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Train signals are factors in many railroad accidents


Any passenger boarding a Connecticut train can reasonably expect that the engineer has had proper training and clearly understands the train signal system and other safety tools meant to keep riders safe along the tracks. Engineers are not the only ones who benefit from such knowledge. In fact, passengers who do a bit of research ahead of time may be able to use what they learn to help improve their own travel safety.

Railroad signal lights are similar in code to roadway traffic signals. It is a universal system where green means go and red means stop while yellow alerts caution. Rail signals help drivers of non-locomotive vehicles to know when train tracks are clear and safely accessible.

Each section of track is also guarded by signals so engineers know when a circuit is clear. This system was implemented in 1872 to help prevent collisions. As opposed to modern digital signals, many railroads in the United States still use semaphores, which is a mechanical arm that moves at different angles and positions to inform engineers when they need to stop or proceed with caution.

Train signals sometimes fail to work properly. Train engineers can make mistakes and fail to interpret signals properly. Drivers of other vehicles may be negligent in a manner that causes serious railroad accidents. If that happens in Connecticut, injured workers will want to familiarize themselves with the Federal Employers Liability Act, through which all benefits claims or personal injury lawsuits are filed in connection with on-the-job railroad worker injures.

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