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Caltrain crews earlier this week began removing vegetation along the rail corridor in Palo Alto, Calif., as part of the railroad's suicide reduction efforts. The work is a prerequisite for installing new fencing, which is aimed at decreasing the number of suicides on Caltrain's tracks, officials from the San Francisco-area commuter railroad said in a press release.Over the next two months, Caltrain will install 8-foot welded wire fencing between the Oregon Expressway and San Francisquito Creek on the east side of the rail corridor. The railroad will cover the $420,000 cost to construct that fence. Additionally, crews will install 18 inches of three-cabled angled winglets on top of existing fencing on the east side of the corridor between San Antonio and San Francisquito Creek. Palo Alto will pay $108,000 to carry out that work, in addition to $168,000 for vegetation removal, Caltrain officials said. Caltrain officials expect to complete vegetation removal and fencing installation by the end of October.The two entities also agreed to pilot an intrusion detection system that uses thermal infrared cameras to detect objects more than a mile away.Later this month, the cameras will be installed at the Meadow Avenue crossing for a 60-day trial and evaluation period. The pilot will come at no cost to the city or the railroad during that trial period, Caltrain officials said.All the work stems from a memorandum of understanding signed Aug. 24 between the city of Palo Alto and Caltrain regarding the funding and schedule of vegetation removal, fence installation and new camera technology.
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