Maryland officials are urging riders to stay clear of trains after an 81-year-old man was killed Friday morning “in a last-minute effort” to catch a MARC train.

James T. Clemons was hit by a MARC #878 commuter train on the Brunswick Line when he and several other riders ran in front of the train in Gaithersburg, trying to reach the platform in time, according to train officials.

“We recognize that at many stations, passengers must cross tracks to reach their platform. We also understand and appreciate that sometimes passengers run late and are rushing to their train,” MARC officials wrote to passengers. “Trains are not like automobiles or buses — they cannot stop ‘on a dime.’”

They also urge riders not to try beat the train as judging their speeds can be difficult. “Missing a train is frustrating, but it’s more important that you get to work or home safely,” they wrote.

In July, a jogger was killed near Kensington when he apparently tried to beat a CSX freight train near a MARC station.