ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A retired railroad worker said he’s seen too many tragedies involving trains striking vehicles on railroad crossings. The most recent tragedy occurred in a rural part of St. Charles County, earlier this week.

Tom Waldron said the collisions also take a toll on rail crews. He recalled one rail worker who was affected in a fatal collision involving a vehicle on tracks. Years later, that tragedy is still on his mind. 

“He’ll have nightmares,” Waldron said.   

Waldron said he hopes anyone spotting a vehicle on train tracks will know how to alert rail companies about the potential danger. There is a small blue sign at every rail crossing that provides information about how to contact the rail company, along with a number specific to that rail crossing location. The signs are a federal requirement.  

“In terms of the little blue sign, the emergency notification sign, that is at the crossing and is specific to the crossing,” said Brian Vercruysse, rail safety administrator with the Illinois Commerce Commission.   

He said another tool is the Federal Railroad Administration Rail Crossing Locator Mobile Application.

Vercruysse said that Google and Apple navigation now identify railroad crossings.  

Waldron adds that trains can not stop automatically. The sooner a rail company receives a warning about a vehicle on a track, the better the chance of stopping in time. 

For more information about rail safety visit: https://railroads.dot.gov/railroad-safety.



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