Trains.com

2nd Brightline fatality proves that Americans are too stupid for high speed rail unlike Europeans

5313 views
65 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,778 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 12:01 PM

ruderunner
i might need a refresher view but iirc she was on her cell phone.

If this was Mary Wojtyla's accident, no, she was not.  But she was bounding with impatience, with her attention directed elsewhere, just like many phone users nowadays.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,778 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 12:13 PM

BaltACD
If Brightline ever operates at High Speeds (150 mph +) crossing separation will have to happen

Even 125mph operation here requires strict grade-crossing separation, and I believe this applies to foot as well as vehicle crossings.  I do not know whether strict fencing or continuously-supervised surveillance of potential trespass is indicated for that speed.  It is a little 'moot' for the Brightline operation as their fastest equipment is only rated up to that threshold.

I do not think Brightline actually intends continuous operation at the high speeds permitted by its equipment, even on the 'new' ROW in the highway median area.  But that is inherently grade-separated with further barrier to casual pedestrian crossing provided by the Interstate lanes of traffic, so anyone 'struck and killed' in that location would have to be trying hard, probably well past the Darwin Award criteria, perhaps even past newsworker sensationalist bias.

I am afraid the solution in Boynton Beach is the same as in so many places elsewhere -- cameras and a ticket blitz with very high consequences (both financial and legal; I'd establish consequences at least equal to those for driving while impaired) until people form strong reflexes against doing it.  With a significant chunk of the proceeds earmarked for a relief fund for PTSD for trainmen affected by the trespassing...

That still doesn't fix the suicide problem, though, and that appears if anything to be getting worse.  There aren't any good technical answers at HSR speed.

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 6,939 posts
Posted by Euclid on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 12:28 PM

Euclid
 
samfp1943
Sometime back, around here there was a YouTube video of a Chicago Metra station that had three tracks through the station; the outer tracks were each on platforms and the center track was a 'passing track'. At at least one end of the station there was a pedestrian crosswalk across all three tracks. It of course had the appropriate warning signs about 'watching for the trains'. I think i remember that the scenario was computers racing to cross the tracks to get to the parking lot after deboarding from their commuter train, and failed to see the express, at speed on the center track, and the result was at least one pedestrian was hit by that express train.

 

It seems that distraction may have played a role in that accident.  The back story I read said that the woman was walking with her lawyer who was representing her in a divorce.  They were walking to meet her husband for a meeting between the three of them.  Their view was blocked by other standing trains, so they may have assumed that the crossing signals were activated for those standing trains.

 

When they heard a train horn, the lawyer walked faster to get across ahead of the train, even though the train was not yet within his sight.  The woman, seemingly in reaction to her lawyer, also speeded up her walking.  So both of them appeard to intend to beat the train.  Since the lawyer had sped up his walking first, he pulled ahead of the woman, so when she saw this, she walked even faster to catch up with him and not be left behind by being cut off by the train. 

The lawyer was taller than the woman and nearer to the approaching train, so it seemed like she may just have deferred to his judgment in beating the train, and did not feel it was necessary for her to look and verify that they could make it.  She seemed to be focused only on walking fast to keep up with her lawyer.

At the last instant, they passed the standing cars, and the lawyer saw the approaching train coming very fast.  He realsized they could not make it, so he abruptly stopped in his tracks.  But the woman apparently did not look and verify the danger like the lawyer did.  So she kept going and stepped right into the path of the train and was killed. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZYDc_yR0qA

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • 1,568 posts
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 1:55 PM

Boynton Beach are considering drafting people and dump trucks to block the railroad right of way untill they stop running the trains.

http://www.watershedpost.com/2013/train-wars-kingston-parks-dump-truck-railroad-track

  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 13,091 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:45 PM

CandOforprogress2

Boynton Beach are considering drafting people and dump trucks to block the railroad right of way untill they stop running the trains.

http://www.watershedpost.com/2013/train-wars-kingston-parks-dump-truck-railroad-track

 

I think you're kind of making that up. Read the article you posted for more accurate info.

ps. Once the insurance carrier on that dump truck sees the article, someone will probably be looking for a new insurance provider. Who wants to insure against the liability someone is willing to take on in a stunt like that?

