Biking ON RR Tracks?
Seems like an inherently dangerous practice. I hope there are not others in the area that think this is OK. I don’t mountain bike, but I believe there are better places in the area to do it. Maybe some of you that do can recommend safe alternatives.
If this man was using the tracks to commute – again not a good idea.
I’m sorry for his family.
WESA 90.5 stated this morning that he was on a quad, so not sure what he was riding. But regardless, please stay off the tracks.
Hate to say it, but Darwin Award. There are no inactive RR tracks in Esplen, AFAIK. Yeah, you can get away with it on a track that hasn’t seen a train in 10 years, or one whose trackbed is so bad trains go slower than a trotting corgi, but not one that sees 10 fast-moving trains a day.
Morning news reports he was on a motorcycle. A dirt bike maybe?
Brunots Island holds the imagination of a lot of folks, as it appears vacant an abandoned. In fact, it has a Duq Light sub station that is at least partially operational.
I’ve been across Brunots Island on a train, on those tracks. We never touched the island itself, but passed well above it. That isn’t to say there isn’t a siding that does access the island, of course.
It would be interesting to know where (and how) he got on the tracks. It’s clearly a deliberate action.
The PG says this was at West Carson and Sanford. Perhaps he was trying to avoid the construction on West Carson by detouring using the tracks next to the river.
The connection to Brunots Island is from the track south of West Carson, but it sounds like this guy was on the track north of West Carson. They don’t seem to connect up anywhere close to Esplen.
He could have gotten on the track at the grade crossing on River Road, right by the end of Chartiers Creek.
This is the same rail line that crosses the South Side Trail at 4th Street near the Terminal Building, with not so much as a flashing light at the grade crossing. So I wonder how fast the trains go there. Do they slow down around grade crossings with no gates, or just blow their whistles and expect everyone to notice?
Unprotected public crossings require an advance whistle.
From KDKA he was on a motorbike. http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/04/17/motorcyclist-hit-by-train-in-esplen/
I love the quality of our reporters: bike, quad, motorbike… how about a boat? You would think that this would be an easy detail to confirm on the scene, or to say that the wreckage is too damaged to identify.
After Relja was hit, it took the train about a mile of track to be able to completely stop.
I’ll bet a lot of people thought “motorcycle” when they heard he was on an “all-terrain bike”. And I doubt many people other than the ones here were concerned about the number of wheels on his vehicle.
Police say it’s likely he never knew what hit him.
I bet he had an idea…
If he was on the upper tracks, they’re fairly easy to get to from Glenmawr Ave, off WCarson by the busway.
When I think “quad”, I think of a four-wheel motorcycle-like plaything. They can go damn near anywhere a motorcycle can, requiring a lot less skill. Recall that I grew up around thousands of motorcycles climbing muddy hills. It may take some skill to do that, but any bonehead can strap him/herself into a quad, hit the throttle, and get in all kinds of trouble.
It’s also possible he got into the tracks and couldn’t get out, so tried to race the train to the next crossing. Which, along there, are few and far between. So, either face-on into a train, or top-speed 25 mph quad with a 30 mph train on his butt. Yeah, he knew what hit him.
KDKA’s videos make it pretty clear he wasn’t on the upper tracks, but on the lower ones near the river. That’s the same route that was part of that National Gateway project to make it OK for taller trains, with work in Tunnel Park at the Southside Works, and near Station Square, and elsewhere.
Their first video report said the vehicle, whatever it was, was still down below the tracks somewhere, so presumably the reporters hadn’t actually seen it yet, and were relying on second-hand reports of the type of vehicle.
A place to exit the tracks onto a road was less than half a mile to his west, and the train was westbound. It could be he thought he could make it in time.
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