Escalator technology

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdR, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    OK, this is a weird complaint, but has anyone else noticed how lame escalators are in terms of reliability?

    I commute via subway every day (I live in San Francisco), and it never ceases to amaze me how often escalators fail. At least once a week, an escalator in either of the stations I enter/exit from is out of service. Sometimes a repair crew has it disassembled, other times it's just roped off.

    Sure, most of the time the failed escalators are the ones exposed to the weather (which here is just rain), but if escalators can't handle rain, then why aren't they covered up with an awning or something??

    What bothers me isn't so much the incovenience, walking up stairs isn't that big a deal (Yet, that is. I'm only in my 30s). What bothers me is the obvious cost of keeping them running...it seems like such a waste, an exorbidantly high-maintenence technology.

    I'm not a person prone to conspiracy theories, but as I walk by the repair crews, who sometimes take an entire week to get the thing running, I can't help but wonder if the failures aren't an accident. If they are truly failing due to normal wear and tear, why do we settle for such awful technology? Are there no improvements to be made to the basic design to make them more reliable? Have we really reached the pinnacle of escalator design?
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Perhaps you should recommend they invest in a ESCalibrator™ as featured in the December 1997 issue of Elevator World Magazine.

    If you can think of it... there's probably a magazine devoted to it. [​IMG]
     
  3. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Dave, if a 5 year old article is the best you can find, perhaps this is part of the problem! You'd think there's be SOME sort of innovation in the last 5 years.
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I've stopped an escalator once. There were a bunch of people on it and I twisted the hand rails and rubbed my feet against the sides "applying brakes". The escalator went into auto shut off mode and it stopped moving.

    I'm just glad I didn't get in trouble. [​IMG]

    IMO, most escalators are for the handicapped or lazy. Why not climb a few stairs, it's better for your health.
     
  5. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    What's funny is that the article seems to be about a product designed to find escalator faults earlier and easier...which is porbably quite useful. But it seems to me the problem is with the design of escalators and/or the fact that they should be covered to keep the elements out.

     
  6. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    It may also be the case the modern escalators are simply the best we can do, technology wise.

    I've often thought the same thing about human eyesight -- how many people do you know in your life have poor vision or need corrective lenses? Probably quite a lot. But, there's nothing we can do about, so you just have to wear glasses (or in the elevator's case, keep making repairs as needed).
     
  7. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    Yes, it could be the case that we've reached the pinnacle...but for some reason I doubt this. I don't have any facts to back up my position, but from my observations, it seems to me that escalators havent changed much, if at all, since I first started paying attention to them as a kid. Of course, I dont typically see the inner workings, but by all appearances, they are identical to ones in operation 25 years ago.

     
  8. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    An escalator is also constantly running, unlike, say, an elevator, so it's more prone to breakdowns.
     
  9. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Breakdowns?

    The best thing about escalators is that they never break. They become stairs.
     
  10. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  12. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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  13. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Consider that most systems were probably designed many years ago, when the population was much "lighter." The obesity epidemic has placed excessive loads on the drive motors, causing increased failure.[​IMG]
     
  14. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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  15. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    My local Barnes and Noble only has escalators to get to and from the second floor that break down often, which sucks. No stairs, and no elevator. When they break down, it's like you're at a traffic stop, because a few go up one side then a few come down while the other side is roped off or being fixed. Very inefficient. At least the local mall has and an elevator with the escalators.
     
  16. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  17. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    It's not the weather, our escalators are always broken too, but are inside the stations, above ground. It's kids, plain and simple. We get tons of kids hanging around the stations playing on the escalator, I've seen so many announcements from 'transit security' telling them to get off the escalator, but it never happens. They are starting to make smoking on platforms a fineable offense, they should probably start fining the kids who 'break' the escalators.

    I hate it when you're with someone getting off a train, really busy talking, you step on the escalator, and it takes you a minute to realize that you're not going anywhere! [​IMG]

    but you're right, you should not be able to break these. How about moving sidewalks at airports, etc, how are they for reliability?

    anyone remember the Simpson's elevator to nowhere?
     
  18. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Don't complain about the escalators being broken. As the comedian Mich Hedberg said "Escalators never break down. They only become stairs... Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience." [​IMG]
     
  19. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Boy I hope NASA or some other space agency builds a more reliable space escalator than the ones I've seen in the malls lately.

    You definitely don't want a kid to hit the shiny red candy-like Emergency Stop button in the midst of lifting a 1 billion spy satellite into low-earth orbit!

    And there'll probably be some smart-ass astronaut that tries to run down the escalator when it is going up. That's annoying.
     

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