MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (WJZ) — A heavy, eight-foot high steel fence designed to keep people off of train tracks is headed to the Middle River area.
As Gigi Barnett explains, it’s more than two miles of fence that one family asked for after a tragic train accident.
They’re fast, silent and, for Tara Stickel’s 14-year-old daughter, Anna, Amtrak’s high-speed trains were deadly.
“It did hit her from behind. She turned around last second when she noticed her friend running off the tracks,” said Tara Stickel.
Anna’s memorial isn’t far from where the train struck her. The accident happened in January 2010 when Anna and another friend were walking to school at Kenwood High. The girls decided to take a shortcut and walk on the train tracks. Tara Stickel says it’s a common practice in the area, but now Amtrak plans to build an eight-foot steel fence to keep teens out.
Stickel fought for the fence and was told no at first, but this week, the rail company decided to build it. In a statement, Amtrak spokeswoman Danelle Hunter says, “This is not in direct response to Anna Stickel’s death but Amtrak is installing the fence to deter access to the railroad tracks and we are hoping in conjunction with public awareness that this will deter public access to the tracks.”
“I think it’s something they should have done a long time ago,” Stickel said. “I think that kids are going to be safer. I think it’s going to save a life.”
Amtrak also plans to place more “No Trespassing” signs near the tracks, too. The company says the first phase of the fence will begin in the next few days.