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Train bridges are for trains: Are these your kids?

The Sutter's Landing Park side of the American River, today, was a relaxing place to hang out and enjoy some amazing bits of nature. The river itself is low so all kinds of debris is poking out of the water. These two young men were caught by surprise when the freight train began to blow its whistle. They chose to climb over the safety rail and stand on the I-Beam (not made by Apple Inc.) and wait for the train to pass. The white posts in the picture are the safety rail, and there is a small, narrow pathway that is there for bridge construction and repairs.

Fortunately, this worked out okay for these two teens. It was not so lucky for Janaki Rose Hayes in Truckee, California.
David Stillwell
Trains kill, the walkway along a train bridge is not for public use.
David Stillwell

Laws and Statistics:

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, the leading cause of rail related fatalities occurs when people trespass along railroad tracks and over railroad bridges. Trains are dangerous. The danger is not just from being struck by a train, but by debris that the train can launch. A bolt, laying on the track can be projected at greater speed than a bullet. Loose cables on a train car can swing out and cut a human body in half. The danger is far more than just the train itself. Janaki Rose Hayes was killed by a freight train earlier this week on April 10, 2014, in Truckee, California while jogging or running along the train tracks while wearing headphones. These kinds of train fatalities are preventable.

The potential cost to the community:

Kids will be kids, as the saying goes, but if these are your kids then you should probably be thankful they are alive. The low water would have been just as dangerous as the train. There are mounds of large boulders around the pillars of the train bridge and in the water are old pieces of the bridge. There is a foot bridge, for bicycles and pedestrians, that is about 1.5 miles away. These are not the first people that have been seen using this bridge as a crossing to Woodlake Park. They will not be the last to use this as a way across the river. Parents should warn children and teens about the other dangers from trains. If those children had become another one of the train fatalities, the likelihood of legal action would have been high. The City of Sacramento, the American River Parkway, and the train company would be then forced to use tax resources and private company resources to defend themselves against what is the ultimate form of stupidity. If you see people on the train bridges call the City of Sacramento Call Center at 311 from any phone in the 916 area code and report it. There are more important things that the city could spend tax payer money on besides litigation from crap like this.

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