Woman hit by train in Framingham

Shortly before 9 a.m., Transit Police tweet.

The woman was hit at the busy crossing at Waverly and Concord streets.

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Question

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Why is it that numerous news outlets have reported on this story this morning and ONLY Fox is reporting that this person did not survive?

What sources does Fox have that no one else appears to have?

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train

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She did not die. It was misreported

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Ah

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As my friend said as we were discussing this yesterday, "I wouldn't be surprised if Fox jumped the gun".

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Another terrible example of

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Another terrible example of trains not stopping for pedestrians at crossings.

....what? Have you seen the crossing in Framingham? There's a ton of signage and gates, both over the road and the sidewalk. Do you really expect a 6-8 car commuter train to stop on a dime?

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Another Terrible Example

... of Markk's inability to understand a) the difference between trains and cars and, b) the worlds low tolerance for his excuses for drunk drivers, impaired drivers, and others who should not be driving.

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Out in left field again

Your point b's are all false, libel.

I just bring up trains stopping for pedestrians because lots of jerks expect trucks, buses, and cars to all always stop on a dime for pedestrians with no responsibility for the pedestrian. True double standard.

Trains can be made to stop quicker. Its far from an impossible engineering feat.

So, where are the assholes screeching "blame the victim"? Instead, they give trains and its engineer free passes, but never car, bus, and truck drivers.

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Trains are not operating on public ways

That's 1.

Trains cannot swerve.

That's 2.

Engineers do get fined for speeding.

That's 3.

Motor vehicle operators are required to travel at speeds that account for the conditions in which they are operating. If there are crosswalks, they are expected to travel at speeds which allow them to stop. If there are traffic lights and stop signs and yield signs, they are expected to account for their presence in selecting speeds of travel.

That's 4

Motorists are but one user of public ways. Their operation of vehicles must account for that.

That's 5.

As for libel, one need only read your screeds about buildings needing bollards to prevent impaired drivers from crashing into them, as well as "confusion about new traffic islands" and pedestrians that weren't wearing Christmas trees full of lights are at fault when drunks hit them, etc. in other on line discussions to know how you make continual victim-blaming excuses for impaired drivers.

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Wrong of Way

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How the hell are trains going to be made to stop quicker? Throw an anchor out the engine window?

The reason victims are blamed when hit by a train is because in nigh every instance it is because the victim was either trespassing on a right of way or crossing when the gates and/or lights indicate one should not. These are not street running trains and the few places where there are still level crossings are well maintained so that they warn people to stay away.

Roads are not exclusive right of ways the way train tracks are.

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One of the problems with locations where

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grade crossings are located just after stations is that, as the train is usually starting from a station stop, it's often too easy for people - even fully alert ones - to misjudge the train's speed. In Framingham, this is exacerbated by the fact that, for inbound trains on the station track, the crossing protection is not automatically activated. Rather, a crewmember must push a button on the station platform to activate the crossing signals and gates once the train is ready to leave the station (such arrangements are now generally considered to be an unacceptable design for human factors reasons and because it is not "fail-safe"). Because of this design "feature", the train's acceleration speed is limited by rule so the train doesn't get to the crossing before the gates are fully down for the minimum prescribed time.

I hope if never happens, but part of me can't help but wonder about the day when (for whatever reason) a crewmember forgets to push the button.

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Trains beating the gates coming down

I saw this happen once, about 8 years ago. One morning as I was approaching the High St. Crossing in Medford, a Downeaster blasted through at a very high rate of speed and beat the crossing gates coming down at High St. and Canal St.

I reported it via Amtrak, as it was around 8am and there are two overlapping school zones in play, heavy traffic on High St., as well as a commuter rail platform packed with a couple hundred people.

They got back to me that the engineer was being disciplined. He was going 57 mph, and they were limited to 25 mph in that area - which explains why he beat the gates coming down. I spoke with the track crossing guard at Canal St. and she had also reported the incident. I don't know if the person who is supposed to be staffing the shed there at that crossing reported it, too, but the railway operator did take action.

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Fortunately for society, the courts disagree

It's a firmly-established principle that trains always have the right of way at an intersection, no matter what, even if the engineer was inebriated or something (though of course separate criminal charges would be filed for that). This is precisely because trains cannot stop as quickly as anything else, and cannot ever move out of the way. There are exceptions for things like the Green Line, which isn't legally considered a train the way that the Framingham line is.

There's no ambiguity on this, and I wouldn't even bother counter-trolling if it weren't for legitimate concerns about anti-pedestrian and anti-public-transit propaganda among motorists.

Its far from an impossible engineering feat.

Fortunately for society, physicists and engineers disagree. Work = Force * Distance if you want to look at it high-school-wise: if you stop a train quickly, it takes more work. The energy has to go somewhere, probably in to friction, and we don't have a lot of economically-viable materials that can handle the stress/heat. Also, keep in mind that stopping the wheels does not necessarily stop the train - it's not like they have rubber tires.

And I can't tell you how many times some asshole decided to take a fast right turn without looking for pedestrians crossing in a demarcated sidewalk with a green "Walk" sign and a beeping noise. That's never happened to me with the commuter rail.

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Rail or track brakes slow trains faster

and exist on Green line trains. These have friction material which contacts directly with the track, which slows better than just brakes on steel wheels contacting steel track. Read the Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_brake . It notes how rail brakes on the green line are used far more often than typical for these types of brakes. Adding track brakes elsewhere in the MBTA could save lives.

The coefficient of friction for a steel wheel on a steel track is a claimed 0.25g, similar to rubber on ice. Hence, track brakes with higher friction and much greater contact area make trains stop faster.

The Kinki trains nearly double in braking performance when using the "emergency" track brakes at speeds over 30 mph, going from deceleration rates of 3.5 mph per second to 6 mph per second. http://www.lightrail.com/carspecpages/mbta/mbtatype7.htm

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