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Suicide by train

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jaybee, 18 Jul 2019.

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  1. jaybee


    Joined: 10 Jul 2008

    Posts: 5,636

    Why is this suicide method used so much? Do you think people just think of others that have done the same and copy blindly? Is it because it's easy to execute? Is it because they think it will get them more attention?

    In terms of "ending it quickly", there is a real risk that this doesn't actually occur. In fact, sometimes the worst happens...people survive it, if only for a short time. There are many videos online you could watch showing survivors of some attempts, and in some cases just what is left of them. I've seen one where a person is dragged and rubbed/ragdolled/spun all the way down an underground train station between the train and the platform, and survives it initially. I can't begin to imagine the pain of being ground into the floor/platform by tons of metal.

    I guess the thought is that statistically it should be over in an instant but....still....why trains? Why not jump off a building? Take some pills? Slit your wrists, shoot yourself, gas yourself. Nah...I'm gonna jump in front of 100s of tons of metal coz...well...trains are how to do it.
  2. Feek


    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,345

    Location: In the radio shack

    I can’t answer your question but here’s an interesting thing.

    I used to work in a building that overlooks a train station, one where fast trains often go through at great speed. I was there for fifteen years and I think there were suicides there on average two or three times a year.

    Access to the platforms were open, you didn’t have to go through any ticket checks or barriers.

    When the station was refurbished and barriers erected, the suicide rate dropped to zero. Literally zero overnight. There were no more cases of people throwing themselves in front of trains.

    The conclusion: people weren’t prepared to pay to be able to kill themselves. I don’t know why that would be, you’d think that if someone wanted to top themselves, buying a platform ticket wouldn’t stop them but it did.
  3. dowie

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 53,249

    Those don’t necessarily work well either tbh... Jumping off a building can be a painful death if not tall enough, shooting yourself can be too - can end up giving yourself a lobotomy. Pills can be ineffective - people try things like sleeping pills and paracetamol but then end up waking up, regretting it and in hospital with nothing that can be done as they’ve now had liver failure and can look forward to a drawn out and quite nasty death over days etc...
  4. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,023

    Maybe it is a harder one to chicken out of and probably easier than intentionally inflicting a fatal wound on yourself.

    Former work colleague of mine supposedly hung himself from a tree back in June on a popular footpath :( other than he committed suicide and that is where it happened I don't know further details for certain. I'm not really sure why someone would choose jumping infront of a train over hanging themselves.
  5. TheVoice


    Joined: 15 Aug 2005

    Posts: 21,934

    Location: Glasgow

    High rate of "success", happens quickly and all you have to do is take a couple of steps forward rather than perform any specific action yourself. People know that a train won't be able to stop quickly so the chances of it not working are low.

    You do get some who survive and end up extremely badly injured as a result, limb amputation will often end up occurring during the strike. It's far, far more likely that the person will due instantly though.
  6. mattx2

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,429

    Location: New York

    I do think there is an element of copying, I remember a few years ago the coq du argent seemed to be a place to go for suicidal city workers. Theres lots of tall buildings and roof terraces around but quite a few seemed to pick this one.

    For trains could also be an element of convenience that allows for a somewhat spontaneous suicide as its somewhere you were going anyway
  7. StriderX


    Joined: 18 Mar 2008

    Posts: 28,146

    Well that's easy.

    It gave them a chance to think, it's always about giving a little room to maneuver away from an absolute.
  8. Sankari


    Joined: 29 Dec 2007

    Posts: 27,226

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Definitely not my preferred method. Firearm to the temple works for me.
  9. Aedus


    Joined: 16 Aug 2009

    Posts: 8,575

    Location: Luton, England

    You answered your own question, so why are you confused?

    A train is a spur of the moment, jump in front and it’s done instantly. Jumping from a building isn’t instant, you’re falling through the air for a while before you hit the floor, same with pills, slitting your wrists or gassing yourself. A gun (unless you have one) takes planning to get, you can’t do it in a knee jerk fashion it has to be premeditated, but for those who have guns already, it’s another popular method of doing so.
  10. wesimmo


    Joined: 19 Mar 2012

    Posts: 5,574

    TBH I think we'd need super human powers of empathy to understand the thought process at that point.

    I've suffered from depression and I know full well that in my darkest days what I thought aren't those of a totally rational person.

    I never considered suicide, never for a moment, but got to the point of complete apathy as to whether I woke up again.

    Looking back it's like trying to understand s different person.
  11. Aedus


    Joined: 16 Aug 2009

    Posts: 8,575

    Location: Luton, England

    Exactly, being able to just jump in front of a train is easy, and can just be done without any thought, when you have to plan out what you’re going to do, a lot of people back out.
    Instantly by adding a barrier in front of tracks, you remove that ability for someone to jump with no thought behind it, and only the few people who have gone that far down the rabbit hole would continue to do so when they have to formulate a plan to be able to do it.
  12. cheesyboy


    Joined: 7 Dec 2012

    Posts: 15,104

    Location: Gloucestershire

    What kind of person watches 'many videos online' of people throwing themselves in front of trains?

    A Psychopath, is the obvious answer. Are you a legit psychopath, OP? Serious question (supposedly 1 or 2% of us are psychopaths).
  13. godinman


    Joined: 26 Feb 2007

    Posts: 8,031

    Careful doing that, you can quite easily miss vitals and just sever the optic nerve, leaving you blind and depressed rather than just depressed. I would aim from a reasonably high point on the forehead with a slight downward deflection, that way you destroy the largest amount of brain tissue.
  14. Feek


    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,345

    Location: In the radio shack

    That's exactly what happened to First lieutenant Sobel, the Easy Company training officer (Band of Brothers).
  15. Mobius 1


    Joined: 29 Oct 2005

    Posts: 14,006

    Last edited: 2 Feb 2020
  16. d_brennen


    Joined: 30 Jan 2009

    Posts: 16,698

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Just ask a forum member to help
  17. Zenduri


    Joined: 17 Mar 2009

    Posts: 5,399

    Location: Nottingham

    Jumping requires sorting access to a high enough building and pre-planning to actually do it, pills are a very poor choice as they have a high failure rate and can cause long term damage, wrists is slow and painful and i would imagine most people wanting to end it aren't keen to drag it out. Most people also dont have access to firearms or know how to get access in the UK and again gassing.. most people will do a poor job and fail. Stepping in front of a train is quite finate, easy access and generally very effective. Its reasonable to say that most suicides by train are based on spare of the moment decisions of a very mentally unstable person.

    A year or so ago a woman in Notts stepped at a train crossing i pass on my way home. She placed her kid in a buggy to one side of the barriers and then hopped in front of a train doing about 50 and that was it. When i was going past the scene 2 hours later on ny way home they were clearing the scene of her and her belongings.
  18. VoG


    Joined: 20 Jan 2004

    Posts: 5,838

    Location: Nottingham

    Actually that doesn't all ways work, the actor Daniel von Bargen survived a suicide attempt on the 20th Feb 2012 when he shot himself in the temple with a .38 caliber hand gun, and not only did he survive it was him who called the emergency services to tell them he'd tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the head, he died 3 years later of complications from diabetes which he'd been suffering from for years.
  19. DampCat


    Joined: 26 Feb 2007

    Posts: 13,876

    Location: Manchestah

    My friend killed himself via train about 7 years ago. I couldn't tell you why, I tried to work it out for a long time.

    I suppose it may have been easy access to tracks.
  20. robfosters


    Joined: 1 Dec 2010

    Posts: 40,471

    Location: Welling, London

    Never knew that. I used to find him quite funny as Spangler on Malcolm in the Middle.
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