Trains Roll By As Raised Railroad Gates Concern Neighbors

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CBS) — Only on 2: An alarming sight that had a southwest suburban neighborhood demanding answers.

Someone snapped a picture of a raised railroad gate as a freight train rolled through.

As CBS 2’s Steven Graves found out, train officials said this was supposed to happen.

Chris and Mick Shay remember the tragedy on the railroad at Hinsdale and Monroe like it was yesterday.

“No one wants to see that for any person.”

They still think of a girl who lost her life more than a decade ago as her brother drove a car over the tracks.

“He didn’t wait for the arm to go up, and he went around and was struck by an express train in the middle tracks,” said Shay.

Four gate arms were added after that, blocking off all lanes.

“It has saved us from accidents and disasters. We’re grateful. It’s upsetting that they were up,” said Chris Shay

They’ve never seen it happen, until CBS 2 showed them a picture snapped by a neighbor: One side of the gate up as the train speeds by.

“We feel strongly that this is a wonderful response having those four gates. And they need to all four be working at all times,” said Chris Shay.

Train company BNSF owns the tracks and maintains the gates. A spokesperson told CBS 2 it was not a malfunction, but a safety mechanism. That the exit gates possibly opened because a car or bike was on the tracks before the picture was taken.

But there’s no sure way to know if that’s the case, since there’s no camera there.

The Shays, who are moving soon, said it comes down to safe tracks and driver awareness, hoping the next family who buys the home doesn’t see what they did.

“It’s so important for all ages, children and adults, that we make this as safe a crossing as possible.”

A spokesperson for the train company said they did send crews out on Monday to check the circuits, but no issues were found.

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