Metrolink gives passengers a safety heads up about express trains

Metrolink workers greeted passengers at the Glendale station this morning to inform them of safety precautions.  The new commuter rail express service begins May 9.
Metrolink workers greeted passengers at the Glendale station this morning to inform them of safety precautions. The new commuter rail express service begins May 9. Corey Moore/KPCC

Early next month, starting May 9, Metrolink will begin operating express trains on two of its most crowded commuter rail lines - Antelope Valley and San Bernardino. The new service will save passengers hours of travel time. Trains will zip through some stations without stopping, so officials are offering safety precautions to commuters well ahead of time.

Lauren Manning and other Metrolink workers informed early morning passengers today at the system’s Glendale station.

“These trains are so massive and because we’re in California, a lot of people don’t realize how unsafe you could be," Manning said. "You could be in harm’s way by just standing too close to a train, so we just want to make sure that people don’t gravitate towards a train thinking that they’re missing it and they run towards it.”

Sherita Coffelt, also with Metrolink, says the public safety alerts they’re giving riders are essential.

“When they start hearing the train bells or seeing the lights blink, it’s not wise to try and beat the train because they can never predict how fast the train is going," Coffelt warned. "And now that these express trains are coming, they’ll be going through the stations much faster than it seems from a distance. So we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can do to educate the public about these trains.”

As part of its "Safety Blitz" campaign, Metrolink plans to install caution signs at stations to remind passengers that not all trains will stop. If the express service runs smoothly, officials may expand it to other lines later this year.

Workers say they'll continue to alert riders how to stay safe – advising them, for example, to stand behind yellow lines on station platforms until a train comes to a complete stop.

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