A man has been arrested and charged after plugging his mobile phone charger into a socket on the Taipei metro. While I can sort of understand if they charged him for using electricity without consent (the socket was apparently clearly labelled with a not for public use notice), I did laugh when I read the reason given..
Taipei Rapid Transit claimed in the paper that the reason for its rigorous policy on such matters is that it is worried a short circuit may bring down the electricity-powered rail network.
So, they are worried that plugging in a small phone charger that takes a couple of hundred volts and maybe an amp of current will cause a short circuit that will take out the High Voltage high current systems needed for the trains? Or maybe just the signalling?
At the very least, I would have thought they'd be on seperate circuits, properly protected by RCDs. If that's not the case, then I'd have thought that someone plugging a charger in would be the least of their problems.
I'll admit, I am not an electrician, or an expert on Railway electrics, but I'd have thought just plugging in a mobile phone charger, short circuit or not, shouldn't be able to take out a metro underground system?