It just got a little safer to drive in Gulfport. This is the result of CSX and the City of Gulfport working on a plan to close eight railroad crossings. Most of these recently closed crossings are located in the western portion of Gulfport. Many were just a few blocks from each other and had just a crossbar to warn motorists that a train could be coming.
In fact a recent study by CSX found Harrison County ranked third in the nation in the number of train related fatalities. Councilwoman Libby Roland, who represents the ward where many of these crossings occur, said she knows of at least eight train-car accidents in the past few years.
CSX has installed safety devices which are signal crossings, at the 25 train crossings that remain open. What about the other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast?
No doubt there are still many crossings that still have only a train crossbar to alert motorists. We urge CSX and other cities to follow Gulfport's lead and close under utilized rail crossings and improve rail safety throughout South Mississippi. This is the only real way to reduce the car-train accidents we hear about all to often.
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WLOX-TV General Manager