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TELL US: Should There be a Special Warning for Acela Trains at the Mansfield Train Station?

After watching people struggle to get further away from an Acela train, one local Mansfield resident would like to see a special warning for approaching Acela trains.

It was while holding signs at the Mansfield commuter rail stop in early November for Joe Kennedy III that Kevin Doyle saw the need for a special alert for the Acela train. As 20 people held signs over a two hour period, the slower speeds of MBTA trains and freight trains made the group feel less worried about standing close to the tracks. 

About 80 minutes into the visibility for Kennedy, an Acela train, with the ability to travel up to 150 MPH, took some of the supporters by surprise as Dunn yelled at everyone to move further back. 

After watching a mother with her 10 year old child get out of the way just in time, Doyle requested that the selectmen address the issue so there is are difference warnings for the faster Acela trains and the slower MBTA commuter rail and freight trains.

“I’m very fearful that we’re going to have an incident in this town,” Doyle told the Mansfield Board of Selectmen.

Suggestions from Doyle included a separate alert for Acela trains that tells those on the platform to move back an additional 10 feet. Like most stations, there is a yellow line that those on the platform are advise to stand behind when a train is approaching but Doyle feels that the line does not property protect those waiting for a train from the faster and more dangerous trains like the Acela.

“There’s no safeguards there. That yellow line is not gonna save your life,” Doyle said.

Doyle also said that he has talked about the issue with his legislators and mentioned that when state Senator James Timilty was at the station, he could not believe how fast the train was going.

Selectmen George Dentino suggested fencing off the track to prevent people from getting to close to the trains speeding by.

"The danger here is not so much the speed of the train but the ability to fall into that train," Dentino said. 

The selectmen hope to have a letter to send to the general manager of the MBTA in the near future to help modify the alert for the faster trains. 

What do you think should be done to help alert those waiting on the train platform of faster trains? Do you agree that the MBTA should adjust the train approaching sign for faster trains? Tell us in the comments.

HJ January 17, 2013 at 05:25 PM
So there's no need for fencing (clueless) or additional warning. Perhaps the parent should act like parents and keep their kids away from the tracks. Would you stand 5 feet away from the high speed lane on I-95 too? You can't tell me people in Mansfield have never seen those trains fly by. People just don't have common sense any more.
BH January 17, 2013 at 06:35 PM
I was thinking no at first but those trains can suck someone towards the tracks or blow them back fairly easily, especially elderly and children. A woman died recently in Rhode Island from this.
John Lawson January 18, 2013 at 11:43 PM
People need to use COMMON SENSE , that's all nothing more than that is needed. a smart person knows to stand away from the tracks at all times whether a train is coming or not.
Frank DelVecchio January 19, 2013 at 05:07 PM
So, according to your logic, no warning of any kind is necessary. That’s not common sense, that’s non-sensical...
Frank DelVecchio January 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM
So you know the people involved and can therefore assert that there was bad parenting involved here? And if an accident did occur, your response would be too bad, so sad, they had it coming? If a different signal could alert people (regardless of parenting skills) to a higher awareness, what would be the problem with that? As a regular commuter and a frequent Acela pasenger, I think a warning signal is a great idea. I’m not a bad parent - I am an imperfect human being who cannot be eternally vigilant and 100 % mistake-free. Kudos to Mr. Doyle for bringing up this issue. The mean-spririted, judgmental commentary I read on Patch never ceases to amaze me.
Michael February 01, 2013 at 01:08 AM
Folks, this is clearly not rocket science. The simple, straightforward and common sense answer is YES. Provide earlier warning for trains that travel faster than 100mph. And move the yellow line back a few feet as well.

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