Railroad News

Snowmobiler Killed Crossing BNSF Railroad Tracks

(Brainerd, Minnesota – February 16, 2014)

A 30-year-old local man was killed at bout 1:35 P.M. last Sunday afternoon when he attempted to cross BNSF railroad tracks and his snowmobile was struck by a westbound empty coal train in Brainerd, MN.

There is no crossing where Michael Flannigan tried to cross BNSF tracks southbound, as the area was below the Highway 25 South overpass in east Brainerd. Therefore, when the train sounded its horn, which the crew claimed it did, would not have been until the engineer determined the situation to be an emergency.

The fact that the victim was wearing a safety helmet and the noise of his vehicle may have interfered with his ability to hear the alleged horn sound.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, a half-dozen BNSF trains move along the rail corridor through Brainerd daily at top allowable speeds of 49 mph.