Fatality on 29(4)

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

DCAKen

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
140
A trespasser was hit in Rockville MD about five minutes after passing my office window. This also delaying the afternoon MARC trains.

Washington Post article
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CSXfoamer1997

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
571
This trains hitting trespassers is just getting worse and worse. Every day! The question is, why is it getting worse, and what can we do to eliminate the chance of trains hitting trespassers?
 

ScouseAndy

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
346
Location
Liverpool- UK
I dont understand why in built up areas the train companies arent legally required to fence off the rails, I get due to the vastness of the states it would be impossible to fence them off completely but in towns and cities it would be possible, we manage it in Europe and have far more miles of tracks in cities.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,931
Location
CYN
This trains hitting trespassers is just getting worse and worse. Every day! The question is, why is it getting worse, and what can we do to eliminate the chance of trains hitting trespassers?
Nothing can be done to ELIMINATE the chance other than to stop running trains.

jb
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
6,280
Location
NYC/Queens
If you require a fence, and someone crawls through a hole in it, our system holds you responsible for not maintaining the fence. Why do we want to keep shifting the cost burden away from the people who are doing something wrong and make someone responsible. Fences don't help. People climb over them and cut holes in them.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,062
Location
Delaware
This trains hitting trespassers is just getting worse and worse. Every day! The question is, why is it getting worse, and what can we do to eliminate the chance of trains hitting trespassers?
Check this out and then let me know if it is indeed getting worse and worse (no, I did not read it myself).

http://oli.org/about-us/news/statistics

Here's something I found from a link on the above mentioned website

http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/publicsite/Query/castally4.aspx

Things don't appear to be getting worse and worse. It's more likely YOU are hearing about them more and more.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MikefromCrete

Engineer
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,801
Location
Crete, IL
This trains hitting trespassers is just getting worse and worse. Every day! The question is, why is it getting worse, and what can we do to eliminate the chance of trains hitting trespassers?
This has been happening since the first train ran on the first track. People take stupid chances. Today is no worse than the past.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,268
Location
Washington State
I dont understand why in built up areas the train companies arent legally required to fence off the rails, I get due to the vastness of the states it would be impossible to fence them off completely but in towns and cities it would be possible, we manage it in Europe and have far more miles of tracks in cities.
And I don't understand why that should be necessary. It isn't like the trains go off the tracks and chase people down. If you aren't on the tracks, you aren't going to get hit. Period.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Engineer
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,271
Location
Near an Amtrak station
This trains hitting trespassers is just getting worse and worse. Every day! The question is, why is it getting worse, and what can we do to eliminate the chance of trains hitting trespassers?
This has been happening since the first train ran on the first track. People take stupid chances. Today is no worse than the past.
IMHO, its that the news of such, travels faster and further than in past years. For example, someone hit by a train might make the next day's local paper, but today, within seconds, its posted here.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,062
Location
Delaware
How in the heck is it even decreasing? I hear about trains hitting people at least once a week.
Did you read the post above yours?Back in the dark ages, 1980's, we didn't hear about pedestrian strikes that happened in another state and if we lived in a large state we probably didn't hear about all the ones in our own state.
 

Cina

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
333
Location
Nebraska
There used to be more. And now there are less. But there are still a lot. And the internet means we hear about them more.
 

afigg

Engineer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
How in the heck is it even decreasing? I hear about trains hitting people at least once a week.
If you follow the link that was provided above to the FRA Office of Safety Analysis statistics and enter a query for Amtrak only, trespasser fatalities from January to December 2015, Amtrak was involved in 81 such fatalities in 2015. So even limiting to just fatal incidents, it happens more than just once a week on average.

The stats going back to 1981 show that there has been a major decrease in the number of grade crossing collisions and fatalities & injuries over the years. The trend line for grade crossing incidents has leveled off and gone up and down in recent years. (see http://oli.org/about-us/news/collisions-casulties). However, the efforts to reduce trespasser fatalities have been less successful and there has been a net increase in trespasser fatalities in the past few years. Lots of questions as why that is and what can be done to reduce them.
 

