Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Please respect trains

I rode the Gold Line from mid-town Sacramento to the Hazel Station this evening. While the train was stopped at the University/65th Street Station, a westbound train slowly approached the station.

Several people must've ran between the two trains because the operator of my train gave this warning in a stern voice over the intercom:

"There is a train coming (on the track) beside me," warned the operator. "Please do not run in front of it."

I share her concern. Approaching trains kill and maim thousands each year. Many of these accidents occur at grade crossings.

Although I don't know the extent of Sacramento Regional Transit Anthority light rail safety record around its stations, I frequently see pedestrians darting around operating trains.

I'm reminded of a similar incident in 2007. As I waited for my evening bus home, I watched a young teenage pedestrian jump a coupler on the Blue Line at 8th and K Streets.

While these incidents didn't result in an accident, they're a stark reminder of what can happen when someone tries to outrun an approaching train.

Next time you see a train coming, please wait. You'll be rewarded with life.

I borrowed the image from an Amtrak conductor who's known as El Cobrador on Flickr.com. Steve and I routinely share photos and information on local railroad operations.


  1. I've commuted by train for over a decade now, and I've seen what can happen first hand. Over these years, I've had to wait for the Coroner three times. Stop, Look and Listen is good advice on and off the tracks.

  2. Thanks, Ed. Even today, a middle-aged man ran in front of the train as it was leaving the 16th Street station! The operator leaned on the horn until he cleared the track.