View Full Version : Train vs. Pedestrian, Part 2



Questor
05-21-2014, 08:26 PM
So it's happened again in Norman. This time, the kid survived and was able to tell folks the accident occurred because he crossed without looking while listening to his iPod:

16-year-old has first surgery after being struck by train Monday The Norman Transcript (http://www.normantranscript.com/headlines/x2117408959/16-year-old-has-first-surgery-after-being-struck-by-train-Monday/print)

If you pull up Google Earth and type in E Acres Street and Legacy Trails Norman OK, you'll get a pretty good view of the pedestrian crossing that goes over the train tracks.

This topic has come up before on this forum. Since my last post I have done some research and I have found these recommended solutions by the Federal Highway Administration:

FHWA - Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook - 9 Special Issues (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/xings/com_roaduser/07010/sec09.htm)

Figure 76 in that document shows photos of recommended options for crossings such as this one. The options range from lighted signs that illuminate when a train is present, to pedestrian gates similar to the car gates that come down at many train crossings, to swing gates / literally a gate that you have to press open in an attempt to make you stop and think about it before proceeding. Apparently all of these are common on the East Coast.

I'm just writing this post to bring it to the attention of others in the hope that maybe someday Norman will act on this and better protect its citizens. With unstoppable trends towards more pedestrians and more distracting technology, I think this is an issue worth a second look.

zookeeper
05-21-2014, 08:35 PM
So it's happened again in Norman. This time, the kid survived and was able to tell folks the accident occurred because he crossed without looking while listening to his iPod:

16-year-old has first surgery after being struck by train Monday The Norman Transcript (http://www.normantranscript.com/headlines/x2117408959/16-year-old-has-first-surgery-after-being-struck-by-train-Monday/print)

If you pull up Google Earth and type in E Acres Street and Legacy Trails Norman OK, you'll get a pretty good view of the pedestrian crossing that goes over the train tracks.

This topic has come up before on this forum. Since my last post I have done some research and I have found these recommended solutions by the Federal Highway Administration:

FHWA - Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook - 9 Special Issues (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/xings/com_roaduser/07010/sec09.htm)

Figure 76 in that document shows photos of recommended options for crossings such as this one. The options range from lighted signs that illuminate when a train is present, to pedestrian gates similar to the car gates that come down at many train crossings, to swing gates / literally a gate that you have to press open in an attempt to make you stop and think about it before proceeding. Apparently all of these are common on the East Coast.

I'm just writing this post to bring it to the attention of others in the hope that maybe someday Norman will act on this and better protect its citizens. With unstoppable trends towards more pedestrians and more distracting technology, I think this is an issue worth a second look.

Tragic. I'm glad this young man survived. The gates for walkers makes sense. We actually have them here in OKC at Lake Hefner where the walking trail passes through the entrance to the East Wharf area. At least the gates were up the last time I was there which, admittedly, was a long time ago. Sounds like something has to happen there in Norman.

Mel
05-21-2014, 08:38 PM
Never hurts to be aware of your surroundings. Pull your head out so to speak.

Snowman
05-21-2014, 08:44 PM
... Figure 76 in that document shows photos of recommended options for crossings such as this one. The options range from lighted signs that illuminate when a train is present, to pedestrian gates similar to the car gates that come down at many train crossings, to swing gates / literally a gate that you have to press open in an attempt to make you stop and think about it before proceeding. Apparently all of these are common on the East Coast. ...

I remember seeing tons of the pedestrian mini gates that drop and flash while on one of the Metra lines in Chicago, most of the time they were on both sides of every road at the sidewalks but they were also on the pedestrian/bike trails it crossed. I was guessing it was probably required for them to get quiet zones.

Tritone
05-21-2014, 09:02 PM
Mel's right. If people would stop abdicating pesonal responsibility ...

Mel
05-21-2014, 09:48 PM
Plus pull the plugs out and listen. Sometime danger makes a wee bit of noise before it get's ya. I'm hearing impaired but I can hear a train when it's getting close. You can even feel the vibration.

Urbanized
05-21-2014, 09:54 PM
Maybe he was listening to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch?

OKCisOK4me
05-22-2014, 12:33 PM
Amazes me the amount of people that cycle and run at Lake Hefner when crossing intersections. They don't even pay attention. I can't for the life of me do that.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S5

TheTravellers
05-22-2014, 01:09 PM
Never hurts to be aware of your surroundings. Pull your head out so to speak.

Yep. Amazes me how cavalier people are about railroad crossings. Go to Chicagoland sometime and hang out at some railroad crossings, it'll scare the hell out of you (both the amount/speed of trains/tracks as well as idiots that don't pay attention). Nevereverevereverever stop on the tracks or go around crossing gates!!!! Alwaysalwaysalwaysalways look both ways before crossing a track just in case, even if the gates are up and signals off, and especially if there are no gates/signals!!!!!

I used to go around the gates at Britton/Western 'cos I could see a slow freight train 2 miles down the tracks and I knew I could get across the tracks, but when we moved up north, no way in hell would I ever do that with 3 tracks and a train stopped on one of them (so it looked safe since there wasn't anything moving, theoretically), then an Amtrak comes barrelling through at 70 MPH, and a freight coming the other way doing 45 MPH).

Just the facts
05-22-2014, 01:11 PM
Plus pull the plugs out and listen. Sometime danger makes a wee bit of noise before it get's ya. I'm hearing impaired but I can hear a train when it's getting close. You can even feel the vibration.

You would be surprised. We go up to Folkston, GA on occasion to train watch and if a train coming through is 'coasting' (not sure if there is a techincal term), it is as quiet as a mouse until it is right there at you.

kevinpate
05-22-2014, 02:51 PM
JTF, they blow here in Norman at all crossings if memory serves, and after closing several a few years back, there is no such thing as a coaster train inside Norman. They are either at a fair clip, or they are chugging and clattering trying to get to speed after sitting at a switch so someone could go the other direction.

