Police Ticket Cars on Metrolink Rails

Police riding shotgun on a Metrolink train Tuesday nabbed 11 motorists who drove across railroad tracks despite the flashing red lights and lowered crossing barriers.

For several hours, a Metrolink train made special round trips between Glendale and Burbank, giving police a chance to see the violations that engineers complain about. Officers aboard the train alerted patrol cars by radio to rail traffic violators--including a large van that stopped on the tracks as the train approached. The train was going slowly enough to stop in time, but pedestrians and motorists aren't always that lucky, officers said.

"In a competition of train versus body, the train always wins," noted Glendale Police Sgt. Ed Desario.

Metrolink trains have killed one person this year--a 29-year-old Glendale man hit in Burbank on June 11--compared to 13 in 1997, an agency spokesman said.

Metrolink began its "Trooper on the Train" program in 1992 to educate law enforcement officers about infractions of railroad regulations.

Glendale officers made eight arrests and the Burbank Police Department cited three motorists.

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