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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain posts progress with commuter-rail safety campaign


Last week, Caltrain issued an update on the success of “Don’t Shortcut Life,” a safety campaign launched in May that focuses on education, engineering and enforcement.

During the past six months, the agency has placed print ads and added information to its Web site to educate passengers and residents about safe behavior around trains and tracks. Caltrain officials also met with school district superintendents and conducted presentations for more than 5,000 students and community group members.

In addition, the agency expanded its education efforts to focus on suicide. In late May, Caltrain partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to participate in a campaign encouraging community members to help suicidal people get counseling. Under the program, Caltrain raised more than $8,000 to help support suicide prevention outreach.

On the engineering side, the agency has prioritized fencing areas along tracks. This year, Caltrain budgeted $1.5 million to install 12,000 feet of fencing at 28 locations; the agency plans to continue funding the program to eventually install fencing at all locations included in the plan. And in September, Caltrain received $7.4 million from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority to install pedestrian gates and raised medians at crossings throughout the county.

The agency has improved enforcement, as well, deploying transit police to areas where trespassers most commonly cross tracks. Since October, when transit police began citing trespassers, officers have issued 266 citations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/11/2006