What if you get pushed onto the subway tracks?
It’s the nightmare that nearly all New Yorkers share — way scarier than eating Duane Reade sushi. As crime soars in NYC’s subway, the possibility of a push or fall never escapes a straphanger’s mind.
Just ask the 23-year-old Australian tourist who had both legs amputated by a PATH train.
Incredibly, she survived the stumble, and so can you thanks to The Post’s latest Survival Guide to NYC. Look alive because 14 people were shoved onto the subway tracks in 2020. That’s twice as many as the year before.
First tip, avoid the third rail at all costs. Licking batteries as a kid might’ve been fun, but no one wants to feel the rush of 600 volts of electricity.
The third rail, which is visibly higher than the two ground rails, powers the train. While this drunk bozo, who went viral on Reddit in 2013 for sitting on the third rail, somehow didn’t get electrocuted, likely because he was sitting on the protective barrier, you won’t be so lucky.
The same rule applies to Sapphire, NYC’s infamous jiggle joint: Hands off the merchandise.
Also, don’t be fooled by rats running across the third rail looking for a slice. Rodents’ paws touch the metal without touching the ground, which does not create a closed circuit for the current to flow. The same scientific principle goes for pigeons on a live wire.
If you do find yourself on the tracks, first check to see if the train is coming. Do you see lights? Feel a rumble? If not, then you have a few minutes to get back onto the platform.
The shortest way out is the way you came in. The platform is about five feet high, so unless you do Crossfit, like this super-fit grandpa, ask another passenger to pull you up.
If you’re alone, find the ladder located at the far end of each platform. Run in the direction of train traffic.
Worst-case scenario, the train is coming. Find a hole, fast. A few stations, especially above-ground outdoor stops, have a gap underneath the platform to duck into for cover. To ensure that you clear the train’s metal shoes, curl up into a small ball.
Other stations have a “clear-up” space. You’ve probably seen MTA workers standing in this human-size hole in the wall during construction hours when the train passes by.
In the heat of the moment, however, you might only have time to hit the deck. Lie down between the rails and turn your head to the side. There should be just enough clearance between the bottom of the train and the ground.
Miraculously, it worked for the Subway Superman in 2007. Wesley Autrey heroically saved the life of a kid who had a seizure and fell onto the tracks at 137th Street. He lay on top of the stranger, and they both lived to tell the tale.
Best advice of all? Don’t fall on the tracks in the first place. Pay attention to the jerks around you, skip stations with narrow platforms such as the 6-train at 14 Street-Union Square, and stay away from the edge.
Leaning over to see if the D train is coming never made anyone not late for work.
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