Federal & local officials handed out railroad safety information in Northampton

Once the lights flash, stop

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Federal and local officials handed out railroad safety information at a busy intersection where Damon Road crosses the Amtrak rail line.

With train traffic picking up on the Northeast corridor, educating drivers about railroad safety is more important than ever.

On Thursday, the Federal Railroad Administration partnered with the Northampton Police and Fire Departments to hand drivers educational materials as they were stuck in traffic.

Dick Towle told 22News what makes the Damon Road intersection so dangerous.

“Just a tremendous amount of traffic that crosses Damon Road throughout the course of a day. You’ve got an intersection here. The traffic will stop on the track unfortunately, even though we’ve got signage that says don’t do it,” said Towle.

But they did do it. Even this ambulance stopped directly on the tracks, despite the signs.

Towle told 22News don’t try and beat the gates. Once the lights flash, stop.

If you do get caught on the tracks, break through the gate with your vehicle or exit the vehicle and run at a 45-degree angle in the opposite direction the train is traveling.

Trains travel at about 30 mph in the Damon Road area, but can reach speeds of up to 80 mph along certain parts of the track.