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Rail News: Safety

Mass Coastal Railroad asks police chiefs to help stop trespassing


Mass Coastal Railroad (MCRR) President and CEO Chris Podgurski is asking 22 police chiefs in Massachusetts for their collaboration on improved railroad safety.

Trespassing is the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in the United States, MCRR officials said in a news release. In 2022, there were 619 trespass-related fatalities and 550 trespass injuries across the nation. Massachusetts General Law prohibits trespassing on railroad tracks, which is punishable by a $100 fine or 50 hours of community service.

Although that law has existed for decades, trespassing continues to be an issue along MCRR's lines, Podgurski wrote in a recent letter to the police chiefs.

"In order to achieve the highest possible level of public safety we respectfully request that police departments in the communities we serve remain vigilant with regards to railroad trespassing and the enforcement of [state law]," he wrote.

MCRR's railroad safety programs include emergency notification systems and railroad trespassing signs, grade crossings and the installation of fencing along portions of tracks.