As Americans, we have a remarkable railroad system weaving intricately across the country. Furthermore, we trust that our train systems will be reasonably safe for travelers and for the homeowners, drivers and pedestrians near the tracks. Most of us simply assume that these tracks are being kept up and repaired when needed and that, ultimately, someone is responsible for keeping the railways safe, especially those railroads on which trains are hauling dangerous, volatile materials.
But what if that assumption is wrong? What if no one is taking care of the railroad tracks that wind through our neighborhoods and across our streets?
In a report from AP’s The Big Story, investigators found an alarming number of safety defects on American railroads:
- Nearly 24,000 defects were found in all throughout the United States.
- Worn rails
- Broken and loose bolts
- Cracked bars
- Slow local response times to reported defects
- These reports are alarming in their own right, but the defects were found on train routes carrying oil, which is a volatile material.
The investigations took place over two years, and the data the investigators found is alarming indeed.
Who is responsible for the upkeep and repair of these train lines? And who should be held liable when innocent people are harmed by accidents caused by this obvious negligence?
Talk with an experienced lawyer if you have been injured or if someone you love has been killed by a derailed train caused by defects in the train line. Make sure you have someone on your side to protect your interests and get you the compensation you deserve.