Operation Lifesaver: 17 In KY Died In Train Accidents In 2012
Last year more than 700 people died in train accidents according to the Federal Rail Administration (FRA). We rode a train called Operation Lifesaver to learn about rail safety.
230 accidents took place at railroad crossings in Kentucky, and 17 people died according to the FRA.
A Lexington Firefighter aboard Operation Lifesaver says he works 2-3 car on train accidents a year.
"Without being gruesome, it’s what you would imagine. Obviously, it never turns out well. The train’s a large piece of machinery, no forgiveness for a human if it makes contact," said Joe Nugent, Lexington Fire Department.
Through a camera at the front of the train we watched rail crossings approaching, and people waiting as we passed.
Operation Lifesaver says drivers should always expect a train at a crossing.
KSP rode along to learn this firsthand.
"It gives us a viewpoint of what the engineers and conductors see every day out here on the rails, and how many close calls that they have at rail crossings, " said Trooper Brad Riley, KSP.
A freight train moving 55 MPH needs about a mile to stop, and a former engineer says he had an accident almost daily.
"At the moment of incident there’s absolutely nothing the train crew can do, so the only thing I can do is preventative education," said Wayne Gentry, Kentucky Operation Lifesaver.
Gentry wants to get the word out, trains always have the right of way.
On our trip every car patiently waited for the train to cross. Operation Lifesaver hopes every day is like that.