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Caltrain Pax Leap For Lives


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#1 WhoozOn1st

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:07 AM

Terrified Caltrain passengers forced to jump out of way of train

"SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- Terrified Caltrain passengers who were legally crossing the tracks were forced to jump out of the way of a Baby Bullet to avoid disaster, leaving the commuter line scrambling for answers after one of the train operators tested positive for drug use.

"No one was hurt in the Aug. 24 incident, which was disclosed to this newspaper for the first time Friday. Caltrain says the 'very serious' near-accident was the first of its kind in the modern history of the popular commuter line and has led to major safety changes and left two engineers on leave."

"[Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme] Ackemann said officials disclosed the incident during last week's board meeting and to federal rail officials but had not reported it to the general public or media before confirming the details to this newspaper Friday. Caltrain typically publicizes fatalities on its tracks and other incidents that cause delays, but felt it wasn't necessary to advertise last month's near-accident because it did not disrupt operations and no one was injured, she said."



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#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

:o Didn't think it was necesary to let the Public know because the Engineer was Stoned and Operations werent disrupted and No-one was Hurt or Killed?? :wacko: Good PR Guys! <_<

Edited by jimhudson, 18 September 2012 - 11:15 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#3 fairviewroad

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

This incident is a good reminder of the need for pedestrians to "Stop, Look & Listen" even when you have permission to cross
the tracks. Not that I'm blaming the pedestrians here...they were evidently in the right...but even a 76 mph train doesn't materialize out
of thin air.

#4 daniel3197

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:37 PM

You do NOT understand the track and platform layout which is
LEFTOVER from the OLD layout in which almost all
intermediate stations from San francisco to San Jose were setup like this.
This platform setup in multiple main track territoriry is
what I call : “Single side Boarding"
That is because all boarding is done from a
single or unified waiting platform area at stations like this.

At South San Francisco platform protection is done by
FEDERAL Railroad RULE - GCOR Rule 6.30 .
This is the “HOLD OUT” rule where
only ONE train a time is allowed to pass a station area :
---------------------------------
6.30 Receiving or Discharging Passengers

When a passenger train is receiving or discharging traffic, a train, engine, or piece of equipment must not pass between it and the station platform being used unless safeguards are provided.
----------------------------------

When I started regularly watching Southern Pacific then Caltain commute ops
in the late 1970 s almost ALL stations were setup in this.
The only station exceptions to this in the late 1970s were
Bayshore, San Bruno and Palo Alto - Downtown--University Avenue.

Since Caltrain JPB took over July 1, 1992 , Caltrain has gone
on a MAJOR MAJOR construction effort to rebuild almost all
stations to the current "Outboard Platform" format.
The only Caltrain stations that have yet to be rebuilt are :
South SF, Broadway, Atherton and College Park.
Of those ONLY South SF (South City) has frequent weekday service .
College Park (San Jose) has only ONE train each way on weekdays.
Broadway (north Burlingame), and Atherton are weekend only stations.

As I understand it, GCOR Rule 6.30 applies if there is
ANY SCHEDULED service at a station
for that ENTIRE calendar day.
This is how Caltrain operates a weekday schedule and
mostly avoids Rule 6.30 with the single exception of South SF.
That would also be why Caltrain has NO weekday service to
Broadway and Atherton.
They do not need to protect or construct new platforms
at Broadway and Atherton if there is NO scheduled weekday service.


IN this video you can see the OLD platform layout which is
still used at South San Francisco:


The SAME platform arrangement is currently used on our
Amtrak Capitol Corridor at these stations with rule 6.30 protection :
Berkeley, Suisun, and Davis .
Here is a good HD video showing that
SINGLE SIDE boarding setup in Suisun City, California :


I am aware that this rule 6.30 applies on
southern California - Metrolink SCRRA at these stations :
Van Nuys and Montebello
This rule also applies at the Amtrak
station in Olympia --Lacey, Washington (Centennial Station) or
OLW Amtrak station code.

I hope this helps to explain in more detail the
rather odd platform arrangement at South San Francisco, California .
I would love to hear the experience of others with these
different platform arrangements.
--- Daniel

=======================================================

This incident is a good reminder of the need for pedestrians to "Stop, Look & Listen" even when you have permission to cross
the tracks. Not that I'm blaming the pedestrians here...they were evidently in the right...but even a 76 mph train doesn't materialize out
of thin air.



#5 leemell

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:26 PM

You do NOT understand the track and platform layout which is
LEFTOVER from the OLD layout in which almost all
intermediate stations from San francisco to San Jose were setup like this.
This platform setup in multiple main track territoriry is
what I call : "Single side Boarding"
That is because all boarding is done from a
single or unified waiting platform area at stations like this.

