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Rail News: Safety

CTA notes drop in trespassing reports

A year after launching its "Stay Off The Tracks" campaign, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has recorded a nearly 17 percent decline in reported trespassing incidents on CTA tracks.

In the 12 months before the campaign's September 2013 launch, CTA noted 388 reports of individuals on the railroad right of way. In the 12 months after the campaign's launch, that number dropped to 323, a decline of 16.8 percent. The average number of monthly incidents dropped from 32.3 to 26.9, CTA officials said in a press release.

"We're pleased to see the numbers declining, but unfortunately, far too many customers are still making the dangerous and unfortunate decision to go onto the tracks," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

A majority of incidents involved people making a conscious decision to go on the tracks. Only a few reported incidents involved people falling or tripping onto tracks, officials said. Alcohol had been a factor in some incidents.

"We believe this campaign generated a lot of conversations about the important topic of safety, and will continue to remind and encourage our customers to take simple steps to keep themselves safe," said Claypool.

People who enter CTA tracks face the danger of oncoming trains, as well as the electrified third rail, which carries 600 volts of electricity used to propel trains — a level of electricity that is almost always lethal within seconds of contact.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/29/2014