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Metrolink in the right-of-way The tragedy between...

Metrolink in the right-of-way

The tragedy between the Metrolink train and a car left parked on

the tracks was unfortunate.

I do not remember whether he had insurance or not, but the name of

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the game for the ambulance chaser is to sue the guy with the most

money, guilty or not.

Metrolink, or any other train company, have the right-of-way. They

cannot stop on a dime. If there is a walker, a bike rider, a

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transient sleeping on the track or some jerk trying to beat the

warning signal at an intersection that is too bad, too sad.

To Metrolink, keep up the good work!

RICHARD WILLIAMS

Burbank

Push-pull change is not needed

Metrolink should not change from push-pull. The safety improvement

would be marginal at best and there are plenty of accident scenarios

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in which the result could be worse with a locomotive leading.

Rail safety is 99% about prevention. The petitioners should be

campaigning for funds to separate railroads from highways, not waste

money on “wye” tracks.

PAUL DYSON

Burbank

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dyson is director of the Rail Passenger Assn. of

California.

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Direction won’t solve problem

I read with alarm about attempts to ban the push-pull method of

moving trains on Metrolink. Push-pull has been used safely in the

rail industry for years. I easily feel safer at the front of a

“pushed” train than I do driving. I have no doubts of the sincerity

of those seeking to ban push-pull.

But I feel such a move would only waste money while gaining

nothing in increased safety. The biggest safety problem on the rails

today are people and vehicles on the tracks, where they don’t belong.

This is at the heart of the terrible crash in Glendale early this

year. Money for safety is better spent eliminating train crossings

across roads and security for fighting trespassers. This with

improved signaling to prevent trains from running into each other are

the highest priorities for rail safety.

I would like to quote from an article just published in the Rail

Passenger Assn. of California newsletter by Art Lloyd. Lloyd is a

RailPAC director, has been involved with railroading for more than 50

years and wrote this article in his capacity as a spokesperson for

Operation Livesaver, the leading national organization for rail

safety.

“The question of ‘push-pull’ train has come into play since the

tragic incident in Glendale on Jan. 26. All of the commuter agencies

in California and nationwide utilize push-pull as a very

cost-effective and efficient practice. The cab cars meet all Federal

Railroad Administration standards as to buffer strength and safety.

Caltrain (in the Bay Area) has had two incidents involving hitting

automobiles on the right-of-way and there were barely scratches on

the cab car and no derailments.

“The Glendale incident was unusual in all respects. The SUV was on

the right of way and wedged between the rails; locomotive or cab car

would have derailed. If the locomotive had been on the head end it

could have burst into fire, as the SUV was on fire and conflagration

could have been worse. The call is difficult, but the consensus is

that cab cars are ultimately safe.”

NOEL T. BRAYMER

Oceanside

EDITOR’S NOTE: Braymer is president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of

California.

Schiff must have found something youthful

Seeing the picture of Rep. Adam B. Schiff on Page A2 of today’s

Burbank Leader has convinced me that he found the oft-sought after

Fountain of Youth in Washington, D.C., after he was elected

congressman for California’s 29th Congressional District in November

2000.

During the campaign that month, I was one of more than one hundred

senior citizens in line outside of Joslyn Adult Center to receive a

flu shot. Candidate Schiff moved slowly along our line introducing

himself while pressing the flesh. Later he entered the center and

discussed his candidacy with citizens in more detail. Nearly five

years later, he appears younger and more trim. He probably shuns pork

barrel shenanigans.

CHARLES HANSEN MONT

Burbank

Top story at bottom is pretty odd

I recently moved to Burbank, and have been receiving the Burbank

Leader for about three months now. I enjoy the paper, as your

reporters cover the city in a unique and interesting way. My reason

for writing does not come from the content, but from the design.

Each paper announces its “Top Story” at the bottom of the page.

That’s really, well, odd. If it truly were the top story, it would

be in the top right corner. I am a journalist myself (for the Los

Angeles Daily Journal), and so my sensitivities may be heightened for

that reason. However, I suspect many readers find this jarring as

well.

The tag is also unnecessary. In the weekend edition (July 9-10),

the article in the display slot (“Transit security put on alert”), is

given the most prominence and weight on the page. It is the top

story. But it is not called that.

Instead, the “Top Story” is “Relatives petition Metrolink,” which,

while interesting, is not as important as the display piece.

DAN EVANS

Burbank


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