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 11,013 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:59 PM

Murphy Siding

 

 
CandOforprogress2

Boynton Beach are considering drafting people and dump trucks to block the railroad right of way untill they stop running the trains.

http://www.watershedpost.com/2013/train-wars-kingston-parks-dump-truck-railroad-track

 

 

 

I think you're kind of making that up. Read the article you posted for more accurate info.

ps. Once the insurance carrier on that dump truck sees the article, someone will probably be looking for a new insurance provider. Who wants to insure against the liability someone is willing to take on in a stunt like that?

 

 

This story is almost five years old--look at the dates on the responses.

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 22,433 posts
Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 5:11 PM

Deggesty
This story is almost five years old--look at the dates on the responses.

That was part of the war between the Catskill Mountain Railroad and the local town supervisor, who is bound and determined to see the railroad gone.  

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 6:50 PM

Euclid
 
Euclid
 
samfp1943
Sometime back, around here there was a YouTube video of a Chicago Metra station that had three tracks through the station; the outer tracks were each on platforms and the center track was a 'passing track'. At at least one end of the station there was a pedestrian crosswalk across all three tracks. It of course had the appropriate warning signs about 'watching for the trains'. I think i remember that the scenario was computers racing to cross the tracks to get to the parking lot after deboarding from their commuter train, and failed to see the express, at speed on the center track, and the result was at least one pedestrian was hit by that express train.

 

It seems that distraction may have played a role in that accident.  The back story I read said that the woman was walking with her lawyer who was representing her in a divorce.  They were walking to meet her husband for a meeting between the three of them.  Their view was blocked by other standing trains, so they may have assumed that the crossing signals were activated for those standing trains.

 

When they heard a train horn, the lawyer walked faster to get across ahead of the train, even though the train was not yet within his sight.  The woman, seemingly in reaction to her lawyer, also speeded up her walking.  So both of them appeard to intend to beat the train.  Since the lawyer had sped up his walking first, he pulled ahead of the woman, so when she saw this, she walked even faster to catch up with him and not be left behind by being cut off by the train. 

The lawyer was taller than the woman and nearer to the approaching train, so it seemed like she may just have deferred to his judgment in beating the train, and did not feel it was necessary for her to look and verify that they could make it.  She seemed to be focused only on walking fast to keep up with her lawyer.

At the last instant, they passed the standing cars, and the lawyer saw the approaching train coming very fast.  He realsized they could not make it, so he abruptly stopped in his tracks.  But the woman apparently did not look and verify the danger like the lawyer did.  So she kept going and stepped right into the path of the train and was killed. 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZYDc_yR0qA

 

 

 

If that's the video I think it is, and since it's a You Tube "sign in" video it probably is,  I've seen it once before and really don't want to see it again. The woman takes off like a drop-kicked football when the train hits her.  Not pleasant.

It might do some good if the general public could see it, maybe it would wise some people up just a little.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 11,013 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 8:12 PM

dubch87

This is the same state that has road signs that say "HILL BLOCKS VIEW". I laughed for five miles after passing those signs.

 

If this refers to insufficient distance to see if it is safe to pass, the solid and dashed center lines in other states have worked rather well in the past; is there something different about Florida hills? I have not driven in Florida in going on four years, and did not notice any such difficulty the last time I did so.

Johnny

ben
  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 68 posts
Posted by ben on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 8:42 PM

Just remember that this is the state where this had to happen.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 22,433 posts
Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 8:47 PM

Deggesty
If this refers to insufficient distance to see if it is safe to pass, the solid and dashed center lines in other states have worked rather well in the past;

New York adopted a yellow triangular sign that goes on the left side of the road.  It, too, indicates that it's unsafe to pass, and is paired with a black and white sign indicating "No Passing Zone."

Given that there are conditions where you simply can't make out the stripes, they really aren't a bad idea.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • 4,154 posts
Posted by blhanel on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 8:50 PM

I didn't know there were hills in Florida... Surprise

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 11,013 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 9:26 PM

Now, was this a warning for the benefit of people who had moved in from the cold country and had never had the experience of being in a hurricane? I was born in Florida, but grew up in the Up Country of South Carolina (there are hills and curves there).

