The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) and Operation Lifesaver of Vermont (OLVT) report that trespassing on or near railroad tracks in the state has increased since the suspension of Amtrak services in March 2020.
With the trains now back in Vermont in preparation for the resumption of full passenger service on Monday, July 19, Vermonters are reminded that it is both dangerous and illegal to trespass on railroad property.
In a news release, AOT Secretary Joe Flynn said that “it is imperative that the public understand that this activity is not only illegal, but also highly dangerous.”
OLVT, a nonprofit rail safety education organization, advises that the public should always expect a train, that trains always have the right of way, and that entering the area on or around train tracks is illegal.
Every year, thousands of people nationally are killed or injured at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks.
“These trains travel at speeds up to 79 miles per hour,” said Toni Clithero, OVLT's state coordinator. “They extend 3 feet beyond the track and move almost silently. Weighing up to 200 tons, they appear to be traveling at much slower speeds than they actually are and cannot stop in time to avoid persons or vehicles on or near the tracks.”
For more about rail safety in Vermont, visit the Operation Lifesaver website at community.oli.org/state/vt.