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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF installs signs to discourage trespassing on Illinois rail bridge

BNSF Railway Co. has installed signage on the Illinois side of the railroad's bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Quincy, Ill., to discourage trespassers, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) announced late last week.

The railroad installed the "No Trespassing" signs after BNSF security video showed people being on the tracks illegally in the area, according to an ICC press release.

The commission noted that Illinois rail injuries and deaths declined last year to 23 fatalities and 18 injuries. In 2014, Illinois had 27 rail fatalities and 19 injuries.

ICC and BNSF officials said they hope the signage, along with continuing education of the public about the dangers of walking on railroad track, will help to drive down deaths and injuries even more.

"The tracks are only wide enough to accommodate a train, leaving no room for pedestrians. Walking on the tracks is not only illegal, but very dangerous," said Ron Simpson, field safety support for BNSF.

"It's proactive approaches like this that we implement to prevent tragedies from happening along [Illinois'] more than 7,200 miles of track," said Chip Pew, the ICC's rail safety specialist and state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver Inc. "This is the leading cause of injuries and deaths by trains, and Illinois has been 5th nationally in trespass incidents and fatalities over the last two years."

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