By Paul Bendix
Life, Death and RailsUploaded: Apr 20, 2014
I try to avoid high-risk behavior...yet my last-minute dashes for Caltrain's 8:39 morning express border on suicidal. It's easy to forget that trains defy rules of perception. Rail safety isn't always obvious. That's why I could only benefit from this week's "blitz." This Thursday, at the Menlo Park station, Caltrain staffers will be out in force.
The 24 April [Safety Blitz www.caltrain.com/safety during the morning rush hour, is designed to educate us ? and our kids. Menlo Park, where tracks are at street level (not elevated or underground), poses significant risks for pedestrians and drivers.
What's to know about rail safety? For one thing, speeding trains distort sound -- it's hard to 'hear' how fast they're going. My eyes can deceive me too. A slow, distant train can suddenly become both faster and closer.
As the Caltrain schedule expands, so does the importance of rail safety. In Menlo Park, our level crossings pose a chronic danger. The structural remedy ? separating trains and roads ? is long overdue.
Questions about rail safety? You can talk to Caltrain engineers, law enforcement officers and public affairs staff this Thursday, 24 April, 7:30 ? 9:15 AM, at Menlo Park station.