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Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview (2022)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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7   This chapter discusses the trespassing characteristics of the rail transit and commuter rail systems in the United States, including the definitions of trespassers, the extent of the trespass- ing problem, locations of trespassing, and demographics of trespassers. Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Systems in the United States The focus of this study is rail transit, including light and heavy rail, and commuter rail lines in the United States. The FTA defines these systems in its National Transit Database 2020 Policy Manual (4) as follows: • Heavy rail is an electric railway that operates service in an exclusive right-of-way. The ser- vice is often provided by long trains of six to eight cars or more that travel relatively short distances between stops within a city and the immediate suburbs. The nation’s traditional subway systems are classified as heavy rail. • Light rail is an electric railway that operates in mixed traffic or intersects with roadways at grade crossings. The service is characterized by short trains of one to four passenger cars that travel relatively short distances between stops within a city and the immediate suburbs, low- or high-platform loading, and vehicle power drawn from an overhead electric line via a trolley or pantograph. • Commuter rail is an electric- or diesel-propelled railway for urban passenger train service consisting of local travel that operates between a central city and outlying areas. Service must be operated regularly by or under contract with a transit operator for transporting passengers within urbanized areas or between urbanized areas and outlying areas. The FTA National Transit Database 2020 Policy Manual also includes hybrid rail as a type of rail transit system and defines the hybrid rail system as follows: • Hybrid rail is a hybrid rail system that primarily operates routes on the national systems of railroads but does not operate with the characteristics of commuter rail. This service typically operates light-rail-type vehicles as diesel multiple-unit trains. Table 1 provides the full listing of the light, heavy, and commuter rail agencies in the United States, according to the APTA 2020 Public Transportation Fact Book. The table lists 50 rail transit and commuter rail agencies that operate 22 light rail, 14 heavy rail, and 29 commuter rail systems. Because hybrid rail is “a subset of commuter rail operating exclusively on freight railroad right-of-way,” the research team categorized hybrid rail as a commuter rail system in this C H A P T E R 2 Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics

8 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way Table 1. U.S. rail transit and commuter rail systems. Agency City Rail System Type Light Rail Heavy Rail Commuter Rail Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) Stockton, CA X Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) St. Louis, MO X Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) Austin, TX X Central Florida Commuter Rail (SunRail) Orlando, FL X Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (ST) Seattle, WA X X Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Charlotte, NC X Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Chicago, IL X Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) Hartford, CT X Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Dallas, TX X X Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) Lewisville, TX X Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Denver, CO X X Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Cleveland, OH X X Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Los Angeles, CA X X Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Baltimore, MD X X X Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Boston, MA X X X Metro Transit Minneapolis, MN X X Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Texas (METRO) Houston, TX X Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Atlanta, GA X Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) Miami, FL X Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) New York, NY X Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNCR) New York, NY X Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit (NYCT) New York, NY X New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT) Newark, NJ X X Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFT Metro) Buffalo, NY X North County Transit District (NCTD) Oceanside, CA X Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (Metra) Chicago, IL X Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) Chesterton, IN X Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, California Department of Transportation (Caltrain) San Carlos, CA X Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) Pittsburgh, PA X Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH)1 New York, NY X Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) Philadelphia, PA X Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Nashville, TN X Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD) Albuquerque, NM X Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Sacramento, CA X San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) San Diego, CA X San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) San Francisco, CA X X San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) San Francisco, CA X Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) San Jose, CA X Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) Santa Rosa, CA X South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail) Pompano Beach, FL X Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Philadelphia, PA X X Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) Los Angeles, CA X Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority (SIRTOA) New York, NY X Tarrant Express Railway (TEXRail) Dallas–Fort Worth, TX X Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (HRT) Virginia Beach, VA X Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) Portland, OR X X Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Salt Lake City, UT X X Valley Metro Rail, Inc. Phoenix Mesa, AZ X Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Alexandria, VA X Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Washington, DC X Source: American Public Transportation Association, 2020 Public Transportation Fact Book (2). 1Additional sources classify PATH as a commuter railroad.

Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics 9   study (2). The rail agencies with a hybrid rail system listed in Table 1 as commuter rail are as follows: • New Jersey Transit Corporation • North County Transit District • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority • Denton County Transportation Authority • Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Also noted in the project scope is the focus on exclusive and semi-exclusive rail line align- ments. TCRP Report 17: Integration of Light Rail Transit into City Streets identifies a classifica- tion structure for rail transit alignments (5). The three classes are described as follows: • Exclusive alignments means full separation of both motor vehicle and pedestrian crossing facilities. Exclusive alignments eliminate grade crossings and operating conflicts and maxi- mize safety and operating speeds. • Semi-exclusive alignments means the separation of the rail transit alignment from road vehicles and pedestrians, except at locations where road vehicles and pedestrians intersect at an at-grade crossing. • Non-exclusive alignments means mixed-flow operation with motor vehicles or pedestrians, resulting in higher levels of operating conflicts and lower-speed operations. The APTA 2020 Public Transportation Fact Book identifies 68 light, heavy, and commuter rail systems in the United States. However, to maintain consistency with the developed list of U.S. rail transit and commuter rail agencies shown in Table 1, Alternative de Transporte Integrado (a heavy rail system located in San Juan, Puerto Rico), the Alaska Railroad Corpora- tion, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (Amtrak’s Downeaster rail service), and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation were removed. Table 2 summarizes the information regarding 22 light rail, 14 heavy rail, and 28 commuter rail systems in the United States, showing a combined total of 10,000 guideway track-miles. Note that Tarrant Express Railway is not included in Table 2 because it recently began service and is not yet included in the National Transit Database (NTD). The NTD further categorizes the track-miles in terms of the methods of construction, which are defined in the National Transit Database 2020 Policy Manual as follows: • At Grade, Ballast (including expressway) (restricts all non-rail traffic from entering the right- of-way, except to cross at-grade-level crossings) Characteristic Light Rail Heavy Rail Commuter Rail Track Mileage Number of systems 22 14 28 Total track-miles 3,410 3,438 17,481 Total guideway track-miles 1,559 1,141 7,740 • At grade with access restrictions 758 400 6,838 • At grade without access restrictions 485 3 168 • Elevated 193 283 616 • Below grade 123 456 118 Subtotal of at-grade track-miles 1,243 403 7,006 • Percent of at-grade track-miles to total guideway track-miles 80% 35% 91% Number of Crossings Total number of grade crossings 1,838 93 3,593 Source: Federal Transit Administration, NTD (6). Table 2. U.S. rail transit and commuter rail system characteristics.

10 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way • At Grade, In-Street/Embedded (no restrictions; non-rail traffic moves in the same direction, or cross directions may pass) • Elevated – Retained fill – Concrete – Steel viaduct or bridge • Below Grade – Retained cut – Cut-and-cover tunnel – Bored or blasted tunnel – Submerged tube The two at-grade right-of-way categories account for 83% of the right-of-way configurations, with light rail at 80%, heavy rail at 35%, and commuter rail at 91%. The guideway track-miles of at grade with access restrictions represent exclusive and semi-exclusive alignments and account for 77% of the right-of-way configurations. The NTD also identifies the number of crossings for each system type, as shown in Table 2. Combined, there are 5,524 crossings on light, heavy, and commuter rail lines, with almost all occurring on light and commuter rail lines. Trespassing Characteristics Definitions of Trespassing The Federal Railroad Administration Guide for Preparing Accident/Incident Reports defines a trespasser as someone “who is on the part of railroad property used in railroad operation and whose presence is prohibited, forbidden, or unlawful” (7). Topel clarifies that trespassers in this sense do not include highway users involved in a collision with on-track equipment at a highway-rail crossing or a pedestrian pathway crossing denoted with a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)/Association of American Railroads Inventory Number (8). Additionally, Topel clarifies that suicides may occur at highway-rail crossings as well as away from crossings. In response to a congressional request for FRA to study and identify causal factors that lead to trespassing incidents on railroad property, FRA indicates that “any unauthorized person who enters or remains on a railroad right-of-way, equipment, or facility is trespassing” (9). The Report to Congress: National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property distin- guishes between trespass accidents and trespass incidents, where an incident is the observation of a trespasser that is not struck by a train or otherwise injured or killed on railroad property (9). FRA groups trespass accidents into three categories: • Accidents Involving Trespass Casualties at Grade Crossings. A pedestrian climbs either through a train stopped at a grade crossing or over or around gates or other physical barriers to enter a grade crossing when a train is approaching. • Accidents Involving Trespass Casualties on All Other Segments of Railroad Rights-of- Way. A pedestrian is at other segments of railroad rights-of-way (not at a grade crossing). • Suicides and Suicide Attempts. A pedestrian enters a railroad right-of-way with the intent of being struck and killed by a train. For rail transit, the FTA National Transit Database 2020 Safety and Security Policy Manual in the guidance section “Safety and Security—40 Major Event Report” identifies a trespasser as “a person in an area of transit property not intended for public use (i.e., an unauthorized area)” (10).

Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics 11   A report by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) indicates that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) defines trespassing as when a person accesses an area that is restricted without the permission of the CTA. The report states that IDOT further defines trespassing as unauthorized access to the right-of-way, including nonrevenue track located in rail yards (11). In a paper related to trespassing on railway property in the Czech Republic, the authors report that the definition of a trespasser is very clear in the law (12): 1. Nobody without permission from the railway administrator is allowed to enter the railway and places within the perimeter of the railway that are not open to the public. 2. All places at the railway and within the perimeter of the railway are not open to the public except: a. Railway and its perimeter if the railway is running at the road. b. Railway and its perimeter if the place of crossing is at the road. c. Spaces reserved to the public, platforms, and accesses to platforms and rooms in buildings within the perimeter of the railway in case that services of railway transport are provided there. d. Publicly accessible special-purpose roads in the railway perimeter. e. Spaces within a minimum distance of 2.5 meters (approximately 8 feet 2 inches) from the axis of the outside rail of the railroad. Trespassing Incidents The two primary sources of information regarding trespasser-related fatalities and injuries are the FTA NTD for rail transit systems and the FRA Office of Safety Analysis for commuter rail systems. Because of the different reporting requirements and trespassing definitions, each data source is analyzed separately. The NTD indicates that from 2015–2019, there were 771 total fatalities and 32,508 injuries on light and heavy rail systems, as depicted in Table 3 (6). Heavy rail systems experienced 71% of those fatalities and 84% of the injuries. When focusing only on fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians, those percentages flip to light rail experiencing 81% of fatalities and 86% of injuries. Since 2008, the NTD has not collected trespasser data as a person type but has assigned trespasser as one of the other person type categories, such as “Pedestrian Crossing Tracks,” “Passenger,” and “Employee.” Based on the definitions of trespassers, the research team assumed that “Pedes- trian in Crossing,” “Pedestrian Not in Crossing,” “Pedestrian Crossing Tracks,” and “Pedestrian Category 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Total Total All Fatalities 143 144 137 172 175 771 Suicide 64 74 68 74 63 343 Total Pedestrian Fatalities 26 10 11 14 16 77 • Pedestrian in Crossing 5 4 6 6 6 27 • Pedestrian Not in Crossing 2 1 2 5 5 15 • Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 11 0 0 0 0 11 • Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 8 5 3 3 5 24 Total All Injuries 7,128 7,017 5,986 6,051 6,326 32,508 Suicide 93 66 93 89 101 442 Total Pedestrian Injuries 49 51 29 35 24 188 • Pedestrian in Crossing 9 29 8 21 15 82 • Pedestrian Not in Crossing 9 15 7 10 7 48 • Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 20 0 0 0 0 20 • Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 11 7 14 4 2 38 Source: Federal Transit Administration, NTD (6). Table 3. Light rail and heavy rail pedestrian fatalities and injuries for 2015–2019.

12 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way Walking along Tracks” capture the most suitable trespasser data. Table 3 also contains suicide levels over this same 5-year period. Combined over these 5 years, there were 343 fatalities and 442 injuries on light and heavy rail systems for reported suicide attempts. Figure 1 shows the percentage breakdown of the fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians on light and heavy rail systems. Fatalities are most prominent for pedestrian in crossings, fol- lowed by pedestrian walking along tracks. Pedestrian in crossing is the most prominent injury category, followed by pedestrian not in crossing. Table 4 contains the 2019 fatalities and injuries for light rail and heavy rail. All the pedestrian fatalities and almost all the pedestrian injuries happened on light rail systems, while 83% of suicide fatalities and 86% of suicide injuries happened on heavy rail systems. The trespassing incident records on commuter rail lines were retrieved from the FRA Railroad Injury and Illness Summary Data file. Since FTA and FRA had different reporting systems for trespassing incidents, the research team investigated trespassing fatalities and injuries on com- muter rail lines using the “locc” variable, which is a code to identify the specific location of a Pedestrian in Crossing 35% Pedestrian Not in Crossing 20% Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 14% Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 31% Pedestrian in Crossing 44% Pedestrian Not in Crossing 25% Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 11% Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 20% (a) Total pedestrian fatalities (b) Total pedestrian injuries Source: Federal Transit Administration, NTD (6). Figure 1. Percentage of total 5-year (2015–2019) pedestrian fatalities and injuries on light rail and heavy rail systems. Category Light Rail Heavy Rail Total Total All Fatalities 51 124 175 Suicide 11 52 63 Total Pedestrian Fatalities 16 0 16 • Pedestrian in Crossing 6 0 6 • Pedestrian Not in Crossing 5 0 5 • Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 0 0 0 • Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 5 0 5 Total All Injuries 1,023 5,277 6,300 Suicide 14 87 101 Total Pedestrian Injuries 24 0 24 • Pedestrian in Crossing 15 0 15 • Pedestrian Not in Crossing 7 0 7 • Pedestrian Crossing Tracks 0 0 0 • Pedestrian Walking along Tracks 2 0 2 Source: Federal Transit Administration, NTD (6). Table 4. Light rail and heavy rail pedestrian fatalities and injuries for 2019.

Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics 13   person at the time of injury, to maintain consistency with the light rail and heavy rail pedestrian fatalities and injuries, as shown in Table 3 and Table 4. Table 5 contains commuter rail tres- passing fatality- and injury-related data analyses of FRA data for 2015–2019 by location of the person at the time of injury. Table 5 has the top four location attributes—“Track, on,” “Track, between,” “Track, beside,” and “On highway-rail crossing”—by injury severity for both fatalities and injuries. There were 423 fatalities and 289 injuries on commuter rail lines over that period. The table shows an upward trend in trespassing fatalities over this period. Figure 2 shows the trespasser fatalities and injuries on commuter rail systems between 2015 and 2019. The figure shows a growing fatality rate. Suicide fatalities on the overall general railroad network (freight, intercity, and commuter rail) were lower in 2019 than in previous years, as shown in Figure 3. Injuries associated with suicide incidents remained level over the time period. IDOT worked with CTA to assess trespassing at CTA (11). The data analysis determined that trespassers spotted by CTA employees or patrons combined with graffiti reports account for 71% of all trespassing events (see Figure 4). CTA classifies trespasser events as either Source: Federal Railroad Administration, Accident Query (1). 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Fatalities Injuries Figure 2. Commuter rail trespasser fatalities and injuries for 2015–2019. Location Attribute 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Total Total Trespassing Fatalities 66 69 91 96 101 423 1. Track, on 27 29 37 51 59 203 2. Track, between 14 11 16 10 5 56 3. Track, beside 6 7 12 10 11 46 4. On highway-rail crossing 9 18 11 13 17 68 Total Trespassing Injuries 52 52 63 55 67 289 1. Track, on 17 15 26 17 24 99 2. Track, between 6 7 5 6 10 34 3. Track, beside 6 6 7 8 12 39 4. On highway-rail crossing 16 12 8 13 7 56 Source: Federal Railroad Administration, Accident Query (1). Table 5. Commuter rail trespassing fatalities and injuries for 2015–2019.

14 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way Source: Federal Railroad Administration, 4.11—Suicide Casualties by State/Railroad (13). 317 268 270 273 229 29 32 41 36 23 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 5-Year Rail Suicide Fatalities and Injuries Fatalities Injuries Figure 3. Suicide fatalities and injuries on the general rail network for 2015–2019. Source: Illinois Department of Transportation, Special Study of Trespassing on the Chicago Transit Authority (11). Figure 4. CTA trespassing events by type for 2018.

Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics 15   Source: Illinois Department of Transportation, Special Study of Trespassing on the Chicago Transit Authority (11). Apprehended, 76, 8% Removed by Authorities, 40, 4% Medical Transport, 65, 7% Unspecified, 59, 6% Other, 171, 18% Individual Not Observed, 309, 34% Fled CTA Property, 187, 21% Returned to Platform/Boarded Train, 171, 19% Fatality, 7, 1% Figure 5. CTA intentional trespasser exit method for 2018. unintentional or intentional. Figure 5 displays how intentional trespassers exited the railroad property. The study highlights the difficulty of restricting trespassing on the system by pointing out the low levels of trespassers apprehended or removed by authorities. Impacts of Trespassing Several documents discuss the impacts of train-pedestrian collisions on family members and close associates, train drivers and other witnesses, railway companies, emergency services, recovery staff, and passengers (14, 15, 16). According to one report, the psychological impacts on those involved in an event, including those who witness or bereave a violent death such as an individual struck by a train, may include experiencing “higher levels of sleep disturbances, depression, and physical health issues” (16). The report notes that train drivers may become impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An Australian report highlights that such events “almost always necessitate sick leave and risk of acute and chronic health and well- ness issues for train drivers and affect their return to work” (15). Safe Work Australia has now grouped rail drivers with first responders, police services, paramedics, and firefighters as one of the most at-risk occupations for work-related mental disorders, in part due to the pedestrian collision risk. FRA issued a final rule in 2014 that requires certain major railroads, including commuter railroads, to develop and submit Critical Incident Stress Plans that “provide appro- priate support services to be offered to their employees who are affected by a ‘critical incident’” (17). The Critical Incident Stress Plans set minimum standards for leave, counseling, and other support services to help employees • Recognize and cope with symptoms of normal stress reactions that commonly occur as a result of a critical incident. • Reduce their chance of developing a disorder such as depression, PTSD, or acute stress dis- order as a result of a critical incident. • Recognize symptoms of psychological disorders that sometimes occur as a result of a critical incident, and know how to obtain prompt evaluation and treatment of any such disorder, if necessary (17).

16 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way Rail transit and commuter rail services are impacted financially by trespassing incidents as a result of delays and resource depletion, both directly through sustained damage and indirectly through opportunity costs of foregoing other investments to combat trespassing events (11). CTA expands the discussion related to agency impacts by stating the following: As a result of trespassing, the CTA incurs damage to trains, facilities, and other property. Addition- ally, increased service, maintenance, inspections, repairs, and replacement of rail system assets contribute to the costs of such events. Increased liability insurance, costs for claims, and the opportunity costs of deploying agency resources to trespasser response also add to the financial impact and redirect resources that could otherwise be used to enhance rail service. CTA interviewees noted that employees involved in trespasser fatality events experience stress and trauma that can result in long-term medical leave and require recruitment and training of replacement staff. One of the hardest consequences to quantify is the psychological effects such events have on the public, which include negative perceptions of safety, security, and system reliability (11). Havârneanu et al. discovered in their investigation that average delays range from 45 min- utes to 3 hours for a train-pedestrian accident (14). FRA reports that for the 9,363 trespassing accidents during a 5-year period, the cost to society exceeded $43.2 billion in fatalities and injuries and more than $56.0 million in travel time delays (9). FRA notes that these calcula- tions do not include unquantified costs to the economy (i.e., lost productivity) and society (i.e., emotional distress). Reasons for Trespassing Individuals trespassing on rail rights-of-way are usually using the right-of-way as a shortcut, for recreational or criminal purposes, or as a means to end their life (16). A 2018 FRA report attributes trespassing to individual factors and factors related to communities (9). The identified contributing factors include the following: • Individual Contributing Factors – Personal convenience – Lack of knowledge of or appreciation for the dangers of trespassing • Community Contributing Factors – No (or insufficient) dedicated resources (personnel or funding) – Lack of physical deterrents, such as fences, natural or engineered barriers, or obstacles – Failure to prosecute trespassers by the local judicial process – Public perception of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property – Poor community planning The 2014 FRA report Trespass Event Risk Factors describes the most notable potential risk factors associated with trespassing incidents and accidents, divided into risk factors associated with the individual trespasser and those that apply to the location of the trespassing accident (18). The risk factors discussed in the report include the following: • Individual Risk Factors – Disregard for highway-railroad grade crossing warnings. Despite being at a designated crossing, trespassers disregarded warnings. – Intoxication. Many trespassing victims were intoxicated at the time of their accidents. – Use of electronic devices. In several instances, trespassers were distracted by the use of headphones or cellular phones at the time of the accident. • Location Risk Factors – Time of day and year. Trespassing is more common in the evening hours during the summer months. – Grade crossings. Grade crossings draw pedestrians toward the right-of-way. Many tres- passers violated crossing warnings.

Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics 17   – Stations. Stations draw pedestrians near the right-of-way, with several violations occurring as a result of trespassers not using designated crossings. – Schools. Over half of all trespassing accidents with child victims occurred within 0.5 miles of a school. – Yards. Rail yards appear to be particularly attractive to railroad trespassers. – Bridges. Bridges are a common attraction used as the shortest path between two points and for thrill-seeking. – Population density. Data analysis showed that most trespassing accidents happen in less- populated areas. – Lack of correlation with economic indicators. Data analysis did not show any significant correlation between any of the explored economic indicators. CTA identifies and logs trespassing as either unintentional or intentional events, where unintentional and intentional are characterized as follows (11): • Unintentional Trespassing. This occurs when a person has no desire to be on the right-of- way, but an involuntary action or outside force causes the person to enter the right-of-way. This is most frequently associated with slips, trips, or falls but also when a pedestrian is occupying space within an activated rail grade crossing. Most often, unintentional trespass- ing is a result of intoxication or a lack of situational awareness due to the use of personal electronic devices. • Intentional Trespassing. This occurs when a person chooses to enter a restricted area in disregard of posted signage and barriers, including the following: – Walking or running along the alignment – Accessing restricted areas such as footpaths, walkways, ventilation shafts, and equipment rooms – Walking along continuous platforms between subway stations – Accessing rail yards, maintenance facilities, or other nonrevenue tracks Most often, intentional trespassing is a result of fare evasion, law enforcement evasion, dropped item retrieval, vagrancy, general mischief, and graffiti. CTA’s analysis estimates that 88% of the trespassing is an intentional event (11). Locations of Trespassing Highway-rail grade crossings, bridges, stations, and other locations along the rail network could act as contributing factors for rail trespassing. A paper by Skladana et al., focused on rail- way trespassing in the Czech Republic, categorizes trespassing sites with “regard to their func- tion, location, layout, users, and frequency of trespassing” (12). Their list of trespassing localities consists of six basic categories, with most providing subtypes (12): 1. Trespassing in Stops and Stations – Illegal path along the tracks; legal access to platforms is longer or less comfortable – One or more illegal paths over tracks due to longer or uncomfortable legal access – Illegal paths over tracks due to the inconvenient location of the legal access 2. Shortcuts of Everyday Use apart from Stations – Illegal but justifiable shortcuts, located on the intensely employed route, with legal crossing too far – Shortcuts located at the place of a closed level crossing, footbridge, or former street – Series of paths among two legal crossings – Illegal paths near a legal crossing (underpass or footbridge) that has a layout that does not suit users

18 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way 3. Touristic Paths and Recreation Localities (e.g., hiking paths) – Illegal paths over tracks that are part of intensely used touristic trails – Smaller paths connected to wood footpaths – Railway infrastructure substituting missing or insufficient pedestrian infrastructure – Railway situated in an area used for recreation 4. Places of Interest, Specifically Located on the Railway (e.g., persons interested in historical Railway Tunnels or Bridges, or Graffiti Artists) 5. Places of Meeting or Lodging (e.g., homeless camps) 6. Level Crossings – At-level crossing with warning lights—in the initial phase (before the train) and after the train has passed and the red light is still on – At-level crossing with lights and barriers—in the initial phase (before barriers go down), during the period of closed barriers, and in the final phase when barriers go up but the red light is still on – Illegal path over tracks just alongside a level crossing—often caused by insufficient pedes- trian infrastructure Examining specific locations, FRA reported in one analysis that 74% of all trespasser deaths and injuries and 73% of suicides in a 4-year period occurred within 1,000 feet (less than 0.25 miles) of a grade crossing (9). IDOT analysis examining trespassing by track type demonstrated that a ballasted track receives almost double the amount of trespassing as that of elevated and subway tracks (11). In a report to characterize trespassing incidents, FRA determined that the majority of both suicide and trespass incidents occurred on the right-of-way, compared with grade cross- ings, as shown in Figure 6 (16). Demographics of Trespassers FRA studied the characteristics of trespassing incidents in the United States between 2012 and 2014. The age group of 15 to 24 years sustained the highest number of fatal trespassing incidents during the study period, followed by the 45 to 54 age group and the 25 to 34 age group (16). A 2013 FRA rail trespasser fatalities study also reported that approximately 60% of railroad trespassing fatalities are people between 20 and 49 years old (19). The FRA rail trespasser fatalities study indicated that males represented 82% of the trespass- ing fatalities. The gender ratios of trespassing accidents are more skewed to males according to several European studies identified in a RESTRAIL report (20). Source: Federal Railroad Administration, Characteristics of Trespassing Incidents in the United States (2012–2014) (16). Pe rc en t o f I nc id en ts (% ) Figure 6. Percent of suicide and trespass fatality incidents by location on track for 2012–2014.

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Trespassing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way is a longstanding issue impacting every agency.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview provides guidance on strategies to deter trespassing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way.

This report is a supplement to TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 1: Guidebook.

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