Caltrain Fatally Strikes Person in Burlingame

The incident was reported at about 12:30 p.m. north of the Burlingame Station.

Updated 2:24 p.m.

Service has resumed operating in both directions. No impacts related to this incident are expected during the afternoon commute.


Updated 1:30 p.m.

There is a 20 minute delay after a Caltrain struck and killed a man. 

The coroner has arrived on scene.


A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Caltrain on tracks north of the Burlingame Station on Monday afternoon.

At about 12:30 p.m., southbound train No. 146 hit the pedestrian at the Oak Grove Crossing, according to reports.

Trains in both directions were stopped while first responders evaluated the scene, though according to @Caltrain_News on Twitter one track had been opened as of 1:05 p.m.

Riders should expect delays.

Southbound 146, the train involved in the incident, will be moved into the Burlingame Station, where passengers will be able to transfer to SB 150 to continue their travel.  There are approximately 170 passengers on board SB 146.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

John Hanson April 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM
What will happen when we get high speed trains?
Mark Taylor April 16, 2013 at 03:01 AM
No difference unless they are operating on completely separate rails on the Peninsula (which is not going to happen). So if one of those trains hits someone on the rails, all rail service will be affected.
Freemotorist April 16, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Another Caltrain death today, another month, yet not one "caring" Democrat politician cares enough to seek the obvious, safer, electrified, grade-separated, more frequent and regionally integrated (SF, Berkeley, soon San Jose/Santa Clara) no-brainer 'heavy rail" solution--BART. Both Jerry Hill and Jackie Speier, the latter who has her name emblazoned on Caltrain Locomotive 925, have been in office--and even chaired the Caltrain Board in their day as local elected officials, so long that over 200 people have been slaughtered, dismembered by this 5-=75 mph, outdated dangerous train in the increasingly densified Peninsula. What is wrong with this picture? How can Peninsula (mostly "caring" Democrat) residents hold "deadly gun" buybacks when, I think, in most Peninsula cities, Caltrain consistently kills 1 to 1.5 people per month on its track--over the past 20 years--killing more than illegal gun use! Is it just a matter of positive Caltrain (Administration and Sierra Club/"Friends of Caltrain") propaganda that continues this govt.-run euthanasia train (for suiciders). Yes, BART has suicides, too, but the ratio by miles of track, riders, stations, as well as nominally are far fewer. What can be done to start a 10+-year effort to phase out Caltrain with BART (with (adjacent or stacked), or without, HSR)...and with a 51 mile bike path alongside. I don't understand Peninsula residents' lack of action to reduce deaths of their "Village" neighbors! How many more must die?
Nick Ofiesh April 16, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Freemotorist, the train isn't dangerous. It stays on it's track and doesn't deviate. People (suicides) intentionally stand on the tracks. Look at all the safety devices there are around tracks/intersections. Even without the safety stuff, you see tracks and you look and hear. There's no stopping those deaths, by trains, bridges, guns and so on. The trains don't go off track and chase people down. Derailments are rare even. Common sense is common sense, it's not for certain people. There's no such thing as common sense for some and not for others. Guns, baseball bats, cars, trains and so on, are not dangerous, people pick them up and use them the wrong way. Some people are screwed up, not the things. Look at all the car accidents and fatalities...gee, how do those happen??? Is there any talk going on about limiting driving, or restricting someone from buying a vehicle? There's nothing wrong with the Golden Gate Bridge, but about 35 people a year jump off of that. thank you, Nick
dahlia April 16, 2013 at 05:04 PM
the headline should read "pedestrian hits train"; the person was CLEARLY tresspassing..PERIOD!!! the train is not to blame! Thats like blaming a car for hitting an idiot on who is running on the 101....darwin thinning out the herd people!
Ron Nesson April 16, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Freemotorist, I have to concur with your comments. This is the year 2013 and we have a rail corridor system on the Peninsula that dates backs in design to more than 100 years. So the citizens of the Peninsula made a mistake many years ago in not joining Bart; this does not mean we cannot fix it today. The fact that high speed rail construction is coming our way, whether we like it or not, gives us the opportunity (although expensive and disruptive to our lives) to correct this prior error in planning judgment. Let's make Bart travel the entire Bay Area so that we really do have an efficient and modern transportation system that we can all use and be proud of. The utility of Bart reaching all points along the Peninsula will make our transportation system more efficient, more highly utilized and SAFER! Ron
Mark Taylor April 16, 2013 at 09:42 PM
