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Railroad accidents often prompt safety changes


Nearly one year after a horrific tragedy occurred on a northwest railroad, safety changes have yet to be fully implemented. Officials say they are on target to meet a December deadline, when new technology will be installed along the route to prevent similar railroad accidents from occurring in the future. The 2017 derailment resulted in several fatalities and dozens of people injured. Connecticut railroad workers understand how dangerous train travel can be but should at least be able to expect their employers to fulfill their obligations to help keep them, as well as passengers, as safe as possible.

In the 2017 tragedy, there has been speculation that officials knew the train was not fit for travel that day. Investigation results estimate train speed to have been as high as 75 miles per hour when it rounded a bend in a 30-miles per hour zone. The massive vehicle plummeted over an overpass and onto a busy interstate highway below.

Plans for re-opening the line are set for spring. Many say if positive train control technology had been installed in the train at the time, the accident might have been avoided. As it stands, PTC tests will continue to be conducted throughout the winter as the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the 2017 crash.

When railroad accidents in Connecticut or elsewhere result in workers’ injuries, they can act under the Federal Employers Liability Act to seek compensation for damages when employer negligence is deemed to have been a causal factor. The process is often stressful, which is why most train workers act alongside experienced legal representation. An attorney can help make sure negligent officials are held legally accountable for their actions.

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