People Running in front of trains

This morning almost turned out to be a nasty one. This young guy just ran back to his car and try to beat the train. All I can say is he is one luck guy that this was not the express train that passes about 5 minutes earlier.

I am not one that sits there and take pictures or videos of people’s ill fate but now that I think back I should have and used it to report it.

However, I don’t think it’s the job of commuters to have to report these things, the police station is about two blocks away from the station I get on and I think in the almost 8 years that I’ve been riding the train to work I’ve seen them circle the station about 4 times and it’s just to check the parking fee box.

Looking at it, siting at a train station looking for violators that run in front of trains is about the same as sitting at a hiding spot waiting for someone to pass speeding, in fact they don’t really need to sit there. All it would take would be to get a camera installed and require station attendants or conductors to get an ID of the person and get a report filed.

This morning I was almost witness to two incidents, one at North Chicago and one at Glencoe.

Is there a law that deals with this?

Yes, in Illinois it’s 625 ILCS 5/11-1011C.  This statute says:

(625 ILCS 5/11-1011) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1011)
    Sec. 11-1011. Bridge and railroad signals.
    (a) No pedestrian shall enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given.
    (b) No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
    (c) No pedestrian shall enter, remain upon or traverse over a railroad grade crossing or pedestrian walkway crossing a railroad track when an audible bell or clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device is operational giving warning of the presence, approach, passage, or departure of a railroad train or railroad track equipment.
    (d) A violation of any part of this Section is a petty offense for which a $250 fine shall be imposed for a first violation, and a $500 fine shall be imposed for a second or subsequent violation. The court may impose 25 hours of community service in place of the $250 fine for a first violation.
    (e) Local authorities shall impose fines as established in subsection (d) for pedestrians who fail to obey signals indicating the presence, approach, passage, or departure of a train or railroad track equipment.
(Source: P.A. 96-1244, eff. 1-1-11.)

Interesting Tidbits

  • A typical locomotive weighs approximately 400,000 pounds or 200 tons.
  • A train may extend three feet or more outside the steel rail, which makes the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the rails themselves.
  • Trains cannot stop quickly. It is a simple law of physics: the huge weight and size of the train and the speed of the train dictate how quickly it can stop under ideal conditions

Anyway.. I’m on the train writing this and my connection is not too good at the moment but I will post some more info as soon as I am free and have better connection.


I did some research today into the legalities and the above quote was all I could find regarding this issue. Now if only the police would start doing their jobs. I would say even just a quick 15 minute park when a train is supposed to be there and just do it randomly, it doesn’t have to be every train. This way people don;t know which train the police will be there and will stop doing this.


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