To build a BART extension from Millbrae to San Jose will be astronomical-I would conservatively say 1 billion. It will require massive digging, relocation of sewer and utility lines and purchase of land for BART use. And do not forget the years of initial research and environmental impact studies that will have to be done, along with the inevitable legal challenges. I have no doubt some of that has been done, at least planning a proposed route. And I am certain there are those who would welcome Caltrain's demise to allow BART to expand. But the huge cost and other factors make it unlikely. One could make the same argument about cable cars as one can about Caltrain. Cable cars are an antiquated system prone to accidents, collisions, and even death. At one time SF planned to shutter the whole system. Every system has it pros and cons. Caltrain is no exception. One thing you have to accept though is that accidents happen. Caltrain does post warnings, has warning flashers, signs, and fences to discourage people from walking in the tracks or tunnels. Yet they do it anyway. Some do it to commit suicide, others get hit because the foolishly walk to close or think they can beat the train by racing over the tracks.
Mike April 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Good questin. Future headlines may read Pedestrian struck by train in Burlingame body recovered in San Bruno. If we are going to get an HSR system (that we really cannot afford) for San Francisco shoved down our throat at least there should be grade separation. Better yet why not complete the dream of BART connecting the Bay Area with a joint HSR terminal and BART station somewher in San Jose or another area East of the SF Bay shoreline. The present HSR plan benefits the few who may use it and ignores the many who would use BART as an alternative to Cal Train (which could be shut down if we extended BART to San Jose). Not likely to happen due to SF political power and party bias politicians.
John April 17, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I agree with Nick and Dahila 100%.
Destiny April 17, 2013 at 02:33 AM
It's really easy to call people idiots when they're not your loved ones. Unless one day you lost your loved one in the same accident. I lost my cousin in a train accident in Burlingame. He was only 13 and when he died there were no fences. The fences were built after we won the court!! Burlingame is a rich community. I don't understand how it's residents can stay quiet on this issue. Many school kids pass the railroad each day. Burlingame high school is just near the railroad. We can't blame the kids of cousing the accidents. We can't blame people who died in train accident. People in Peninsula area who live close to the railroad are also scared. The sound of the train is the most annoying sound. This makes Burlingame or other peninsula areas an unattractive place to live in. Why make people live with this fear? I think replacing Caltrain with Bart is the safest way!
Tess April 17, 2013 at 02:55 AM
"How many more must die?" Well I guess the answer would be as many as WANT to die. The Train does not chase anyone down - all have stepped in front of the it, either on purpose or because they were in a hurry, or because they thought it really woudn't hit them.
Tess April 17, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Sorry your 13 year old cousin died Destiny and even though you won in court (not sure what that means) fences don't keep people out that really want to enter - just look at the fences between the US and Mexico. I'm know Burlingame high school tells their students to obey the laws and not cross the tracks unless it is safe to do so - but not all students will abide by the law. People in the Peninsula who are "scared" of the train have the choice to move away. Many of us don't mind the sound or the tracks and being the train has been here longer than most of us have, we know when to cross and when to wait for the train to cross first.
Ron Nesson April 17, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Mark, 1) To compare SF cable cars to modernizing a transportation system for the Peninsula is not a valid proposition; one has historical/ tourist attributes whereas Bart provides an efficient transportation mode that benefits the public. 2) As part of the forthcoming high speed rail, much of the EIR studies and research may have already been done. There will be incremental costs for research and construction planning but possibly not that much and there may be savings from parallel project economies. 3) To say that Caltrain posts warnings and flashes lights does little to mitigate ongoing safety issues. Deaths continue and what about all of the other mishaps and inconveniences that we are ask to put up with every time we have to cross the Caltrain tracks? I do not like to spend money recklessly and have been disgusted with the Obama administration’s loan guarantees and grants to "green" companies that have wasted our tax payer dollars. Also, how much is it going to cost to electrify Caltrain? Not a good use of funds if you ask me. End result: we have a "new and improved" Caltrain operating on the very same antiquated and unsafe tracks and corridor passages. I think to make a $1 billion investment in our transportation future may be money well spent. Just because San Mateo and Santa Clara counties failed to see the real value of joining the Bart system in the 1960s does not mean it would not be a worthwhile investment for our future.
