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2/27/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS safety committee targets trespassers at Chicago commuter-rail station


Norfolk Southern Corp.'s Chicago Safety Committee recently stepped up efforts to control trespassers near a South Shore Railroad commuter-rail station operated by Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD). About 12,000 commuters use Chicago's Hegewisch Station daily — 28 percent of NICTD's total ridership.


Committee members obtained reports that passengers were parking in nearby neighborhoods, then crossing NS, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. and NICTD tracks to get to the station. Some commuters also were climbing a fence to get to work at a nearby factory, according to NS' monthly newsletter.


The committee worked with Federal Railroad Administration and NICTD officials to increase awareness of trespassing dangers.


Committee members, and FRA and NICTD representatives recently greeted about 300 commuters at the station to distribute information, and prevented seven people from trespassing during a three-hour visit.


"If we can prevent tragedy by being on site and making people understand how dangerous their actions are sometimes, we've made a tremendous contribution to the quality of life in our community," said Mike Grace, NS terminal superintendent.


The committee plans to present other outreach programs in April and May.










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