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Original post made
on Oct 30, 2008
I don't understand why the train continued traveling for 4 blocks before it stopped. These incidents seem like they are occuring more and more frequently. What is going on?
Think of the speed of the train, its momentum and how light the truck is, in comparison. Unfortunately, it appears that this individual was suicidal, and there's nothing you can do to stop that kind of incident.
Trains are big and heavy and cannot stop on a dime. If a train is coming, you need to get out of the way.
I do think the cities really need to improve the train crossings, though. For example, move the gates farther away from the train tracks and make the signal lights bigger and more visible. In many cases, the signal lights are near turns, so you don't see them until you are right next to the train tracks.
Kirsten, it takes the train a while to stop...I figure four blocks is excessive, but it may be that the engineer didn't want to slam on the brakes, throwing folks inside the train about...many may have been standing if it was close to a stop.
I really really really hate it when folks go around the arms. You don't even have to be a little smart to know what this means. Arms are down. Lights are flashing. Bells are ringing and the train (horn blowing) is roaring toward you. Just wait thirty damn second for it to go by!
It's hard to stop a train going 60+ mph. Four blocks really isn't that far.
you don't understand why the train continued traveling for 4 blocks before it stopped?
the laws of physics, Kirsten.
people do not understand mass*acceleration. trains approach faster than you think, and they CANNOT stop on a dime. (imagine being in the cab of a train about to kill someone and not able to do a damn thing about it.)
those who suicide by train should think of others before choosing this way.
unfortunately, I think that's what most of these incidents are. better social services, not
crossing gates, are what's needed.
There is no reason as yet to think that this individual was suicidal. But, he did stop on a crossing. There are big signs that tell drivers never to stop on crossings for any reason, but people do. At the crossings in Palo Alto where there are traffic lights to cross Alma, there is often someone stopping on the crossings because the lights are red. The "know" that if a train approaches they will get a green light when the gates come down, so they feel safe. But, if they stall, or the car in front stalls, or if something happens in the intersection to stop the traffic, then this is a very dangerous practice.
I have no idea if this happened in this accident, but cars must never ever stop on the tracks for any reason - just in case.
The signal arms, size, distance, etc. are governed by the Public Utilities Commission in conformance with national standards. The train operator installs and maintains them, and cities can't do anything to change them. There is nothing wrong with the warning systems. The problem is with the people who ignore them.
I ride the train every day. I know what it takes to stop. I have been in numerous accidents. Thanks.
Vote yes on 1A and this won't happen anymore.
Who said "a man in his 50's" was suicidal or went around "the arms"? Whatever the circumstances were, it is an unfortunate incident that cost someone their life. Yes, many people were inconvenienced because of the accident but jumping to conclusions before the facts are revealed is a waste of time. It does happen often and people continue to be rude and self-righteous. With the prospect of high speed rail coming to the Bay Area there may not be street crossings in the future, but until then this will continue to happen regardless if it is intentional or accidental. Public transit is not always going to be more convenient than traveling by car, truck or motorcycle. Accidents happen daily on our roadways which delay more people than those of us who commute on Caltrain.
I say it was a suicide and with times like these, we may be in for more. Sadly, I think I heard somewhere that suicides are up too.
Hug your loved ones.
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...
Who cares suicide Big Heavy TRAIN a person is lost who
may have grieving loved ones? may be a child missing
a Father. To the Family :
may you find comfort at this time
Prayers are with you sadly
Well, if these trains were underground we wouldn't be having any more "fatal collisions" anymore, now would we?
I would vote for a bond measure and ballot proposition to put Caltrain underground or at least create grade separations at all intersections. That is much more interesting to me than BART or HSR.
I use Caltrain service daily and appreciate it. Nevertheless, the reality is that Caltrain is cutting a swath of destruction down the Peninsula. Grade separations are imperative. Meanwhile, for my own preservation, I plan ahead and use a tunnel. Not always convenient, but safe.
My deepest sympathy to the family. It saddens me for whatever reason this happened to the person [a human being].
I take the train and was stranded that morning, but in comparison to this man's life ending ---that was nothing.
My heart-felt sympathy to all of his loved ones.
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