September-October 2022 - 31

R
ail trespassing fatalities and
injuries come with a unique
pall of tragedy; one mixed
with the heartbreak of loss
and the frustration that these
incidents are preventable.
The Transportation Safety
Board of Canada reports there
have been 34 trespassing incidents
on Canadian railways between
January and July 2022. The
rate is pacing slower than the 64
incidents that occurred in 2021,
but ahead of incidents in 2020.
In the United States, the Federal
Railroad Administration (FRA)
reports that trespassing on freight,
intercity passenger and commuter
railroad rights-of-way is the leading
cause of all rail-related fatalities.
FRA statistics show there
were a total of 765 trespassing
casualties on railroads in 2011;
that number increased to 1,140 in
2021. Between January and May
2022, FRA data shows commuter
railroads have experienced 75
trespassing casualties versus 37
during the same months in 2021.
Time and resources have been
invested to develop educational
initiatives and engineering solutions
while partnerships have
enhanced enforcement, all with
the goal of bringing these statistics
down.
One tool with increasing
significance in the fight against
trespassing incidents is camera
technology. With the increased
use of video in and around railroad
property, cameras and camera
vision systems are becoming
important tools in amplifying
safety messages and collecting
data to improve safety programs.
'Silent Witness'
Earlier this spring, Metrolinx released
a video, slightly more than a
minute long, showing a heart stopping
near miss incident that took
place on May 20, 2022, between
a GO Train traveling on the Milton
Line across the Humber River
overpass and three young people
who came too close to tragedy.
The video's view is facing outward
from the locomotive, showing
the double track bridge with
the train operating along the track
on the left side of the screen and a
non-occupied track to the right.
The video, which Metrolinx has
titled the " Silent Witness, " first
shows a young person wearing a
dark t-shirt and shorts standing
on the right side of the screen
holding the railing of the bridge.
As the locomotive passes, the only
reaction from the person at the
railing is a slight turn of the head
- the person is in and out of frame
in a little less than three seconds.
The video then captures a more
unnerving sight: two additional
young people, one in a white
shirt behind and to the left of a
companion wearing a bright blue
t-shirt, running between the two
sets of tracks. As the train - now
well into emergency braking and
sounding its horn - approaches
the two running figures, the
young person in the white shirt
inexplicably crosses directly into
the path of the train, glances over
his shoulder and jumps over the
rail and to the left railing barely
clearing the front of the locomotive.
The envelope of clearance
was estimated to be 12 inches by
Metrolinx. The third person in the
blue shirt veers right and out of
frame as the train passes.
In a blog post detailing this
video, Metrolinx says the it serves
as an appeal to " anyone working
with young people to help the
agency reinforce the dangers of
walking on train tracks. "
Metrolinx has invested in
rubber anti-trespassing mats at
several locations on the Lakeshore
East, Stouffville and Lakeshore
West lines. Additionally,
in known areas where public
compliance with rail safety rules
can be a challenge, such as the
Port Credit bridge where people
jump off the bridge into the river,
Metrolinx has installed upgraded
fencing and boosted engagement
and enforcement efforts.
Metrolinx
A SCREENGRAB
from Metrolinx's
" Silent Witness "
video shows
the moment a
young person
trespassing
on Metrolinx
property narrowly
clears the tracks
as a GO Train
approaches.
But the impact of the " Silent
Witness " video is significant.
Metrolinx Chief Communications
Officer David Jang provided the
board with a quarterly report in
June 2022 in which he said there
was an " overwhelming response
from media worldwide " to the
video. The communications report
says the video attracted more
than 23,000 views and a strong
engagement rate on various social
media platforms making it one of
the top performing posts.
While the video's engage " You
manage
what you measure
and if you're only
measuring fatalities
then you're only
managing that. "
ASIM F. ZAMAN,
Rutgers University
ment statistics are impressive,
Metrolinx explains amplifying a
message of safe conduct on or near
train tracks is the goal.
" Safety campaigns, including
the release of this 'Silent Witness'
video, is one of the many ways
Metrolinx works with the public
to educate of the dangers of being
on or near train tracks and to
empower the public to make safe
decisions, " explained James Wattie,
Metrolinx senior advisor, media
and issues, communications.
" Every year, Metrolinx works with
Operation Lifesaver Canada to
promote Rail Safety Week (this
year, Sept. 19-25) to stop track
tragedies. Our Transit Safety Officers
also conduct community rail
safety outreach and partner with
local police and fire services and
other community safety groups to
increase rail safety awareness. We
continue to work in collaboration
with municipalities to improve
safety at our grade crossings. "
AI-Aided Crossing
Trespassing Detection
As the commuter rail and rail
transit sectors work to improve
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit | 31
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

September-October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September-October 2022

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
Employee Initiative Drives Growth and Success at C-TRAN
Paving the Road for Zero-Emission Bus Fleets
Rail Trespassing Prevention: Cameras Provide Unblinking Eye
Achieving Equitable Mobility
Open for All: The Modular Route to Contactless Open Loop Fare Payments
Innovating to Address Rising Passenger Expectations
Products
September-October 2022 - 1
September-October 2022 - 2
September-October 2022 - 3
September-October 2022 - 4
September-October 2022 - 5
September-October 2022 - Editor’s Notebook
September-October 2022 - 7
September-October 2022 - People & Places
September-October 2022 - 9
September-October 2022 - 10
September-October 2022 - 11
September-October 2022 - 12
September-October 2022 - 13
September-October 2022 - Employee Initiative Drives Growth and Success at C-TRAN
September-October 2022 - 15
September-October 2022 - 16
September-October 2022 - 17
September-October 2022 - 18
September-October 2022 - 19
September-October 2022 - 20
September-October 2022 - 21
September-October 2022 - Paving the Road for Zero-Emission Bus Fleets
September-October 2022 - 23
September-October 2022 - 24
September-October 2022 - 25
September-October 2022 - 26
September-October 2022 - 27
September-October 2022 - 28
September-October 2022 - 29
September-October 2022 - Rail Trespassing Prevention: Cameras Provide Unblinking Eye
September-October 2022 - 31
September-October 2022 - 32
September-October 2022 - 33
September-October 2022 - 34
September-October 2022 - 35
September-October 2022 - Achieving Equitable Mobility
September-October 2022 - 37
September-October 2022 - 38
September-October 2022 - 39
September-October 2022 - Open for All: The Modular Route to Contactless Open Loop Fare Payments
September-October 2022 - 41
September-October 2022 - 42
September-October 2022 - 43
September-October 2022 - 44
September-October 2022 - 45
September-October 2022 - Innovating to Address Rising Passenger Expectations
September-October 2022 - 47
September-October 2022 - Products
September-October 2022 - 49
September-October 2022 - 50
September-October 2022 - 51
September-October 2022 - 52
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