Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by Jeff Smith
Yes, alcohol is suspected:

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/ ... way-tunnel
SAN FRANCISCO – Police arrested the driver of an SUV after he headed straight down a tunnel into the San Francisco subway system, causing massive delays during Thursday morning’s commute.

Muni Metro spokesman Paul Rose told NBCBayArea. com in San Francisco the vehicle drove into a tunnel on Church Street shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday and headed east toward the Van Ness Station.

The SUV stopped when it got stuck on the tracks, police said.
  by Patrick Boylan
it's not unique to San Francisco, http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=72&t=89960 SUV driven into SEPTA tunnel

or unique to light rail right of way, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080104/141128.shtml
Now we've got a similar case. As pointed out by the folks over at the Tech Liberation Front, a California man who was in New York for work, and driving a rental car, apparently turned onto the railroad tracks for the MetroNorth line because his GPS told him to turn.
The only US case I know where transit used gates to keep automobiles from their right of way was Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co, Red Arrow Lines, Ardmore busway. According to Ron Degraw's 'The Red Arrow' when converted to bus in the 1960's they used second hand grade crossing gates from the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee. At some point since they just stopped using gates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7_wpczou7g Stupid people and an automatic traffic barrier shows an installation in England.
  by Disney Guy
Rail tunnels can have tire ripping prongs at the entrance so an auto won't go far and can therefore be removed more quickly.

In some countries pylons or bollards rise from the ground to block autos from busways. There are a few Youtube videos showing private drivers hitting these obstructions.
  by Patrick Boylan
You say pylon, I say pile on. Disney Guy, the youtube link I gave is one of the bollard installations you mention.