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March 19, 2004 12:02 AM

Broken: Copenhagen metro railings

Morten Just writes:

In the recently opened Copenhagen Metro Station the railings are flat. Flat enough to place a battery on (as in the images), and flat enough so that the battery can stand alone. That has several major, highly critical, risks. Among them are plaicing bottles on the railings; they then need only need one small push to fall 11 metres (36 feet) and hit somebody in the head.

Tragically, the flat railings have also inspired at least two young men to walk on them. Both died from falling down to the underground platform 11 metres below them. After the second death, which occurred Sept. 2003, the Metro company decided to take action and change the railings. After one year of operation, they promised in a press release that they will have all railings changed to more secure ones by spring 2004.


It's amazing that even a minor architectural nuance such as this can mean the difference between safety and potentially grave injury. This is why I read to show people that the choices they make, no matter how miniscule, can have far-reaching consequences.

In other words: you can never make a system too idiot proof!

Posted by: quanta at March 19, 2004 11:29 AM

Make something idiotproof, and they just come out with a better idiot!

Posted by: Ummagumma at March 19, 2004 03:37 PM

Darwinian architecture...I love it!

Posted by: JoeBob at March 30, 2004 03:05 PM

But great for skateboarding!

Posted by: Eddie at March 30, 2004 08:26 PM

I don't see where this is a problem. If someone is outright stupid enough to do the equivalent of tightrope walking that high up, he's doing the human race a favour by removing himself from the gene pool.

Posted by: S. Wolf at May 25, 2004 12:23 AM

wouldn't walking on it crack the glass

Posted by: I think ipod sucks at March 9, 2005 09:42 PM

sorry did not see the metal posts

Posted by: unknown at March 24, 2005 03:48 PM


Stupid people are always entertaining. I wonder if the architects did it on purpose just to see if anyone would be dumb enough to walk it.

Posted by: sandswipe at July 14, 2005 12:36 AM

It's not that idiots walked on the railing and fell off that concerns me so much as the placing of items on the railing. I would not care to be hit in the head by a purse (or whatever) falling from 36 feet.

Posted by: JJ at July 15, 2005 05:04 PM

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