CSX Railroad Wants Heavier and Faster Trains, Declines Railroad Crossing Upgrades

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and it seems that a major railroad company, CSX Corporation, wants to get much more than it is willing to give.  The railroad company wants to increase the number and speed of trains that run from Indianapolis to Louisville.  The trains would be heavier, longer and faster. The proposal calls for upping speeds from 15 miles an hour to nearly 50 mph.

However their proposal doesn't call for any safety upgrades at those crossings, no new crossing gates, no upgraded lights or bells.  When one Indiana mayor asked for safety upgrades he said that CSX told him there were not enough documented crashes on the tracks to warrant new safety measures.  But on a set of nearby tracks seven years ago, a crash on Super Bowl weekend showed the danger all too clearly. Young brothers Jake and Travis Findley were killed when the SUV they were riding in was hit by a train.  There were no crossing arms at the intersection where the accident occurred.

Railroad crossing accidents involving a train and a car or truck can have devastating consequences, especially for the driver and passenger(s) in the car. Thousands of people are killed or suffer very serious injuries every year in the U.S. because of these railroad crossing accidents.  As Virginia (VA) railroad injury lawyers we know the best warning devices at railroad crossings are "active warning devices" which means lights that are electronically activated by an approaching train, along with gates that will lower automatically on the approach of a train.  A crossing with electronically activated warning lights, but no gates, is the next best protected crossing besides one with activated electronic lights and gates, because of the “active” change that occurs to warn drivers.

{Click here to read about a $370,000 derailment settlement our firm handled}

Cross bucks (signs with an “X” cross near the top marked railroad crossing) are placed at many crossings and some have added reflectorized tape.  Of course, these devices are better than having no warnings, but they are not active in the sense that nothing alerts a car or truck driver when a fast or slow approaching train approaches the crossing.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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