ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ)– Federal funding has been approved to make train crossings safer after a train collided with a dump trunk in Rosedale and caused a major explosion in 2013.
The railway crossing where the crash happened doesn’t have gates or lights. All of that is about to change.
A day many in the Rosedale community can’t forget. Surveillance footage captured the moment a CSX train slammed into a truck that failed to stop at the private railway crossing.
Minutes later hazardous materials on the train cause an explosion that was felt for miles. The blast did $1 million in damage to the Plumbers and Steamfitters Training facility.
“We’re blessed that nobody got hurt,” said Al Clinedinst of Local Union 486. Clinedinst says anxieties remain high with trains still passing the school.”
“It’s still on everybody’s mind, and when they lay on that horn for two minutes it sinks in every time,” said Clinedinst.
Since the explosion, CSX has installed new signs in the area and cut back some of the shrubbery.
Now, a new $700,000 federal grant will be used to pay for gates, bells and lights at the crossing where the explosion happened and three other train crossings in the area.
It’s a move the NTSB recommended years ago.
“Actions are needed to identify high-risk private grade crossings and to implement safety improvements at the local level,” said Christopher Hart, NTSB chairman in 2014.
A WJZ investigation found 178 accidents in the state at similar crossings over the past decade. Clinedinst says the new safety measures can’t come soon enough.
“It’s about time. It’s going to make a big difference. It’s a shame it took something like this to make that happen,” said Clinedinst.
So nothing like this ever happens again. Investigators found truck driver John Alban at fault for the crash. The Rosedale train crossings are among around 80 in the state that don’t have gates or lights.