Tag Archives: California

Santa Fe Springs, CA: State’s most dangerous crossing to be eliminated

22 Sep

LXinfoImage1294-Rosecrans Santa Fe SpringsPlanning is underway to eliminate what is considered to be California’s most dangerous level crossing. The project calls for either a highway underpass or overpass to replace the level crossing which diagonally straddles the Rosecrans Avenue – Marquardt Avenue intersection. subject to the necessary approvals and funding being available construction could start in 2018. The crossing is used by some 130 trains and 45,000 road vehicles daily.

The USD 130 million project to take Rosecrans Avenue under or over the railway is still being designed and four options are being assessed with public meetings on September 30th the next step.

Oxnard, CA: Stranded truck, driver flees, many injured

25 Feb


Police have said that the nature of their investigation has changed following the death of the train driver from injuries sustained in the collision.

A NTSB spokesperson has said that the truck was not stuck on the crossing at the time of the accident. It was stopped on the crossing with brakes applied.

End of update

Police in Oxnard, Ventura County, have confirmed that the truck hit by a Metrolink commuter train on February 24th, 2015, was stranded across the tracks when the collision occurred. Police have also confirmed that the truck driver who was not in the driving cab when the train hit the truck had been found 1.6 miles from the scene of the accident and that he was subsequently charged for a felony hit-and-run offence.

The collision is reported as having injured at least 28 people travelling on the train. Three passengers and the train driver are understood to be in a critical condition. The collision derailed the train, with three carriages turned onto their side. The there was an explosion at the point of impact which saw the truck engulfed in flames.

The accident occurred at approximately 05.40 adjacent to the automatic level crossing equipped with lights and barriers on South Rice Avenue at the intersection with East Fifth Street. It is not known how long the tractor and trailer unit had been stranded across the railway. However it is reported that the truck driver was trying to move clear of the railway when he saw the train, travelling at 79 mph, approaching. The train driver made an emergency brake application when he sighted the truck straddling the railway; but, was unable to stop short of the truck.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating this accident. The train was formed of modern rolling stock which, Metrolink has reported, performed well with all passengers contained within the vehicles that were turned on their side.

California: Operation Lifesaver to the fore in Rail Safety Month

4 Sep

California with more than 5,000 miles of railway and two level crossings for every mile of railway saw 72 trespasser and 41 level crossing fatalities in 2013 is again running a multitude of local initiatives this month, rail safety month, through to the end of September 2014.

California Operation Lifesaver is at the fore of this state-wide initiative, delivering many crossing safety blitzes and other awareness-raising events. A key component in the CAOL armoury is the See Tracks, Think Train campaign launched this year and already widely adopted.

Working closely with state, local and railway police, the CAOL initiatives centre on reducing the number of law infractions, principally the top three Vehicle Code Sections most violated:
– Vehicle/Pedestrian failing to stop for railroad crossing signal (22451[a])
– Vehicle/Pedestrian walking around lowered railroad crossing arms 922451[b]]
– Anti-Gridlock, stopping on railroad grade crossing; undercarriage clearance (22526[c]

For more information or to obtain the Law Enforcement Guide to Railroad Laws, contact your local law enforcement, the California Highway Patrol, or CAOL at +1 760 688 0588. Contained in the guide is a list of 14 vehicle code sections and 41 penal code sections relating to the railways, as well as an investigation checklist and train stopping procedures.

It’s still not too late to request a rail safety presentation during rail safety month or to volunteer as an Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer, visit http://www.caol.us or call +1 760 688 0588.

Carlsbad, CA: Man killed on active level crossing

12 Aug

A young adult male pedestrian was killed while crossing the railway at an active level crossing in Carlsbad Village after attending his sister’s birthday party at a local bar. The accident occurred at about 23.20 on August 7th, 2014 on the level crossing close to the intersection of Grand Avenue and State Street. It has been reported by a law enforcement officer that the warnings were active and barriers lowered when the man attempted to cross the railway and was hit by a freight train.


Milpitas, CA: Road closure as grade-separation works move ahead

6 Jun

Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas will be closed to through traffic as the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) pushes a head to grade-separate the intersection with the railway. The eight-month closure, effective June 16th, 2014, is to allow construction of a trench to allow trains on the extension of the BART system to pass beneath Dixon Landing Road. The adjacent freight right-of-way will remain at grade.

San Leandro, CA: Distracted teen killed on level crossing

21 May

A teenager was fatally injured when she was struck by a train while using her mobile telephone with earphones as she crossed the railway at the Hesperian Boulevard level crossing in San Leandro. The accident occurred at about 17.55 on May 19th, 2014 on the level crossing that is equipped with lights and barriers. Witnesses have said that the level crossing was functioning correctly at the time of the accident and that a man had called out to her to warn her of the fast-approaching train.

Los Angeles, California: Metrolink announces grant for safety education

21 Nov

LXinfoImage1016-metrolink mapThe California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded a USD61,325 grant to Metrolink for a year-long “Public Safety Awareness on Railroads” campaign. Metrolink, in collaboration with California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) and with the support of OTS, is dedicated to reducing the number of persons killed and injured in level crossing collisions.

“It is absolutely tragic to witness and experience the largely avoidable incidents along the tracks caused primarily by distracted pedestrians and drivers,” said Metrolink CEO Michael P. DePallo. “With the support of the California Office of Traffic Safety, Metrolink and its partners will continue striving to make people more aware of the dangers of unsafe behaviours on or near the tracks.”

Metrolink will use the funding as part of an on-going commitment to keep our roadways and rail crossings safe through safety education, information, and enforcement.

The state of California has nearly 10,000 at-grade railroad crossings across more than 10,000 miles of railroad track, intersecting with nearly 324,000 miles of public highways and roads. Unfortunately, California has the distinction of leading the nation in the number of deaths at these level crossings and along railroad rights-of-way.

The grant will fund various activities, including:

· Increasing the number of CAOL authorized volunteer presenters throughout the state;

· Conducting a public safety conference in Southern California with stakeholders regarding safety at crossings; and

· Working with communities and community leaders concerning issues which address safety at level crossings and on the railway’s rights of way.

Funding for this programme is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 21st year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.