Indonesian Railway Suspends Concrete Balls to Discourage Roof Riders

Indonesia has long fought a losing battle against commuters who stubbornly ride on train roofs to beat the rush hour. But railway officials say they have found the perfect deterrent, concrete balls, suspended on chains from a steel frame, just 25 cm or 10 inches, above any passing train.

Dubbed “Goal Balls”, they are about 10 cm or 4 inches in diameter and are painted silver. Twenty four, a dozen on each side, are suspended from a frame that looks like a soccer goal. The first one was installed early this week, a few hundred yards from a train station, just outside Jakarta. Anyone riding on the roof will find it hard to dodge the balls. Mateta Rizahulhaq, a spokesman for the state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api, told CNN no one has dared an attempt it.

Over the years, officials have tried and failed to stop commuters from climbing atop carriages. Some critics say this latest tactic seemed too extreme. Many passengers choose to climb to the top of overcrowded carriages instead of paying for a ticket. There are some — intrepid train surfers — who get on for a free ride or just for the thrill of it.

Officials say these kinds of adventure travel cause one or two deaths per month. They hope the new measure will prevent any more fatal accidents. If the concrete balls prove to be effective, more will be installed in other areas of the capital, officials said.

 

Source & Image: CNN