22.11.16

A RULE 107 REFRESHER.

Citing the New Haven Railroad's Book of Rules.

When a passenger, mail, or express train is receiving or discharging traffic on the side toward a station, a train or engine must not pass between it and the station at which traffic is being received or discharged unless proper safeguards are provided, or the movement is otherwise protected.

* * *

When practicable, conductors of trains which may be involved in an application of Operating Rule No. 107 must ascertain from proper authority whether regular trains running in the opposite direction, due to arrive before their leaving time, have arrived.

This rule exists primarily to protect passengers and mail and express handlers from injury account a train passing between the active platform and the station.  It can also be used to protect passengers from injury incurred taking risks getting to the active platform.

The rule appears to be unfamiliar to operators of freight trains sharing tracks with the new commuter trains in Salt Lake City.  The focus of the article is on the absence of pedestrian and bicycle routes leading to trackside, but pedestrians, bicycle commuters, and motorists caught in the park-'n-ride lot on the wrong side of the tracks are all at risk.
In an act of poor-decision making, I once made it to a meeting on time by climbing over a freight train that was temporarily stopped on the tracks and blocking my access to the station.

I wasn’t the only pedestrian to make this dangerous decision either. Freight trains regularly sit on the tracks, blocking every North / South intersection that could be used to get to the station.

Commuters often arrive early, watch their train pull into the station, wait for 15 minutes, and watch their train pull away without them. All while blocked by the freight trains. Some have become frighteningly comfortable with climbing over the freight trains [video available at the link] in business attire, hoisting their bicycles over the non-moving trains, and even passing young children in between train cars.
Climbing over a stopped freight train, or crawling under one, is a hazardous practice considering that trains might move at any time, or be jolted by the coupling of cars.

And what does it say about a Passenger Rail operator, or about public attitudes toward railroad transportation, that an authority does not provide heated station buildings, such that passengers awaiting delayed trains might wisely bring an automobile with them?

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