To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Smark <smark@3e0.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 17:54:18 -0800
Subject: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: KMail/1.5
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
Message-Id: <200311141754.18135.smark@3e0.com>

Go here, let's get bart to stay open until 3AM:

http://www.petitiononline.com/BART3am/petition.html

Send it to everyone you know.

Mark

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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 18:03:56 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <200311141754.18135.smark@3e0.com>
Message-Id: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
References: <200311141754.18135.smark@3e0.com>

begin  Smark  quotation:
> Go here, let's get bart to stay open until 3AM:
> 
> http://www.petitiononline.com/BART3am/petition.html
> 
> Send it to everyone you know.

	They spend every minute of downtime on maintenance as it is!
The BART curfew is an unhappy necessity caused by design decisions
made in the 1960s.  To keep late-night service, they'd have to add
express tracks or something similar so that they could shut down half
the trackway at night to do maintenance.

	As it is they're single-tracking many places on weekends.

	Me, I'd love to see late night BART more than anyone, but the
problem is a technological one.

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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To: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
From: Praveen Sinha <ampere@swcp.com>
Cc: seth-trips@zork.net
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 19:24:11 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
Message-Id: <Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>

> 	They spend every minute of downtime on maintenance as it is!
> The BART curfew is an unhappy necessity caused by design decisions
> made in the 1960s.  To keep late-night service, they'd have to add

Do you know what these design decisions were out of curiosity?

---
DMH


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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 20:58:59 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
Message-Id: <20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>

begin  Praveen Sinha  quotation:
> > 	They spend every minute of downtime on maintenance as it is!
> > The BART curfew is an unhappy necessity caused by design decisions
> > made in the 1960s.  To keep late-night service, they'd have to add
> 
> Do you know what these design decisions were out of curiosity?

	The big one is the lack of any express or backup tracks.
Shutting down a section of rail shuts down the entire system, since
there's no way to route around it.  It's like having nothing but a
single two-lane road in your town: you have to wait until midnight to
fill in all the potholes.  There are actually NO SIDINGS whatsoever in
San Francisco: disabled trains have to limp to Daly City or Oakland
before they can be moved out of the way!

	The other is the all-seeing all-knowing computer control
system.  Take that down, and everyone's at a complete loss.  No train
can run without the thing.  A proper rail network has a backup system
that operates (albeit more slowly) as a collection of cellular automata
providing signals (two, actually -- proper rail signals tell you what
the NEXT light will be as well as the current one, hence "red over
red" for a full stop).

	Here's a pretty good page describing the classic English
distributed signaling system:

	    http://www.trainweb.org/railwaytechnical/sigtxt1.html

	And here's the one they use in the Tube trains:

	    http://www.trainweb.org/railwaytechnical/sigtxt2.html

	The Key Transit system had the ATP signals wired to an
override circuit in the power sources -- it was electrically
impossible to maintain velocity without sufficient headway!

	But BART has *NO SIGNALS AT ALL*!  Without the computer
control in the early super-broken days (1972), they had station agents
CALLING AHEAD ON THE TELEPHONE to see if the track was clear!

	Finally, they just didn't know how to be good consumers of
rails and rolling stock.  The rails need regular grinding, since
degradation causes "rail howl": irregular corrugations act like the
grooves in a phonograph record, and the wheels provide the stylus!
Enough howl and you generate sufficient vibration to interfere with
system equipment.

	I don't know what sort of lubrication or construction they
needed to prevent this, since it's tough to maintain a single stretch
of underwater track that's designed for 80MPH at full loads.  

	There's a great saga of the BART/Westinghouse/HP/LBL feuds in
the early 1970s up at http://www.pushback.com/Wattenburg/bio/BART.html
if you have the time.  Wattenburg was a crazy inventor, and even
showed how the ticketing machines could be fooled with a tampered
ticket into providing unlimited rides (he followed good security Full
Disclosure practices, but the flaw remained so long that he eventually
went to the Chronicle with the technique!).

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 21:05:39 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net>
Message-Id: <20031115050539.GU24670@zork.net>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
	<20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net>

Ah, here's the bit on US signalling:

	http://www.trainweb.org/railwaytechnical/US-sig.html

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 21:24:54 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031115050539.GU24670@zork.net>
Message-Id: <20031115052454.GV24670@zork.net>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
	<20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net> <20031115050539.GU24670@zork.net>

And yet more!  Wikipedia's article on signaling has a description of
the two-signal approach I mentioned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_signaling
> Double signalling is sometimes used; this is the method used in some
> areas of New South Wales, Australia. It derives from semaphore
> signalling. Two sets of lights are displayed, one atop each other,
> and the topmost light represents the condition of the lights at the
> current signal, and the lower is the condition at the next signal.
> Some lights have a small lamp at the bottom; this is an indication
> to continue at low speed.
> 
> The double signals indicate:
> 
>    * green over green: continue
>    * green over red: caution, next signal at stop
>    * green over yellow: caution, next signal at green over red
>    * red over red: stop
>          o red over red with small lamp lit: low speed, 25 km/h. 

	The lack of signals in BART is the result of people not
wanting to build "some fuddy-duddy old train set" but rather some sort
of super slick "fancy new transit system".  They threw the baby out
with the bathwater, if you ask me (or countless other railfans).

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Chris Palmer <chris@eff.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 22:16:00 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.2.5.1i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net>;
	from nick@zork.net on Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 08:58:59PM -0800
Message-Id: <20031114221600.A28985@eff.org>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
	<20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net>

Nick Moffitt writes:

> The other is the all-seeing all-knowing computer control system.  Take
> that down, and everyone's at a complete loss.

This sounds like great fodder for the RISKS digest. :\


-- 
Chris Palmer     Systems Administrator     Electronic Frontier Foundation


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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 22:48:47 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031114221600.A28985@eff.org>
Message-Id: <20031115064847.GX24670@zork.net>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
	<20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net> <20031114221600.A28985@eff.org>

begin  Chris Palmer  quotation:
> Nick Moffitt writes:
> 
> > The other is the all-seeing all-knowing computer control system.
> > Take that down, and everyone's at a complete loss.
> 
> This sounds like great fodder for the RISKS digest. :\

	Eh, it has been, actually.  But it's not as bad as it sounds.
I've actually been on BART when the control system went down.
Everybody just stops.

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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To: seth-trips@zork.net
From: Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 18:39:17 -0800
Subject: Re: [Seth-Trips] Petition to keep Bart open late
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i
List-Id: Seth David Schoen's trips <seth-trips.zork.net>
In-Reply-To: <20031115064847.GX24670@zork.net>
Message-Id: <20031118023917.GA26107@zork.net>
References: <20031115020355.GR24670@zork.net>
	<Pine.GSO.4.10.10311141923460.25938-100000@shimi.swcp.com>
	<20031115045859.GT24670@zork.net> <20031114221600.A28985@eff.org>
	<20031115064847.GX24670@zork.net>

begin  Nick Moffitt  quotation:
> begin  Chris Palmer  quotation:
> > This sounds like great fodder for the RISKS digest. :\
> 
> 	Eh, it has been, actually.  

	Okay, I can't resist boring you people further.

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/7.25.html#subj3
http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/9.41.html#subj2
http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/9.44.html#subj1

	You can get a full list of debacles at
http://www.google.com/search?q=bart+site%3Acatless.ncl.ac.uk

	For reference: BART typically runs 58 trains during peak
times.  It can run more frequent shorter trains by breaking up the
combinations of five- and three-car trains.

-- 
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
	-- Lewis Mumford

end

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