Fences Erected After Train Derailment
The Howard County executive says it's 'tough to stop' people from getting on the tracks.
The new fencing along the railroad tracks in Ellicott City may become permanent, according to Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.
In an interview with WJZ TV, Ulman said, "If folks want to get on the tracks, unfortunately, it's tough to stop them. We want to make it as difficult as possible.”
Ulman told WJZ that shortly after the derailment, he attended a meeting with a CSX community safety expert and the Howard County fire and police chiefs. They walked the tracks and determined that better fencing and signage was necessary to keep people off the tracks.
The temporary fencing that was subsequently erected may become permanent, Ulman said.
Ulman’s statements about the ease of getting onto the tracks echoed those made earlier by CSX spokesman Gary Sease who said in the days after a train derailment in Ellicott City that killed two 19-year-old women: “Of course, the U.S. rail system was built to maximize access for shippers and farmers and anyone who wanted to ship goods on the railroad.”
“This is a railroad town,” Ulman told WJZ. “It was founded on the railroad … we want to make it more difficult [to access tracks], but a train track goes through town.”
Ulman said in the interview that the county continues to work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to determine what caused the derailment.
NTSB has said that a preliminary report may be released this week.