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Man vs. commuter rail. Sadly, man loses

On my drive home today I was puzzled by all the emergency vehicles, including a Transit Police car, racing towards Colbert Street in West Roxbury.

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I was walking down Centre in JP when a Transit cop raced by and then both units at the firehouse immediately pulled out and roared out as well. Sad :(

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A couple of days ago Spring st north was blocked off at the VFW pky by 2-3 cruisers. I never found out what the problem was.

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Drove by there at 7:30 on the way home. Isn't that in Roslindale?

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I think the station is in West Roxbury because the old Howard Chevrolet, next to the station, was in West Roxbury, and when MJ's moved to its current location, they said they were moving to West Roxbury. But the poor guy could have been hit in Roslindale.

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I always considered that to be Roslindale. The dance studio next to MJ's claims to be in Roslindale. Personally I use West Rox Pkwy as the border, though I know the folks on the other side of Centre Street took issue with that idea.

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I believe the car dealers are on the other side of the tracks from the train station. The dealers are on Belgrade, on the south side of the tracks, and the station is at the end of Colbert, on the north side.

As for whether this is West Rox or Rozzie, I've always thought that the whole South Street area was Rozzie, and you cross into West Rox at the Holy Name rotary. But I see on the zip code maps that theose three blocks between Guernsey Street and the rotary are 02132.

I don't think the question of exactly where Roslindale ends and West Roxbury begins is ever likely to be resolved.

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I had just passed the West Roxbury police station, sorry to offend anyone by getting the neighborhood wrong

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Hey, note the lack of agreement among Rozzie denizens, toss in the post office, and mix with a few snobs who live in the triangle between formed by Centre Street and the parkways, and you'll see that nobody really is sure about this one.

I was nearby at about 8:30 last night picking up a Pizza from the Brikhouse and saw the shuttle bus. My only thought was, "what did the 'T do this time?" but evidently it wasn't their fault.

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The Transcript reports: Two 15-year-olds walking along the track; one got out of the way, the other didn't.

Channel 4: Walking with a friend on railway tracks with their backs to the train.

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Channel 4 is channeling (sorry, couldn't come up with a better word) John Prine?

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to stay the hell off of train tracks?

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Teenagers wanting to hang out where adults aren't around? Who ever heard of such a thing?

I'm guessing the sky had opened up during the accident. Probably a factor.

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how do you grow up in Rozzie or West Roxbury without learning that those tracks are active and busy?

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Maybe they didn't grow up there? Just saying.

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How far do you have to walk to find a way over the tracks to the other side? Do you have to detour a mile out of your way? Is it simply easier and quicker to cut through because there are no reasonable alternatives on foot?

A lack of accomodation of pedestrian movement in an otherwise pedestrian scale area leads to people on the tracks. The more people on the tracks, the more accidents there will be.

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The Herald has a photo of the kid's body right at the station, where there's a crossing, so I'm thinking it's not a case of some kids trying to avoid a two-mile walk.

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You can cross right over at the stations. Otherwise, I don't know of any spots in West Roxbury where the tracks are a major impediment between roads, paths, etc.

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At the Bellevue station, there's a pedestrian underpass for getting from the north (station) side of the tracks to the south (Belgrade) side of the tracks, at the end of McGraw. That's at the east side of the platform. It looks like the kids were trying to walk across the tracks at grade at the west end of the platform.

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I played around train tracks as a kid. But those were freight train tracks. You could hear the train coming a mile away, horns a'blowin, gates dinging and dropping. No way to mistake it.

The commuter rail on the Needham tracks? Not so much. A few trains deadhead back into the station around evening commute time, not stopping anywhere and going really frickin' fast. You hear a rumble, and then a behemoth races by at upwards of 50. I'd bet that's what hit them.

Oh, wait, Channel 4 specifies the 6:05 inbound. I think they mean the train leaving NH at 5:40, which skips straight from West Rox station to Forest Hills and, yes, would tend to blow through Bellevue around 6:05 at high speed. I have no trouble at all believing that hit somebody. The car crossings around there aren't at grade level, but the pedestrian crossings are.

