i remember while riding the CTA subway (or elevated) trains years ago watching the white T-shaped trip lever down by the right track rail go up or down (usually down) when the signal light changed from red to green (or vice versa). this was a reliable automated mechanical system--which by the way doesn't exist anymore--that would stop a train if it proceeded through a red light. the white T-lever if in the up position contacted a brake switch on the train undercarriage (the engineer did nothing, and he could not over-ride it). A very comforting visible safety system for passengers, observable if you're sitting in the front train seat looking out the window ahead--which nowadays you also cannot do anymore because they have the front train area walled-off so the engineer can do double duty as conductor and peer out the left window for passengers boarding.
the engineer gripped a controller handle then that contained a 'dead-mans switch' so the train would apply emergency brakes if the grip relaxed. again that does not exist anymore.
all these old-timey safety features, purposefully discontinued, would've prevented two recent train accidents I can think of--the one a year or so ago at the O'Hare terminal where the train left the tracks and started up the stairs because it failed to stop (engineer supposedly asleep), plus another accident at the Harlem/Eisenhower blue-line station where a run-away driver-less train leaving the Forest Park terminal collided with another train stopped at the Harlem station (a couple people injured).
Don't the people in charge of CTA safety have a clue what they're doing eliminating these features? If it works don't fix it.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2015 02:00PM by the_mogra.