As to hill warning signs, I have seen many a sign indicating that you shoulld not pass--which, to me, is far more sensible than the signs warning of the effect of hills on the range of vision.

Johnny

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 21,237 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 9:34 PM

blhanel
I didn't know there were hills in Florida... Surprise

The hills of Florida - Interstate overpasses and refuse dumps - refuse dumps are probably the highest 'natural' features on the Florida landscape.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 21,237 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 9:38 PM

Deggesty
 
dubch87

This is the same state that has road signs that say "HILL BLOCKS VIEW". I laughed for five miles after passing those signs. 

If this refers to insufficient distance to see if it is safe to pass, the solid and dashed center lines in other states have worked rather well in the past; is there something different about Florida hills? I have not driven in Florida in going on four years, and did not notice any such difficulty the last time I did so.

The signs appear on US 301 near Hawthorne - a divided highway - where passing is permitted.  Suspect they are trying to warn that there MAY be a traffic condition over the crest you can't see.

  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Northern Florida
  • 1,429 posts
Posted by SALfan on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 10:26 PM

BaltACD

 

 
blhanel
I didn't know there were hills in Florida... Surprise

 

The hills of Florida - Interstate overpasses and refuse dumps - refuse dumps are probably the highest 'natural' features on the Florida landscape.

 

Obviously you've never been to the Big Bend or the Panhandle.  Highest point in FL is around 500 feel above sea level.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 21,237 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 10:36 PM

SALfan
 
BaltACD
 
blhanel
I didn't know there were hills in Florida... Surprise 

The hills of Florida - Interstate overpasses and refuse dumps - refuse dumps are probably the highest 'natural' features on the Florida landscape. 

Obviously you've never been to the Big Bend or the Panhandle.  Highest point in FL is around 500 feel above sea level.

The refuse mountains in S. Florida are about 400 feet at present and growing daily.

No I haven't been to the Big Bend area.  Just know that the CSX tonnage ratings for the Red Level Jct. coal trains were not indicative of 'mountain railroading'.

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Cardiff, CA
  • 2,930 posts
Posted by erikem on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 12:09 AM

SALfan

 

Obviously you've never been to the Big Bend or the Panhandle.  Highest point in FL is around 500 feel above sea level.

 

According to wackypedia, the highest point in Florida is 345' msl. In comparison, I'm sitting at about 330' msl and am 6,000' from the Pacific ocean.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 22,433 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:39 AM

I grew up in SE MI, where the Alpine Valley ski area actually added to the top of their ski hill, quite visibly.  But there are plenty of hills in SE MI.

Our local trips on the railroad involve a difference of some 200'...

Southwest Ontario, though, is flat as a board.  Driving between London and Windsor on the "401," about the highest points are, indeed, the freeway overpasses.

 

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,983 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 7:09 AM

Larry,

BTDT, mostly on the Gold Wing. Southern Ontario is a great place to visit and Ontarians are most accomodating. It didn't hurt that Vicki and I chose Zeddy Bear as our mascot that rode on the trunk of our bike. Zeddy was, at the time a bit of a national mascot even though he was an advertising medium for Zeller's Department Store.

With a Michigan License plate on the back and Zeddy on the trunk we did get a lot of thumbs up from Ontario motorists.  It was in the nineties but those were fun days. Our usual destination was Stratford and the Shakestpear festival.

We met some real good folks on those rides. Canadians are definitly good people.

Norm


  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,778 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:25 AM

ben
Just remember that this is the state where this had to happen.

Always amusing to see people who don't quite get it.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 21,237 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:39 AM

Ask the Mayor of Darby, PA how that turned out when she tried blocking the Main Street crossing with CSX in her town with a city vehicle.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,778 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:48 AM

BaltACD
Ask the Mayor of Darby, PA how that turned out when she tried blocking the Main Street crossing with CSX in her town with a city vehicle.

If that's Paula Brown, the "Tasmanian Devil of Delaware County politics", it actually turned out fairly well ... except for CSX.

Here is a story with context

which I have to post because a Google search on Darby will likely only produce thousands of pages of the SEPTA wreck.  Note the general expressed dislike of CSX, even then.

