U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will be in Stonington on Monday afternoon to talk about rail safety issues after reaching out to Amtrak’s CEO and asking the company to take action to implement better safety standards at railroad crossings in town.
Senator Blumenthal, First Selectman Rob Simmons and some residents will attend the 2:30 p.m. news conference, calling for Amtrak to install technology that is already federally mandated.
Blumenthal said in a news release that Amtrak’s failure to install loop detectors or quad gates at the Walkers Dock and Freeman Island crossings have not only raised safety concerns, but have also disrupted the town’s “Quiet Zone” residential policy due to the passing trains being forced to sound their horns at each crossing.
He went on to say that the horns don’t provide adequate notice to passengers in a disabled vehicle on the rail crossing and the rail configuration does not provide a clear line of sight for the train engineer to safely react to such an incident.
Blumenthal introduced the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act, which he said would provide new resources to the Federal Railroad Administration, states and communities to make critical engineering and safety upgrades at rail crossings, like installing new lights and signals, particularly at accident-prone crossings.