Children crossing train tracks in the North End


It’s been three days since a woman was killed trying to cross the train tracks from Birnie Ave. to Plainfield Street. On Thursday, foot traffic on the path was slower compared to earlier in the week, but some parents are still concerned for kids’ safety. 

“I’m always afraid when she tells me, ‘mom I’m going to cross over.’ I say, ‘you better not be using those train tracks’,” said Maritza Matos, a Springfield mother who lives in the North End. 

Woman killed using popular path to cross train tracks

22News shot video of two children crossing the railroad tracks from Birnie Ave. to Plainfield Street on Tuesday. 

Gerena and Chestnut Schools are close by, and are separated by the train tracks. 

Two mothers told 22News they see kids using this path to illegally cross the railroad tracks almost every day. 

Pedestrians are supposed to use the Route 20 overpass to get over the train tracks to Birnie Avenue. Matos said this walk could also be dangerous, but something needs to be done to keep kids off the tracks. 

Amtrak: Crossing train tracks is illegal and you could be fined $100

“Let’s make it safe for these kids, not the bigger people,” said Matos. “Let’s make it safe for these kids that come out of school and cross through here.” 

Patrick Marvin of MassDOT told 22News a pedestrian overpass, connecting Birnie Avenue and Plainfield Street, is in the works. Construction on this is expected to begin sometime this spring.  

Springfield Public Schools declined to comment on this story. 

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