Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oops! They Did It Again

Metrolink passenger trains and freight trains seem to go together like pills and alcohol. Ten weeks after 25 persons died and 135 injured when a Metrolink commuter train had a head-on collision with a Union Pacific freight train near Chatsworth, CA, another Metrolink train ran into a BNSF freight train. It happened near Rialto, CA, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

Thankfully, this was a lightly patronized midday run that had only 15 passengers and crew aboard. Both trains were moving slowly, and according to Associated Press there were only four minor injuries. But, it does little to restore confidence in Metrolink's safety, and coming the day after a similar collision fouled the Long Island Rail Road's morning rush just west of the Jamaica station, it is bound to become fodder for sensational reports on rail safety in tabloid-style media.

Safety first. It's not just a motto, but it is essential to passenger trust.

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