SunRail to add fences to stop people from crossing the tracks

By Jeff Allen, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, August 25, 2017, 11:08 PM EDT

There will be more fencing along SunRail tracks in Orange and Seminole Counties soon. The Florida Department of Transportation plans to install more fencing following the death of a boy who was hit and killed by a SunRail train in Seminole County back in May.

  • FDOT to add 2,400 feet of fencing along 12 sections of tracks
  • Boy killed back in May while crossing in front of train
  • FDOT says fencing will cost $400,000

Greg Davis says he’s seen people crossing the train tracks near his Goldsboro home for decades.

“People have been walking across there for 50 years,” said Davis. “It’s like part of life here in Goldsboro.”

The danger of crossing those tracks became clear back in May, when Marcees Kilpatrick, 13, died after he was hit by a passing SunRail train.

“It was sad, one of those things that happened, but it could’ve been avoided,” said Davis.

FDOT had “no trespassing” signs already in place when the accident happened. Now, FDOT’s plans to install fencing are finalized.

Those plans call for the installation of nearly 2,400 feet of fencing in 12 sections along the tracks in Orange and Seminole counties. 

On Thursday evening, an 85-year-old man was killed in Orlando while trying to cross in the path of a SunRail train near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Wilkinson Street. There was no fencing in that area.

But some residents who live near the tracks in Goldsboro doubt whether the fencing will really stop people from crossing the tracks like they’ve done for decades.

“They’ll either cut it or jump it,” said Davis.

FDOT has budgeted $400,000 to install the fencing. Davis says he’d rather see the state spend that money on a pedestrian bridge.

“Build a crosswalk that goes over the top of the train, and then people can walk across it and they won’t have that problem anymore,” said Davis.

FDOT says a pedestrian bridge is not being contemplated at this time, and it hopes people will only cross the tracks at designated spots along city streets.

Sanford Police say anyone damaging fencing would face at minimum criminal mischief charges, if FDOT wished to prosecute.

FDOT says the fencing should be installed along SunRail tracks in January.