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. 

Read full coverage of the Ellicott City Train Derailment

Ulman’s statements about the ease of getting onto the tracks echoed those made earlier by 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.

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Michael September 04, 2012 at 04:08 PM
So, does Ken Ulman and the county plan to build a fence on the train tracks all along the Patapsco River Valley, including 32 miles of the popular Patapsco State Park. People have walked the tracks, and children have been playing on the tracks in Ellicott City, for well over a century. I played on them as a child. What happened two weeks ago was truly tragic because two young lives were lost. But it was a freak accident, and building a fence now is a knee-jerk reaction. As Ulman readily admits, the fence is unlikely to stop anyone determined to get over it.
MG42 September 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I completely agree.
BP September 05, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Other events for the Florida delegation include a CSX cocktail receptionon company rail cars Tuesday evening.
Ralphie September 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Won't the fence trap people who are in there and keep them from getting away if there is another accident? Brilliant move, Ken! Honestly, I would prefer that you build a fence around your house to protect the rest of us from you.


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