(Arlington, Texas – November 2, 2011)
A month after a serious collision between two Union Pacific freight trains near a popular recreation center in Arlington, TX, residents and city officials are still demanding answers to their safety concerns with UPRR.
It was Sunday, October 1 when one Union Pacific train crew ignored a red “stop” signal and ran into the rear of another UP freight train, causing havoc in the area of the derailment. Wednesday night, Arlington City Council Members Kathryn Wilemon and Lana Wolff, whose districts include the Union Pacific rail line, held a public forum on improved safety efforts, and were addressed by UPRR Public Affairs Director Clint Schelbitzki.
“We were fortunate that there were no hazardous materials involved, there were no spills,” recounted Schelbitzki, but who then added “I can assure you when we do transport hazardous materials on our lines, it is safe. We take every precaution when we are handling those materials.”
Attendees at the meeting at Arlington City Council Chambers expressed numerous concerns about trains being left idling for hours on railroad tracks in residential areas, as well as blowing their horns in supposed “quiet zones”.
City Council Member Wilemon said that while there are always safety concerns, Union Pacific, for the most part, operates safely.
“Is it going to stop every problem we have?” asked Wilemon. “No. But we have a relationship and we feel we have been heard.”