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Would safety equipment have prevented railroad accidents?

Traveling by train or working on a Connecticut railroad is part of many residents' lifestyles. Sadly, several serious railroad accidents have taken place throughout the nation in recent months that have caused many passengers and workers to question whether immediate safety upgrades are needed and, perhaps, regulation changes implemented to avoid such disasters from happening in the future. Along a railroad line in another state, an astounding three crashes recently occurred on the same day.  

In all three situations, trains and automobiles collided. An 84-year-old woman suffered serious injuries in the one of the crashes. A local assistant police chief said he was amazed that there were no fatalities in the incidents. He said he's been working in the area more than 20 years and has never seen anything like this happen.  

The assistant chief also said that trains are coming through the area at much higher rates of speed than they used to and often have more cars connected to them as well. At 50 mph, it typically takes a train approximately one mile to come to a full stop. A local resident who lives near the tracks said part of the problem is that drivers in cars often try to "beat the trains" by accelerating across the tracks but fail to get to the other side before the train (which is, by then, likely unable to stop in time) arrives.  

Many people say the area should definitely have electronically controlled crossing gates installed. Such safety equipment is often used to prevent other vehicles from entering the tracks when a train is approaching. When Connecticut railroad accidents occur, train workers are often seriously injured. Such incidents may lead to litigation if an injured worker believes employer negligence was a causal factor in an accident. 

Source:, "Greenwood officials call for safety upgrades, more caution after 3 railroad crashes in 1 day", Zach Myers, May 1, 2018

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