Railroad Safety for Big Valley

(and Lassen County?)

A closeup of the box car and tank which penetrated the office building.

The Nubieber wreck of July 2006

An Editorial comment from Big Valley News
July 2006, Big Valley CA
Copyright 2006 Big Valley News.net

In the original news item about the train wreck in Nubieber I included an editorial comment which cited problems with the operation of the railroad and also a suggestion about possible warning systems for residents.

I did some research and came across some interesting documents. On the subject of railroad safety and so called "dark territory" testimony before United States Congress can be found by clicking on the following links

Testimony before Congress (an HTML web page on Big Valley News Website)

http://www.senate.gov/~commerce/hearings/225pic.pdf  ( a acrobat reader document from the web)

http://www.house.gov/transportation/rail/07-21-05/pickett.pdf  (another acrobat reader document)

More about dark territory and accidents attributed to it can be found by a simple Google search for DARK TERRITORY.

I also suggested that our warning system is in-adequate and suggested that some kind of warning siren might be installed. Sirens are an effective means of public warning,

and information about modern systems can be found at the following links.

The Desoto Community Alert Warning System in Desoto Texas.

A warning system of the Oconee Nuclear Power Plant

The City of Moore in Oklahoma has one.

Here is what a modern siren system is like.

I have also been informed that Modoc County is in the process of getting an emergency telephone warning system installed which is set up to automatically notify residents about emergency situations and give instructions. It seems to me that some of the voice warning sirens described above might be a better idea as it would notify folks of emergencies even if they are not home and give verbal evacuation instructions. For a description of this type of system CLICK HERE.

There are many inexpensive solutions to this very real problem. Perhaps we should request that BNSF railroad actually pay for such a system. Our county supervisors could apply pressure to get this done.

Please, email Big Valley News with your feelings and comments.