We run, I think, over 34 trains a day now, and only the lil Heartland flyer is a shortie sortie. Everything else has some decent length to it.

All that to say this - if someone can't see, hear, feel or smell a train when it is present and they are 10 feet or less from a track inside Norman proper, especially where the track crosses Acres, then that someone just ain't really even trying to pay any attention.

soonerfan_in_okc
05-28-2014, 06:10 PM
Never hurts to be aware of your surroundings. Pull your head out so to speak.

Well then let's just get rid of crossing guards for cars too. Then anyone who gets hit by a train should just pull their head out right?

venture
05-29-2014, 09:56 AM
Well then let's just get rid of crossing guards for cars too. Then anyone who gets hit by a train should just pull their head out right?

What kind of response is this? Cars obviously need time to stop - a person doesn't need 20-40 ft to stop. I don't see how asking for pedestrians to be responsible generates such a response. I always look both ways before crossing a road or set of tracks - I have no desire to go up for the Darwin award.

MustangGT
05-29-2014, 10:45 AM
You would be surprised. We go up to Folkston, GA on occasion to train watch and if a train coming through is 'coasting' (not sure if there is a techincal term), it is as quiet as a mouse until it is right there at you.

Semi-technically correct. When the Power Throttle setting is say Run-0 there is very little if any noise. Same is true when they are using Dynamic Braking. Nevertheless pedestrian need to pay attention. I see asshats wearing iPods, headphones, or texters step off the curb w/o looking. Maybe it is Darwinism in practice when a few get taken out permanently. Trains traveling southbound are in reality headed downhill. That is why you almost always see more locomotives on the consists when headed north or uphill. Trains win all ties and when the signals are operating correctly ALL collisions are the fault of the cars driver or the pedestrian.

soonerfan_in_okc
05-29-2014, 10:47 AM
What kind of response is this? Cars obviously need time to stop - a person doesn't need 20-40 ft to stop. I don't see how asking for pedestrians to be responsible generates such a response. I always look both ways before crossing a road or set of tracks - I have no desire to go up for the Darwin award.

Just because someone has a lapse in judgement doesn't mean they deserve to be hit by a train. We all make mistakes every now and then. I'm surprised that someone like yourself could be so cold blooded.

venture
05-29-2014, 11:35 AM
Just because someone has a lapse in judgement doesn't mean they deserve to be hit by a train. We all make mistakes every now and then. I'm surprised that someone like yourself could be so cold blooded.

What was cold blooded in my response? Asking people to watch out for trains and be responsible? Where did I say they deserve to be hit by a train? I think you need to reconsider your tone and tact in responding to people on this forum. I can't see any reason to be attacked for my response.

soonerfan_in_okc
05-29-2014, 11:41 AM
What was cold blooded in my response? Asking people to watch out for trains and be responsible? Where did I say they deserve to be hit by a train? I think you need to reconsider your tone and tact in responding to people on this forum. I can't see any reason to be attacked for my response.

So you are okay with someone getting hit by a train if they forget to look both ways?? Wow okay. Now THAT is cold blooded

kevinpate
05-29-2014, 11:54 AM
Before anyone gets too ramped up over look both ways or what not, that's not what was at play here. According to the article, the lad was walking home from school, as he had oft done before. He was walking southbound, headphones in his ears, and even though horns were blaring, the lad did not know a train was about to run up his backside and make a mess of his day.

The injuries here have nothing to do with looking both ways before crossing the tracks.

Plutonic Panda
05-29-2014, 12:14 PM
So you are okay with someone getting hit by a train if they forget to look both ways?? Wow okay. Now THAT is cold bloodedWhat are you smoking man? He never said he is okay with it. I'm sure the last thing Venture wants is for anyone to get hit by a train. I can't speak for him, but it sounds like to me if you're not paying attention at all, you better be ready for the consequences. We were given our senses for a reason, I for one, use them. Well, I've had my times where I could have used them better, but still.

venture
05-29-2014, 12:42 PM
So you are okay with someone getting hit by a train if they forget to look both ways?? Wow okay. Now THAT is cold blooded

Where are you even pulling that from? Your responses make absolutely no sense. Are you just trying to see how fast you can get banned from the site now for unprovoked attacks on others?


Before anyone gets too ramped up over look both ways or what not, that's not what was at play here. According to the article, the lad was walking home from school, as he had oft done before. He was walking southbound, headphones in his ears, and even though horns were blaring, the lad did not know a train was about to run up his backside and make a mess of his day.

The injuries here have nothing to do with looking both ways before crossing the tracks.

Very true Kevin. From the original article...


Braddy said his son was walking home from school, southbound along the tracks, like he does every day, and didn’t hear the train coming.

So we have a kid who is walking along the tracks on a line that has somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 trains per day.

Tritone
06-01-2014, 04:33 PM
Walks the tracks every day? Pushing his luck every day! Do we expect the trains to swerve and miss us?

Teo9969
06-01-2014, 04:56 PM
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kevinpate
06-01-2014, 06:47 PM
I'll confess I walked and rode bikes/motorbikes along tracks back in my immortal days.
Of course, we didn't have 30+ trains a day where I grew up, and perhaps of far greater significance, we didn't have earbuds.

Tritone
06-08-2014, 11:06 PM
I think the earbuds are the key. They plug in a world away from the reality...no threats, no danger, no rules.

Uncle Slayton
06-09-2014, 04:22 PM
I think the earbuds are the key. They plug in a world away from the reality...no threats, no danger, no rules.

Physics can be a bitch...you can tune out the lectures, but the labs can kill ya.