Jwren April 17, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Wow, Destiny I'm so sorry to hear about this and that you received very little understanding or empathy from those who are pointing fingers here. Let's face it folks, we as people do things that are harmful and unsafe all of the time. I'm sure all of you have driven too fast on the highway or engaged in other risky behavior at least that luckily didn't cost your life. But I must say, the fact that the high school is so near the train tracks is very alarming! Children and adolescents are especially susceptible to risky behavior, that's why they still have guardians! Let's have some compassion and understanding for the victim(s) and not make them feel as if their loss is invalid because "they should have known better". We all hear enough "shoulds" in our lives regarding just about everything we do. How about a little "that's so awful, your cousin was only 13! My heart goes out to you." or "let's take action and move the high school away from a danger zone!" Wake up people. Quit blaming and start changing what bothers you.
Heather April 17, 2013 at 04:23 AM
REALLY?!?! It is a real shame that a 13 year old was struck and killed by a train. It is AWFUL!! Many people are struck and killed by trains every year and it just does not make sense. I live about 1.5 miles from CalTrain and I can hear that whistle blowing from my house at all hours. How is it that someone ON THE TRACKS does not know that a train is coming?? A train can take up to one mile to stop, depending on how fast it is traveling. When I was a child, I was taught not to walk on or near train tracks. So, instead of informing our youth about dangers, we should move train tracks? Someone in high school is almost an adult and should know better. People (no matter the age) should stay off of railroad tracks. COMMON SENSE!! Also, moving a high school is not cost effective or logical either. Educate people!
Mark Taylor April 17, 2013 at 05:55 AM
@Ron-I was merely pointing out the same argument you give about Caltrain applies to cable cars. Both are systems built long ago for different times. Cable cars were replaced when motorized vehicles made going up hills faster. Passenger rail service lost its edge to cars, buses, and airplanes (heavy rail that is, I am not talking about BART). The EIR studies may have considered BART from Millbrae to San Jose. But their main focus was high speed rail. They did look into, at some point, putting it underground but I dimly recall it was not received well by most local leaders owing to what it required (namely lots of construction in downtown areas etc). The same reason also why adding more rails is a problem (and needing to take private property to do it). As for safety concerns, I understand the problem. Walking across active train tracks is dangerous. I learned this when I was a kid. Caltrain does have responsibility to post warnings, have signals that warn of approaching trains, and fences to discourage people from walking on or near the tracks. No one wants kids killed by these trains! For the moment, the best we can do is make sure everyone is warned of the dangers. And we make sure kids do not think it is fun to play around train tracks. As for ditching Caltrain for BART, again I have no doubt that is something many transit planners have in mind. But the cost is so huge that no one wants to take point on that.
Destiny April 17, 2013 at 06:57 AM
Thanks for your emphaty Jwren. It's good to see that there are still people out there with good hearts. My cousin wasn't in high school he was in middle school and definitely not an adult. Sorry for the confusion. 13 year old killed and struck by train wouldn't be a shame if there were enough safety systems. The fact that there were no fences where many middle school students pass is a big SHAME!! You're right moving high school is not a good idea Heather but moving the Caltrain from residential areas is a best idea. Because obviously one's life is much more important than any other thing. You don't need to be educated to have an emphaty. One cannot judge another's knowledge. It would actually help if they judge their own knowledge!
Brian O'Brien April 17, 2013 at 09:49 PM
It is pretty difficult to get hit by a train. You have to be on the tracks and not move.
Brian O'Brien April 17, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Also, the train horn is so annoyingly loud it pisses me off. They should have a mute button.
Brian O'Brien April 17, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Trains will be faster. People trying to die will get hit by a faster train. People will get to places at a faster rate. I would not have to hear the horn as long as I hear it now.
Brian O'Brien April 17, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Please God! Stop the train killings. The killer trains must stop. Ban trains! The children.... think about the children. :-l
Mark Taylor April 17, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Believe or not, they were super loud a few years back. What happened was the Feds said their horns were not loud enough under fed regulations. So they were obliged to turn them all the way up. You can guess what happened next. Suddenly Caltrain was being flooded with noise complaints from up and down the Peninsula. And not just by people who live near the tracks, but those a distance away. In the end they found a solution that met fed regulations but made the horns a lot less annoying but still loud.
Tess April 18, 2013 at 02:59 AM
agree with dahlia.
Brian O'Brien April 18, 2013 at 09:27 AM
Ha thank you for that response. I live near downtown, super close to the train station. I've been here for 2 years and it has not bothered me once. It is only annoying when I am near it.
Olma Madrid April 18, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Is there any update regarding regarding the circumstances behind this fatality?


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