Rail safety week is underway in the show me state.
On average, the state sees around 30 to 40 crashes involving trains and some of those are fatal.
MODOT says to remember to treat all tracks as active, be alert for train horns or lights, even if the cross gates are not closing, and always expect a train no matter what situation.
It can take a freight train up to a mile to come to a complete stop.
In the lake area there are two active railroads, including one line (BNSF) that runs from Dixon into Richland, Stoutland and Lebanon, as well as another line (UP) that runs from Tipton into Syracuse, Otterville and into Sedalia.
At one time the lake had three locally active railroads, which included the Missouri Pacific Bagnell and Warsaw branches, and the Rock Island Railroad which ran from Kansas City to St. Louis through areas like Cole Camp, Versailles, Eldon and Henley.
While the two MOPAC Lines (Now part of Union Pacific) no longer exist, the Rock Island (Currently owned by Ameren Missouri and managed by Missouri Central Railroad) was abandoned for years and is now being converted into a biking trail.
Sept. 21-27 is Rail Safety Week
JEFFERSON CITY – Each year, on average, there are 35 highway rail crossing collisions and five fatalities in Missouri, in addition to injuries and fatalities suffered by people trespassing on train tracks.
“The goal of Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and empower the general public to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way,” said Bryan Ross, MoDOT’s railroad operations manager.
To promote rail safety in Missouri, MoDOT partners with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. OLI is a non-profit organization and nationally recognized leader of rail safety education. Since 1972, OLI remains committed to preventing collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings, with the support of public education programs in states across the U.S.
In addition to OLI’s Rail Safety Week activities, MoDOT will be posting safety messages on its Missouri River Runner and MoDOT social media sites.
Here are some reminders to help everyone stay safe around railroads:
- Freight trains don’t follow published schedules; always expect a train.
- A typical freight train can take more than a mile to stop.
- The train you see is likely closer and faster-moving than you think.
- The only safe place to cross the tracks is at a designated crossing.
- Being on railroad tracks and property is not only dangerous – it’s illegal.