The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) and Operation Lifesaver of Vermont (OLVT) report that trespassing on or near railroad tracks in Vermont has increased since the suspension of Amtrak services in March 2020.

With the Amtrak trains now back in Vermont in preparation for the resumption of full service on July 19, Vermonters are reminded that it is both dangerous and illegal to trespass on railroad property.  

“We are excited to see Amtrak’s return to the state,” said AOT Secretary Joe Flynn. “Safety is always our number one concern. With reports of more and more folks walking on or beside the railway, it is imperative that the public understand that this activity is not only illegal, but also highly dangerous.”  

OLVT, a non-profit rail safety education organization, advises that the public should always expect a train, that trains always have the right of way, and that entering the area on or around train tracks is illegal. Every year, thousands of people nationally are killed or injured at highway-rail crossings and at other locations along railroad tracks. 

“These trains travel at speeds up to 79 miles per hour,” said OVLT’s State Coordinator, Toni Clithero. “They extend three feet beyond the track and move almost silently. Weighing up to 200 tons, they appear to be traveling at much slower speeds than they actually are and cannot stop in time to avoid persons or vehicles on or near the tracks.” 

For more about rail safety in Vermont, visit the Operation Lifesaver website


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