Madness at Hackney Wick


This is a picture, from Friday evening’s Standard, of a young woman standing on a freight train parked at Hackney Wick station in East London. A harmless, if stupid, bit of fun you may think; except that the train is powered from overhead electric cables with tens of thousands of volts in them…so, her head is roughly where the cables are! The electricity in the cables will be making a fizzing noise too.

She lasted 15 minute larking about and then touched a cable – and was thrown 20 feet across the station and, amazingly, survived. How she managed that is almost incomprehensible.

Larking about on the railway is always dangerous – there are a huge machines, moving fast and big electrical forces. The railway goes to great lengths to warn people of the dangers.


It’s worth reflecting that, with power in the cable, there would have been an audible fizz of electricity. Added to which, the woman was standing, or dancing, or whatever, on a metal container. It’s a good job for rubber-soled trainers. And AC current.

If you want to know about the difference between AC and DC electricity, look at the work of Nikola Tesla.

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