Monday, 19 May 2008


Yesterday I met a tube train driver who works on the Piccadilly line. Every Monday for the last month, someone commits suicide on the Piccadilly line at 9am. Each time it is at a different stop. They tend to choose the overland sections of track where the trains run faster. Do potential suicides research this?
What people do not know is that committing suicide by jumping in front of a tube is a very slow and painful way of dying. The average speed of a tube train is 30mph. Jumpers are not eloctrocuted. They bleed to death. The weight of the train severs their limbs. In New York they are called track pizza.
The drivers are taught that if someone is standing on the platform with their shoes next to them, to release the 'dead man's handle', to stop the train immediately. People take their shoes off before jumping. The most common hour to try is 11 a.m.(after the rush hour?)
Once someone killed themselves in the tunnel, not from the platform. It took 4 trains going past, seeing a bunch of crumpled clothing in the "shit pit", the deep section in the middle between the electric rails, before a driver realised it was a dead body.
It's very messy and takes hours to clean up. The tube train carriage at the front, the drivers' carriage, because usually the driver cannot stop in time, is split off from the rest of the train so that they can get to the body remnants.
Once a man jumped, was hit, bounced onto the oncoming train from the other way, then bounced onto the platform, unharmed.
My 'brother in law' committed suicide by running towards a train, a TGV, in France. No chance of missing there. The drivers always have time off, and sometimes leave the job as a result.
Men tend to be 'succeeders' in suicide whereas women tend to be 'attempters'. Men choose more violent means, women choose pills.


  1. do you think they would do that if they were atheists?

  2. commit suicide? Don't know if being religious makes you less likely to...
    Men commit suicide more than women generally because women feel more responsible for family members and tend to reach out for help.


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