Alexandria Nick

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
427
Location
Alexandria, VA
I dont understand why in built up areas the train companies arent legally required to fence off the rails, I get due to the vastness of the states it would be impossible to fence them off completely but in towns and cities it would be possible, we manage it in Europe and have far more miles of tracks in cities.
A lot of them are and it doesn't stop people. Not far from my place, there's even barbed wire on top to keep people from trying. That just means you get to see an old blanket over the barbed wire every once in a while.

I'd even wager that once or twice a week, I hear CSX blasting away on the horn at night because they're honking at trespassers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

chakk

Engineer
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,561
Suicide by train is, unfortunately, a very common occurence in urban upper middle-class communities. Until the underlying reasons why people feel they must check out from Life can be effectively addressed, the deaths will continue. Fence off all ROW? Those that want to die will then step in front of fast moving trains at station platforms or grade crossings. Palo Alto, Calif hired security guards to sit by grade crossings on the south side of town after 4 student suicides by train. So two weeks ago a college freshman stepped in front of a fast moving train on the north side of town.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PeeweeTM

Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
163
chakk could be from the Netherlands. We got more fences and suicides last year. And some changes in health insurrance (less coverage) and new ideas of mentally ill people living among the 'sane' (any happy Republican voters here?) with limited supervision. We have around five 'mentally derailed' persons per day collected from platforms and railway crossings by the police. About 325 killed last year (precise number somewhere at home), couple of weeks ago four on one day, almost always likely suicide. People getting killed in an railway accident are very rare in the Netherlands.
 

KmH

Engineer
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
2,055
Location
Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
How in the heck is it even decreasing? I hear about trains hitting people at least once a week.
At 909 trespassers hit and killed in 2015 according to those Operation Lifesaver numbers that's an average 2.5 people per day.

As mentioned above many such incidents are only local news and aren't widely reported, and AU would tend to focus visibility on trespass casualties because it's a rail passenger forum.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

niemi24s

Engineer
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,852
At 909 trespassers hit and killed in 2015 according to those Operation Lifesaver numbers that's an average 2.5 people per day.
According to Post #15 data, Amtrak was involved in 81 or 9% of those 909 fatalities in 2015 for an average of 0.22 people per day or 1 fatality every 4½ days.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
24,662
Location
Austin Texas
Overall, suicides have increased in the US in recent years. From a CDC study:

  • From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006.
Here's a link to the CDC page I've quoted: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm
Sad! And this the best place to live in most people's opinions!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Thirdrail7

Engineer
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,490
How in the heck is it even decreasing? I hear about trains hitting people at least once a week.
Did you read the post above yours?
The answer is obvious....and typical.

I dont understand why in built up areas the train companies arent legally required to fence off the rails, I get due to the vastness of the states it would be impossible to fence them off completely but in towns and cities it would be possible, we manage it in Europe and have far more miles of tracks in cities.
i don't understand why that should be a requirement. We do not legal require a fence around the ocean to keep people from drowning(although around these parts, you do have to fence in your backyard if you have a pool,). Nor do we legally require every road to have a fence around it except at designated crossings. Why should you single out a train, which is on a dedicated right of way.
 

Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,562
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
How in the heck is it even decreasing? I hear about trains hitting people at least once a week.
Did you read the post above yours?
The answer is obvious....and typical.

I dont understand why in built up areas the train companies arent legally required to fence off the rails, I get due to the vastness of the states it would be impossible to fence them off completely but in towns and cities it would be possible, we manage it in Europe and have far more miles of tracks in cities.
i don't understand why that should be a requirement. We do not legal require a fence around the ocean to keep people from drowning(although around these parts, you do have to fence in your backyard if you have a pool,). Nor do we legally require every road to have a fence around it except at designated crossings. Why should you single out a train, which is on a dedicated right of way.
This is another time I wish there was a "like" feature on AU (hint hint). I wouldn't be able to like everything another this post enough.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top