Wilton Bulletin: Sen. Blumenthal – Technology can make the train crossings safer

More than 270 people are killed at railroad crossings each year, including six on Metro-North trains this year. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says there is technology to prevent more deaths.

Earlier this year a Harlem line train crashed into an SUV in Valhalla, N.Y., killing five on the train and the SUV’s driver. In 2012, a Danbury branch line train collided with a car in West Redding, killing the car’s driver and a passenger. There were also two other derailments in the past few years.

Mr. Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is proposing a bill for more funding to make improvements to rail safety, he told editors of Hersam Acorn Newspapers at a meeting at the company’s editorial offices in Shelton last Thursday, Feb. 19.

Rail grade crossing accidents account for more than 2,000 crashes and collisions every year in the United States, he said, including more than 1,000 injuries and an average of 273 deaths. Connecticut’s main New Haven line does not have any rail grade crossings — where cars travel over the tracks — but its spur lines of New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury do have rail grade crossings.

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