Point / Counterpoint / Cal-Train Collision Course With Human in San Fran Friday, July 31st


Are any electronic devices been installed? Caltrain is currently in the process of installing a Positive Train Control (PTC) system along it’s right-of-way. The PTC network is an advanced signal system comprised of fiber optic cables that will monitor and, if necessary, control train movement in the event of human error. This will increase safety on the Caltrain corridor, which has over 40 at-grade vehicular and pedestrian crossings by eliminating the risk of train-to-train collisions, reducing the risk of potential derailments by enforcing speed limits and providing additional safety for railroad workers on the tracks. Caltrain is also currently working with Palo Alto on a pilot program to install motion-detection cameras at intersections in the city. The cameras have a one-mile range and the ability to alert authorities when a person is on the tracks.

Do engineers have instructions to look ahead, alert riders, and stop quickly? Yes. Caltrain engineers go through thorough training processes to prepare them for the possibility of pedestrians on the tracks.

How much fencing has been installed recently? Each year, Caltrain installs thousands of fencing along its right-of-way. Since 2006, more than 17 miles of fencing has been added along the Caltrain tracks.

Why a firm in Nebraska was chosen to take 800 calls? It was the recommendation we received from the Bay Area’s mental health communities.

What improvements law enforcement and the coroner’s office have made? Caltrain is constantly working with local law enforcement agencies and the three Bay Area coroner’s offices to educate them about the unusual challenges of responding to deaths on the system’s train tracks. However, we cannot control the availability of the coroner’s offices, and as a result, there are occasionally lengthy delays when the necessary personnel are not immediately available.

To what extent have incidents been investigated? Deaths on the tracks are treated with the same level of respect and thorough investigation that law enforcement personnel bring to any investigation involving loss of life. Final determination regarding the cause of death is made by the coroner’s office, following a complete investigation that includes interviews with family and friends, full autopsy, witness interviews, testing of the engineer to ensure fitness for duty, and toxicology screens.

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A southbound train struck a person on the tracks at about 4:20 p.m. near the 22nd Street station in San Francisco, Caltrain officials said Friday afternoon.

Emergency personnel are at the scene, according to Caltrain officials. Officials said the person was on the tracks illegally.

The train has about 400 passengers on board and trains in both the southbound and northbound directions are stopped due to the collision, according to Caltrain.

Caltrain would not say anything about this more.DSCF0128

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