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I live right around the corner from Bellevue (and, incidentally, my address is West Roxbury) and commute to and from using that commuter rail. The train tracks go right behind my apartment, and I didn't think anything of the abnormal amount of sirens--this morning there were two police officers wandering around the depot, but other than that there are no signs that it ever happened.

It's just really sad. He was just a kid. If he was being less than wise by walking on the tracks at rush hour, it doesn't really matter--everyone does reckless things at 15. It just really sucks that this boy and his family and friends have to pay for it.

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I wish you'd change the title of this blog. This was a tragic accident and your title seems to be making light of it.

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You laugh to keep from crying.

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I disagree - there's nothing to make light of in this story. Too soon? There will never be a time when it's OK to laugh about it.

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I strongly disagree.

All aspects of life (beginning, middle, and end) in the grand scheme of things are hilarious.

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A young teenager just died.

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I'm not going to concede this point.

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I wrote the original comment above about the inappropriateness of this entry's title.

What in the world is your point? That there is something funny about the death of a 15 year old? That in the grand scheme of things death of a child is funny? (Hilarious?) That the pain of your neighbors should be taken lightly?

When I wrote the original post, I did not know that the boy who died was someone I knew, and finding out that he was has made me even more sensitive to the insensitive comments in this blog. I really hope no one in that family, who are in deep mourning and shock, reads any comments like yours.

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BPH, register here and login with an ID that
gives you more than an "unverified" identity,
which is a step above the "anon" trolls that drop their
scat and run.

Gives you a lot more voice in a place like this.

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It's clear that you and I and possibly a few other anonymous people have very different philosophies on the appropriate response to death.

Death is tragic; especially this one. A young person's life was tragically cut short and I have no argument there. I was raised in an environment where we poked fun at tragedy because it made it easier to handle. We made fun of my grandfather when he started going a bit senile and got ill and subsequently died. There were tears shed, then we all went to the bar had a few drinks and laughed about the whole deal and how much of a character he was when he was piss ass drunk (despite the fact that his drinking was ultimately what brought about his demise).

The shit was funny. Admittedly, you had to have been there, but it was funny.

It sucks for the boy's family and friends and I feel for them, but death is an inevitable part of life. And if you can't laugh at life (because you're stuck with for many (or a few) years) then you might as well just end it now and save yourself the depressive episodes so we can laugh at you after the fact for making a mess on the bathroom floor.

I hope someone somewhere gets a damn good laugh at my expense when I kick the can, bite the bullet, pass on, push up daises, go to room temperature, expire, check out, depart, dance the last dance, buy a pine condo, and the many other euphemisms for it.

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Because a westbound train had just gone by on the one-track line.

He said the boys appeared to have been running for the platform when one of them was hit.

Channel 4 reports he was a freshman at Walpole High School.

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Almost identical to the stated circumstance of the 5-year-old hit by a train in Revere last month: The boy may have thought it was safe to cross because a southbound train had passed the crossing moments before the northbound train arrived...

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"Channel 4 reports he was a freshman at Walpole High School."

So he wouldn't particularly know the patterns of the trains on that line. However, I don't completely buy the idea that an outbound train might have just passed. That line is single tracked until Baker St., so several minutes would have to go by before the inbound train could make an approach toward Belvue station. If I read the schedule correctly, this train would have passed through Belvue about 20 minutes after the other train.

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so he should still be familiar with the basic idea that trains can come from both directions and can run fairly frequently during rush hours.

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Due to shortage of train drivers without PTSD:

Commuter train kills a man in Lincoln

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Hiking trails approach the Fitchburg railroad tracks from either side, with an implicit but unmarked crossing just west of Walden Pond. There are no gates or lights here; the assumption is that hikers know what they are doing.

See much more discussion of this crossing at railroad.net.

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