Wisconsin railroad workers stress safety as volume increases in stateSubmitted: 06/01/2015
TOMAHAWK - Train engineers see risky behavior around railroad tracks often in Wisconsin. The state has more than 4,000 active crossings.

Cars ignore signs and signals at many of them. On other stretches of rail, people trespass to walk along tracks or fish from bridges. That's a major safety concern, especially with more and more trains rumbling across Wisconsin.

"We just want to make sure that everybody is safe and aware that rail traffic is increasing in the state of Wisconsin, all over the state," said Wisconsin Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Susie Klinger. Klinger oversees Tomahawk Railway.

We rode along a stretch of the Tomahawk Railway on Monday as officials kicked off Rail Safety Week across the state. While the locomotive approached a highway crossing, the flashing red lights were on. But two cars still darted across the tracks.

"When the red lights go on, they don't stop," Klinger said of cars nearby. "It doesn't mean to slow and go, it means stop. The train is within a few feet."

Engineers often see people fishing from bridges along Tomahawk Railway. That's a major danger.

"There's nowhere to go when you're on a bridge," Klinger said. "It's either, you're going to go in, or you're going to get hit. We really don't think that's a great choice."

Eight people died in train accidents last year in the state.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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