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Rail News: Communication and Signal

'Officer on the Train' an eye-opening exercise for railroad, city police

During an "Officer on the Train" event last week, police officers from BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad and several southern California cities figured they would issue several citations for grade-crossing violations. But they couldn't have guessed they'd issue 84 citations in a five-hour period, including one to a city garbage truck.

Held in Fullerton, Placentia and Anaheim, the event was designed to promote crossing safety, and help educate law enforcement and government officials about motorists' behavior. Crossing safety has received more attention in southern California since Jan. 26, when a man allegedly parked his car on tracks in Glendale and caused a commuter train to derail and strike an oncoming train.

There are more than 250,000 U.S. public and private crossings, at which about 400 deaths occur annually, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/25/2005