One year after implementation, CSX Transportation's (CSXT) emergency crossing sign program has proven effective in enhancing public safety. Nearly two hundred potential safety hazards were reported across CSXT's system, preventing possible crossing collisions and train accidents.
Signs posted at 24,000 railroad crossings bear the company's 800 emergency telephone number as well as a Department of Transportation identification number for each crossing. Of the 135 calls CSXT has received, 60 percent reported stalled vehicles on the tracks. The other calls reported other potential safety hazards such as broken crossing gates, trees and other objects fouling the railroad track and damage to crossing signals caused by auto accidents.
``Safety is our first priority,'' said CSXT President and CEO A.R., ``Pete'' Carpenter. ``The one-year results prove that working together, CSXT and the communities it serves can make a difference in safety.''
CSXT partnered with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to adopt this public safety program. CSXT is the first railroad in the nation to implement a systemwide program to install emergency information signs at railroad crossings, and the company completed the $4.7 million project a year ahead of schedule.
FRA Administrator Jolene Molitoris applauded CSXT's commitment to rail safety. ``The installation of the 800 number signage has increased safety levels in these communities around the country. This is a model program that we encourage other members of the railroad industry to follow. I applaud CSXT's leadership on this,'' Molitoris said.
CSXT will be applying this successful public safety program to the Conrail lines it will be allocated beginning on June 1, 1999. The company plans to complete the installation of the emergency information signs on the newly acquired lines by June 2000.
CSXT and its 28,000 employees provide rail transportation and distribution services over an 18,300 route-mile network in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. CSXT is a business unit of CSX Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Va.
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