As recently as last year, Paula was trying to get back into office (!) running as a write-in Republican. 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 21,237 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:00 AM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
Ask the Mayor of Darby, PA how that turned out when she tried blocking the Main Street crossing with CSX in her town with a city vehicle. 

If that's Paula Brown, the "Tasmanian Devil of Delaware County politics", it actually turned out fairly well ... except for CSX.

Here is a story with context

which I have to post because a Google search on Darby will likely only produce thousands of pages of the SEPTA wreck.  Note the general expressed dislike of CSX, even then.

As recently as last year, Paula was trying to get back into office (!) running as a write-in Republican. 

She is still out of office.

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Raleigh, N.C.
  • 170 posts
Posted by dubch87 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:13 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Deggesty
 
dubch87

This is the same state that has road signs that say "HILL BLOCKS VIEW". I laughed for five miles after passing those signs. 

If this refers to insufficient distance to see if it is safe to pass, the solid and dashed center lines in other states have worked rather well in the past; is there something different about Florida hills? I have not driven in Florida in going on four years, and did not notice any such difficulty the last time I did so.

 

The signs appear on US 301 near Hawthorne - a divided highway - where passing is permitted.  Suspect they are trying to warn that there MAY be a traffic condition over the crest you can't see.

 

 

The "hills" are actually embankments leading up to bridges over CSX tracks. The signs are on both the north and southbound sides. There aren't traffic signals on either side, or any other reasons for traffic to be stopped as you come over the crest. The sight distances aren't even cut that much.

   

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,247 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:26 PM

In the U.K. and everywhere on the continent of Europe, crossing gates are on both sides of the road. You can't drive around them. Why isn't that done here? 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 11,013 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:44 PM

54light15

In the U.K. and everywhere on the continent of Europe, crossing gates are on both sides of the road. You can't drive around them. Why isn't that done here? 

 

It is done here, except where TRAXX runs down the middle of a street--amd the rtains are governed by their own traffic lights, which are connected to the automotive traffic light system.

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 22,433 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:56 PM

54light15

In the U.K. and everywhere on the continent of Europe, crossing gates are on both sides of the road. You can't drive around them. Why isn't that done here? 

$$$$$$

Crossings that have proven to be a problem may well have four-quadrant gates.  Generally speaking, they are a requirement for the establishment quiet zones.

But there are still crossings across the country that only have flashing lights, not to mention those with only crossbucks.

If a municipality wants to upgrade a crossing, the cost is on them.  Many aren't willing to spend the cash.

And, there is the ROI.  Spending tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade a crossing that sees only a train or two per day and hasn't had a collision in forever isn't very high on the list.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Cordes Jct Ariz.
  • 1,305 posts
Posted by switch7frg on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 7:44 PM

A strange twist  happened in PHX. az  this morning usually a train strikes a car. Not this morning, a car struck a train in Gilbert Az. at the crossing. Our talented "Newsies"said the car hit the side of the engine. OKthat was all that was said The car caught fire and driver died.  Must have been nobody important. No report on 6PM news. Maybe  on the 9PM news along with the 60 mi. car chase in Phx. 2 cars destroyed ,no one killed. Said driver has a loong rap sheet. Such as life in east  Phx.   At no time were police injured.

Y6bs evergreen in my mind

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:46 AM

54light15
In the U.K. and everywhere on the continent of Europe, crossing gates are on both sides of the road. You can't drive around them.

That is not true at least for Germany. We have almoat everything:
http://www.bahnbilder.de/1024/fussgaenger-autofahrer-muessen-warten-bis-567542.jpg


https://bauprojekte.deutschebahn.com/media/projects/4782/gallery/verden-rotenburg-estw-bahnuebergang.jpg

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/v6lfyBbI3SI/maxresdefault.jpg

https://cache.pressmailing.net/thumbnail/story_big/3a4ea012-831c-4a16-85c8-e211cdfeb46e/bpol-ks-gueterzug-erfasst-pkw-rentnerin-leicht-verletzt

For speeds above 100 mph grade crossings are not allowed.
Regards, Volker

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy