway entrance are just two narrow escalators-- and no staircases. If one (or both) of the escalators is out of service, it's either an elevator or a walk around the corner to the subway entrance. The narrowness also precludes the possibility of passing on the escalator.

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by TransitChuckG on Mon Jun 10 03:02:04 2019, in response to Non-reversible escalators?, posted by gbs on Fri Jun 7 21:43:53 2019.

Escalators

I found this article and this is the reason why Transit escalators are usually not reversed, especially if there is only one escalator, or two escalators side by side with one running in each direction.In case of emergency, all escalators are shut down and station entry is denied by police and/or supervision."



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(1515399)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by randyo on Mon Jun 10 13:21:59 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by TransitChuckG on Mon Jun 10 03:02:04 2019.

So the answer appears to be to reverse the direction of the escalators periodically so that they will be available to be reversed in the event that such a reversal is required due to maintenance or other issues. Anything less is just a cop out on the part of the designers and/or builders.

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(1515408)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by italianstallion on Mon Jun 10 14:01:09 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by randyo on Mon Jun 10 13:21:59 2019.

Yes. I have a friend who was entering 7 WTC on 9/11 just after the planes hit 1 and 2. He realized that 7 would have to be evacuated soon and further entry prohibited, so he convinced the lobby staff to reverse the escalators that led from street level to the elevator banks. It worked.

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(1515420)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Andrew Saucci on Mon Jun 10 18:06:02 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by randyo on Mon Jun 10 13:21:59 2019.

I agree. The article suggests that 10-15 years is "a long time." I don't know of any escalators around here that go more than a year without needing maintenance of some sort. The 34 St escalators at Penn Station were disassembled completely and not too long after were completely disassembled again. (Unfortunately, I didn't take notes, so I can't say exactly what the interval was.)

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(1515425)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon Jun 10 21:27:34 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by TransitChuckG on Mon Jun 10 03:02:04 2019.

very ionteresting find,thankyou.
In reading this I would note that the up v own pattern at one BART station seems to be changed every so often. This a deep station with two running at all times, but whether the "north" or "south" is running down does change.

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(1515493)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by MainR3664 on Wed Jun 12 02:59:02 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by TransitChuckG on Mon Jun 10 03:02:04 2019.

About 3 years ago, the NY Times ran an article about the problematic escalators from 7th Avenue west sidewalk into NYP. (They specifically mentioned that the escalators were installed in 1965, without mentioning any reason why new escalators were needed then. We sadly know why...)

They went on to say that the escalators, while built with reverse capability, had rarely or never actually been reversed in 50 years, and that the various mechanical parts had by now been worn and stressed in such a way that reversing them now could cause them to seize up within an hour. Personally, I don't have enough knowledge of metalworking or mechanics to call truth or BS on this, but it does seem at least consistent about what they say about "breaking in" a new car

The article ended by stating that someone (I can't remember of it was Amtrak, LIRR, or MSG) had committed to overhauling- but specifically not replacing, the two escalators.


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(1515495)

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by MainR3664 on Wed Jun 12 03:09:43 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by MainR3664 on Wed Jun 12 02:59:02 2019.

Ok, in the past few minutes, I went back and read the article posted by Transit ChuckG. I guess this supports what "they" said would happen to escalators operated in one direction for 50 years...

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Wed Jun 12 08:05:37 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by MainR3664 on Wed Jun 12 03:09:43 2019.

which is why regularly swapping the diection would be smart as it would probably extend life cycles.

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Re: Non-reversible escalators?

Posted by MainR3664 on Wed Jun 12 16:19:30 2019, in response to Re: Non-reversible escalators?, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Wed Jun 12 08:05:37 2019.

Yes, that seems sensible.

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