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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by AMTK84
Today while listening to the radio, I heard number 48 call downtown Commuter opporations and tell him that "we're stopped at Geneva, we've got like 70 people going around the gates...I guess there were no announcements made...I tried to call the station agent but she didn't answer." Sadly, this isn't anything new. From what I am told people go around the gates there all the time. They have all trains call the Geneva ticket agent when the station is staffed, to inform the agent about what track they are coming on so the agent can make announcements for passengers. In instances like today, though, it sounded as though the crew of number 48 let these, for lack of a better word, "people" on the train, even though they ran the gates.

My philosophy on that is: if you do something unsafe around the train and the engineer or conductor sees you at it, no ride! No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Who cares if a whole group of people did it, and if announcements weren't made. By letting those people on the train they are reinforcing the message that doing that is "okay".

  by TimK
You said it.

When I worked on a light rail line in the Stockholm area in Sweden, I frequently refused boarding to people who had been on the tracks. My reasoning was that if they don't obey the rules before they board the train, how can I count on them to follow my instructions in case of an emergency?

Unfortunately an order contravening this practice came down later, after an incident in which another train operator refused boarding to an elderly passenger who had (in spite of her elderliness) hurried through a crossing to make the train when the gates were down. A supervisor happened to be nearby in an official car, and not only did he report the train operator's decision to higher-ups (resulting in the new order, issued only hours later) -- he also picked up the old woman who'd gone around the gates, and gave her a lift into central Stockholm!

What the hell kind of message does that send? Well, not only does it say, "It's OK to go around the gates"; it also says, "You don't have to pay attention to what the train crew tells you to do."


  by MetraBNSF
I believe in the philosophy that if you run around the gates to board the train, you don't get on. I saw this happen at Westmont on July 3 when a kid dashed around the gates to get on one of the extra express trains as the train's bell started to ring. The engineer spotted the guy and yelled at him. A railroad cop came off the train and detained him. Before the eastbound had the crossing, a westbound express rocketed through and you could hear the horn of the approaching express from inside the train.
Last edited by MetraBNSF on Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by AMTK84
And then if that idiot were to have gotten hit guess who would've been blamed? Heaven forbid they would blame the kid...

  by MetraRy
while I am not infavor of people crossing the tracks with warning devices on. I would havea hard time saying that 70 people should be not allowed aboard. I am unfamilar with the Geneva situation, but to me it sound like a track announcment wasn't made. IF that is the case, what were these people suppose to do? They would be unable to see know what track the train was on to it got close. Please inlighten me if I am not understanding the situation fully

  by qboy
This reminds me of Sunday samething it seems I'm on a eastbound freight on trk1. And #48 is behind me but I can't tell if he is going to follow me or go down trk2. As I am coming thru Geneva I see everyone on the north platform. I called 48 told he got whole bunch of people on the wrong side. It didn't help matter that the dispatcher didn't tell anyone and wouldn't answer the radio till after the fact. But 48 called commuter control told them about situation and that announcements would be made. The engineer on 48 said hey would lay back for all the folks to crossover once my hind end clear the station. No harm no foul and 70 to 100 people are able to crossover to make there train in this circumstance I wouldn't deny boarding to those folks. Its completely different than just running out there without warning. I know the guy that works 48 normally and sometimes he can make things seem alot worse than what they really are. But when your up there it scary to see people running out ther like. But anytime I see situations like that I will hold up short to let the people cross as long as I know that theres no traffic coming, and inform the conductor so we don't leave the folks. Other than situations like that though you running front Scoot you won't be riding on it and you will have to what for the next one.

  by AMTK84
You confirmed what I've heard about that same guy. Had JJL been the dispatcher still we wouldn't have as many problems like this.

Metra RY...In that kind of sitchuation there is no "official rite" thing to do. I think whatt Qboy said about laying back so people could cross is a very considerate thing to do and that makes perfect sense. But when we have gates down and people at Geneva, we'd be sending a mixed message no matter what.

  by qboy
Yeah Steve ain't JJ but none the other dispatchers are either. JJ could paint the picture give ya heads of what to expect ahead without having to call him so you can make your adjustments. He is truely missed but just glad I had the opportunity to meet and hang with few times before retiring a few months ago. DLF and RES are pretty good too though but they ain't JJ.

  by AMTK84
RES's problem is he has a nasty temper. DWU is a good one also.

  by qboy
The problem guy's run into with Bob/RES is if your gonna stop for any reason is let him know whats going on. A lot of the new folks will stop or take forever to take the signal or come to stop on clear, and just sit their till they hear from him. Instead of being proactive. He wants to keep things moving. But he can be very impressive, and he could chillout a little bit. And Dave/DWU he is not to bad either.

  by AMTK84
Any idea what happened to that Northeast Dispatcher TAD? The guy who always worked the night job? What about AMMZ?

  by qboy
Sorry not that familiar with the Northeast dispatchers JES is the only one that comes to mind at the moment. Although AMZ has worked on the 11/12 spot too.