Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Local CBS TV (Ch 2) reports there was a fatal incident occurring Stough St at the West Hinsdale station today.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/03/18/ ... -hinsdale/

The train involved was #1268, which leaves Clarendon Hills 252P. On my walk, the Eastern most point for me is a lam post at the West Hinsdale station. I was there about fifteen minutes prior to the incident, but a CBS News report was my first knowledge of such.

While of course appropriate sympathies should be extended to the victim's family, I have really seen some "corkers" at that location - first and foremost was a runner who simply held his pace was more important than flashing signals. He cleared by about 30ft; when the WB train cleared, I yell out "you f#$%^ing moron". I hope he heard me but likely not as he was surely "wired up" with some kind of electronic plaything eliminating one of his five senses.
  by justalurker66
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:I hope he heard me but likely not as he was surely "wired up" with some kind of electronic plaything eliminating one of his five senses.
Quite often leading to the elimination of the rest of their senses - and their life. Far too many stories of pedestrian strikes of people wearing headphones.
  by Tadman
 
I saw this accident earlier on a local news outlet's facebook page. Some people were noting this was the third such incident nearby this year. Looks like a few local villages need to have their constable set up shop nearby and start adding to the town's coffers.
  by MetraBNSF
 
It was just a week or two ago when a pedestrian was hit by an equipment train (1282) at Westmont towards the end of rush hour. In today's incident in Hinsdale, I noticed the train was stopped on the center track. 8475 was the lead cab car, six car set with 193 pushing.
  by MetraBNSF
 
With five Metra vs pedestrian incidents this month (4 fatal, 3 along the same line within a 4 mile span, all fatal) I don't think it won't be long until railroad crossing safety once again becomes a 10 o'clock news top story. Of the five incidents, it appears four of them are accidents and one was intentional. I came up on the following article and started thinking the same thing...what can be done to curb train vs vehicle/pedestrian accidents?

http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/reade ... fatalities
  by doepack
 
For those lost, sad souls that have simply given up, and have chosen to stand in front of a speeding train as a preferred method of suicide, not much can be done. Just pick up the pieces afterward, say a short prayer for all involved, hope that any delays are minimal and largely transparent, and move on.

For the rest of us, awareness and common sense can go a long way, but a little peer pressure doesn't hurt either. Case in point: About a month ago, I was walking home one morning by the Wheaton depot, as the gates went down, with inbound 26 on the way in. A guy in a hurry to catch the train ran past me, and I'm thinking the next sound I hear will be the engineer laying on the horn as he obviously is making a run for it across the tracks with the gates down. But what actually happened was interesting: Shortly after he ran past me, I heard somebody from the other side shout, "DON'T DO IT!! WE WILL MAKE CERTAIN YOU DO NOT GET ON!!". I turned around, and he stopped cold, then waited along with the others for the train to pass.

With several inches of fresh snow on the ground, plus other spots on the outbound platform that were still slick with ice, he just might have saved that guy's life...
  by ExCon90
 
I thought I read a few years ago (probably in this forum) that some Metra conductors and trainmen would deny boarding to any passenger seen ducking under gates or running across tracks in an unsafe manner, the purpose being that passengers would eventually get the idea that there's no use running, they won't let me get on anyway. Was there such a policy, and did anything come of it?
  by justalurker66
 
The Phil Pagano suicide in 2010 doesn't help ... and while not all incidents are suicides sometimes I see the coverage of the suicide incidents as practically being an advertisement for that way to die. (Some media has chosen not to cover suicides unless the person was well known.) Perhaps more needs to be said of the emotional problems that these incidents inflict on others ... in some way that does not inflict more problems on the others involved (train staff, bystanders, emergency crews).

As for the impatient they remind me of deer that often end up being hit by vehicles. If they would wait just a few seconds they would have plenty of time to cross safely. But they seem to have an uncontrollable impulse to beat the train. As humans we should be smart enough to wait.

And for the inattentive - there is a lot of that going on. Tuning out the world around you can make your day more pleasant ... but it can be fatal. While what is on your iWhatever may be more interesting than the world around you perhaps looking up and looking around would be a good idea?
  by busfan2847
 
ExCon90 wrote:I thought I read a few years ago (probably in this forum) that some Metra conductors and trainmen would deny boarding to any passenger seen ducking under gates or running across tracks in an unsafe manner, the purpose being that passengers would eventually get the idea that there's no use running, they won't let me get on anyway. Was there such a policy, and did anything come of it?
On UP-NW they do deny boarding to passengers identified over the P.A. by the engineer.
  by byte
 
I've heard verbal warnings from conductors over the PA on the Rock, basically warning riders of the same thing - if they continue trying to beat the train they're not going to be let on.
  by ExCon90
 
Sounds like a good idea -- letting them on after they do something foolish is just rewarding dangerous behavior.
  by Tadman
 
I'm curious on Metra's position on the practice of barring track-dashers from boarding. I think it's a good idea, too. Nothing like being 30 minutes late to deter you from doing something stupid.
  by byte
 
Given that barring track-dashers from boarding is being practiced on both Metra and (at least) UP operated lines, I suspect it's an order that came down from the top.
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:I'm curious on Metra's position on the practice of barring track-dashers from boarding. I think it's a good idea, too. Nothing like being 30 minutes late to deter you from doing something stupid.
I've seen police officers do it with speeders. Verbal warnings or warning tickets but holding the driver up enough that their speeding is nullified (or worse).
On lines where there is a next train in 30 minutes it could be a fair penalty. It would be more harsh on lines with less trains.
Then again, if the train hits you everyone gets delayed ... so perhaps even missing the last inbound would be a suitable punishment.
  by Metra210
 
On May 1st, as I was filming the morning rush on the Union Pacific West Line at the Melrose Park station, a track-dasher with a skateboard, skateboarded halfway down the platform opposite from the one that an outbound train would stop on before running the rest of the way, as the gates were down and the bells were flashing! The engineer blasted the horn twice, and I guess he alerted the conductors about this guy because he wasn't allowed to board the train. For those who do not believe that track-dashers aren't allowed to board the train, the video below serves as proof. The culprit is wearing all black and carrying his skateboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFFIsgCIA6g
NOTE: Stop the video at 1:40 because shortly afterward, I threw out a couple bombs. His actions horrified me, and I'm pretty sure that the engineer, who received all of my sympathy, was very nervous as well.