Idling Trains In Woodlawn: Are We Safe?

For as long as I have lived in Woodlawn, I can always remember seeing or hearing some type of train idling.

My section of the neighborhood is a block from the Metra Electric or IC (Illinois Central) tracks.

Frankly, I'm not sure who owns or maintains the tracks---that's the one fact I haven't been able to unearth since I moved to this neighborhood.

Nonetheless, the idling trains are noisy and I'm concerned about what might be inside some of those cars and/or tankers.

If what I saw yesterday morning was any indication, these idling trains may be a threat to community safety.

A multi tanker train pulled by a BNSF locomotive was idling from about 62nd Street to 65th Place on one of the eastern IC tracks this morning.

View of the train across from the 63rd Street Metra Electric platform looking north to Hyde Park.

View of the train across from the 63rd Street Metra Electric platform looking north to Hyde Park.

View of the train looking south.

View of the train looking south.

As I was taking the Metra Electric downtown, I noticed the Ethylene Oxide inhalation hazard sign on one of the tankers and began to wonder---what protections would we have as a residential neighborhood if an accident or derailment happened?

What would we do if the contents of those cars/tankers became airborne?

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At least it's nice to know who to call *after* an emergency happens.

At least it's nice to know who to call *after* an emergency happens.

What protections would Mt. Carmel and Hyde Park High Schools have?  What protections would Carnegie Elementary School have?  What about the University of Chicago power plant?

If anyone has knowledge about any City of Chicago laws on this topic, I'd love if you'd drop me a line.

Perhaps there aren't any existing laws.  Perhaps I'm seeing boogeymen where there are none.

Yet, I think that any rational person could understand my trepidation.

Why wait for a tragedy to happen before you address the glaring signs?

 

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