Things That Shouldn’t Go Wrong

Two news items this weekend:

  • Friday night, five trains traveling through the tunnel under the English Channel became stalled, trapping over 2000 passengers for over 12 hours.  A sixth train made it through the tunnel, only to fail shortly after reaching England.   It was suggested that the problem was ice and snow that had accumulated on the trains’ electrical equipment while traveling in northern France, which then melted while the train was inside the tunnel, triggering short circuits.  It’s a charming thought, except that the Channel Tunnel trains have been in service for over a decade, and people have been running electric trains through tunnels for over a century now.  Service through the tunnel is still suspended today while engineers work on the problem.
  • Yesterday afternoon, one of the escalators at Macy’s Herald Square caught fire, forcing the evacuation of the store for an hour.  We’ve known how to operate escalators for a few decades now, so why would this happen on one of the busiest shopping days of the year?

We should know better than that.

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