At South San Francisco platform protection is done by
FEDERAL Railroad RULE - GCOR Rule 6.30 .
This is the "HOLD OUT" rule where
only ONE train a time is allowed to pass a station area :
---------------------------------
6.30 Receiving or Discharging Passengers

When a passenger train is receiving or discharging traffic, a train, engine, or piece of equipment must not pass between it and the station platform being used unless safeguards are provided.
----------------------------------

When I started regularly watching Southern Pacific then Caltain commute ops
in the late 1970 s almost ALL stations were setup in this.
The only station exceptions to this in the late 1970s were
Bayshore, San Bruno and Palo Alto - Downtown--University Avenue.

Since Caltrain JPB took over July 1, 1992 , Caltrain has gone
on a MAJOR MAJOR construction effort to rebuild almost all
stations to the current "Outboard Platform" format.
The only Caltrain stations that have yet to be rebuilt are :
South SF, Broadway, Atherton and College Park.
Of those ONLY South SF (South City) has frequent weekday service .
College Park (San Jose) has only ONE train each way on weekdays.
Broadway (north Burlingame), and Atherton are weekend only stations.

As I understand it, GCOR Rule 6.30 applies if there is
ANY SCHEDULED service at a station
for that ENTIRE calendar day.
This is how Caltrain operates a weekday schedule and
mostly avoids Rule 6.30 with the single exception of South SF.
That would also be why Caltrain has NO weekday service to
Broadway and Atherton.
They do not need to protect or construct new platforms
at Broadway and Atherton if there is NO scheduled weekday service.

[snip]

I am aware that this rule 6.30 applies on
southern California - Metrolink SCRRA at these stations :
Van Nuys and Montebello
This rule also applies at the Amtrak
station in Olympia --Lacey, Washington (Centennial Station) or
OLW Amtrak station code.

I hope this helps to explain in more detail the
rather odd platform arrangement at South San Francisco, California .
I would love to hear the experience of others with these
different platform arrangements.
--- Daniel

=======================================================


This incident is a good reminder of the need for pedestrians to "Stop, Look & Listen" even when you have permission to cross
the tracks. Not that I'm blaming the pedestrians here...they were evidently in the right...but even a 76 mph train doesn't materialize out
of thin air.



Metrolink and SCCR are preparing to rebuilt the Van Nuys platform. The Metrolink board just approved $40M and started preliminary engineering. I was at the station three weeks ago and USA had marked it up for engineering the track moves.

#6 fairviewroad

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:32 PM

You do NOT understand the track and platform layout which is
LEFTOVER from the OLD layout in which almost all
intermediate stations from San francisco to San Jose were setup like this.


I think this statement was directed at me, but I'm not sure what makes you think I don't understand the layout. I'm just saying that
despite having the right of way, and despite the fact that a federal regulation theoretically offers you protection in this situation, it's
still a good idea to have situational awareness. Because as we saw in this situation, sometimes federal regulations are not followed.
As a pedestrian, when I cross the street on a green signal, I still cast a quick glance both ways to make sure some numbskull isn't
planning to run the red light.

#7 George Harris

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:46 PM


You do NOT understand the track and platform layout which is LEFTOVER from the OLD layout in which almost all intermediate stations from San francisco to San Jose were setup like this.

I think this statement was directed at me, but I'm not sure what makes you think I don't understand the layout. I'm just saying that despite having the right of way, and despite the fact that a federal regulation theoretically offers you protection in this situation, it's still a good idea to have situational awareness. Because as we saw in this situation, sometimes federal regulations are not followed. As a pedestrian, when I cross the street on a green signal, I still cast a quick glance both ways to make sure some numbskull isn't planning to run the red light.

Exactly! My father's basic instruction to me both as a city street pedestrian and as a student driver included very emphatically, "You don't want to be dead right." I tend to always take a look the wrong way also before crossing a one-way street. That has saved me a couple of times in my life.

The Caltrain weekend schedule (one train an hour in each direction, plus two "baby bullets") was adjusted a couple of years back to move the soutbound departure from being on the hour to being 15 minutes past the hour primaily to eliminate a meeting right at South San Francisco. I do not know when or if Caltrain plans to do anything to South San, but it will not be easy. There is an in-service industry/yard track through the platform area.

I thought College Park was being rebuilt or recently has been rebuilt. I have not been south of Sunnyvale for quite a while, so I have no first hand info on it.

#8 Guest_peremichel_*

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:00 PM

I am not sure that looking before crossing would give much warning to a full speed train barreling down on you. After watching the video posted above and looking at google, the station does not have very good sight lines. The express train would come around the curve which is 1.25 miles away and would be partially blocked by overpasses. At 76 mph, the train would take less then 1 minute from the curve until it entered the station. And that does not even take into account the obstacles in between the curve and the station that could have blocked the view until the train was even closer. If I was exiting a train and saw a full speed train less then a minute from me, I would be hauling it out of there and be terrified.

I think it is safe to assume that since no one was injured and the relatively little time in which everyone had to react, people were actually paying attention and looking.

#9 fairviewroad

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:21 PM

I think it is safe to assume that since no one was injured and the relatively little time in which everyone had to react, people were actually paying attention and looking.


Exactly. Which is why it's a good reminder...and not a bloody, tragic reminder. :excl:




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