(Carlisl County, Kentucky – February 11, 2015)
The glaring morning rising sun made crossing the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Carlisle County Road 1305 and Canadian National railroad tracks in Carlisle County, KY hard enough already early Wednesday morning at about 7:40 A.M., but the existence of heavy trackside foliage and an “S” curved road added significantly to the degree of difficulty for the driver of a semi-trailer truck. Fortunately, the drive barely survived a collision with a freight train as he couldn’t even see the train until it was on top of his 18-wheeler.
The unidentified driver escaped with his life as the northbound train struck and heavily damaged the truck’s trailer. The driver told Kentucky State Police troopers that he looked both ways before entering the crossing and that once he saw the train, one of a daily average of 10, including Amtrak passenger trains, which can travel at a speed as high as 79 mph over the crossing, all he could do was speed up. The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.