Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Metrolink targets dangerous behavior near tracks

Metrolink CEO John Felton announced his resignation on Monday, leaving the rail authority he's manned for just over two years.
David McNew/Getty Images
File photo: A conductor steps down from the engine of a Metrolink train on the Los Angeles-bound Monday morning commute September 15, 2008 in Chatsworth, California.

Police officers rode on a Metrolink train this morning, targeting illegal and unsafe behavior on or near railroad tracks and crossings. KPCC's Brian Watt rode along.

The train shuttled between the Glendale and Burbank stations, a stretch of track with some of Metrolink's most accident-prone crossings.

Metrolink, Amtrak and Glendale police officers watched for motorists trying to beat the approaching train through crossings and for trespassers – people walking along the railroad. That's illegal, but some people do it – even walk on the tracks while listening to music through headphones.

During my ride in the locomotive, one officer spotted a cyclist hustling across the tracks. Metrolink officials told me that nationwide, there are 500 trespassing fatalities a year. California has the largest share.