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Safety First Around Railroad Tracks!

A message sent Monday, July 18 to Brunswick Line commuters, and copied to Penn and Camden Line passengers as well

We regret the inconvenience and delays from Friday’s night’s incident involving MARC Brunswick Line Train 877, which struck and killed a person crossing the CSX railroad tracks at an unauthorized location near Gaithersburg.  MTA and other transit providers’ buses were ordered to Rockville as soon as the incident was reported to us and the railroad was re-opened after approximately 2 ½ hours.  With the exception of Train 877, which was impounded by Montgomery County Police and could not move, all other trains were kept in stations per MARC/CSX policy.

This unfortunate incident is all the more frustrating to MARC staff and our passengers because it is completely preventable.   While the victim was not a MARC passenger, please take a moment to review the following important safety guidelines when you are in the vicinity of railroad tracks

1) Never cross railroad tracks except at a designated location (grade crossing or designated crosswalk

2) Train tracks are not like highways—trains can operate on any track at any time from any direction.  While it is often the case that trains use a “certain” track most of the time, the only thing that is “certain” is that this can change with no notice.

3) In the same vein, always look both ways—and look back one extra time—before crossing the tracks.  Those extra couple of seconds may be the difference between making it across or not.

4) Once a train clears the place that you are waiting to cross, don’t start directly across after it clears.  Wait until you have a clear line of sight in both directions before crossing.  Friday’s incident was a result of a group of people starting to walk across the tracks just as soon as an eastbound freight train cleared where they were standing--they did not see MARC 877 approaching westbound on the other track.

If you have children or work with children, please emphasize these safety messages to them as well.  Operation Lifesaver, a national grade and pedestrian crossing accident prevention organization, has resources for both children and adults to teach the message of railroad safety. 

Once again, we appreciate your patience and understanding Friday night and thank you for riding the MARC Train Service.

Publish Date: 
Monday, July 18, 2011 - 14:20
Expire Date: 
Friday, July 29, 2011 - 20:00
Preview Title: 
Governor's Office

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