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Woman killed by Caltrain in Mountain View

Original post made on Oct 14, 2008

A woman was killed Monday night when she was struck by a train at the Mountain View Caltrain station. Caltrain officials said the woman, not yet identified, was hit at about 6 p.m., causing service to be suspended 90 minutes with delayed trains later.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 4:41 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:12 am

When the current grade-level tracks were first laid through the center of the Peninsula in the late 1800's, there was little here but sagebrush and ranches. More than a hundred years later, with hundreds of thousands of people living on both sides of the route, and more than 100 trains racing through daily at 70+ miles per hour, the tracks are STILL at grade level. And we've become almost complacent about the dozen or so deaths that occur every year on these tracks.

It's time to stop accepting the perennial excuses against a grade separation, and start acting. If we don't do it before the high-speed train program begins, it will never happen. And schoolkids, the foolish, the troubled, and the merely unlucky will keep on dying in our own Palo Alto backyards.

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Posted by McGrude
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:25 am

Good luck convincing Menlo Park and Atherton to agree to a grade separation.

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Posted by c you around
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:31 am

Can you please expound on what a "grade separation" is???

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Posted by Donald
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:34 am

Like it or not, BART is soaking up all of Santa Clara County's money for serious public transit improvements. And BART doesn't even serve Santa Clara County.

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:24 pm

"Can you please expound on what a "grade separation" is???"

When the train does not operate at the same level as street traffic.
"Grade" is where the streets are. Below grade then means a trench or a tunnel. Above grade means it is operating on elevated tracks.

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Posted by get your facts straight
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Menlo Park and Atherton would love to see the train tracks underground. The lawsuit is not about grade separation, but about high speed rail.

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Posted by Jarrett Mullen
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Get your facts,

If the California High Speed Rail bond gets passed, the entire Caltrain line will be grade separated as part of the project. Trains that operate in excess of 100mph cannot risk the collisions associated with grade crossings.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Just close all grade crossings, then let the cities decide whether they wanted to cross over the tracks or not. It might help if we made the railroad liable for allowing crossings at grade.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Walter if we followed your suggestion in Palo Alto we would end up with two places to cross Caltrain. That would really cut the city in half, but I do agree with you.

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Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I bet the railroads would love to have all grade crossings removed. They hate the crossings. Railroads, such as BNSF have active programs to eliminate as many grade crossings as possible. Eliminating grade crossing also provides a benefit for people living near the trains - no more train horns, and trains moving through the area faster.
And Santa Clara County has already seen recent construction of many grade separations - 237, 85, 87 have all recently had 'grade' crossings converted to grade separated roadways.
And now we have the crazed Measure B asking for more money to operate a "new" grade separated BART (that is not even built and was on track to be fully scuttled by the feds if not for the shenanigans of a San Jose congressman)
Why not spend the money to improve the useful transit we have now, and prevent more needless deaths.

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Posted by Marc
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Maybe the question is why are those people on the rails in the first place?
It's not like rail crossings aren't safe already, they have signs for when you can cross.

If you cross in the middle of a freeway and get hit, and that's tough luck. You shouldn't have done this to start with.
If you try to race a coming train to cross the tracks before it gets there and get hit, what the hell were you doing? It's not like the caltrains aren't already the slowess and loudest trains there are.

We're not talking about school children who have to cross an unprotected rail crossing and get hit by trains, we're talking about a pretty well protected track system and adults who had no business being anywhere near it when a train was coming. If they used the proper crossing points when it's safe, there wouldn't be a problem.
How about we put a little responsibility on the people here?

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