The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

September 18, 2013

Be aware of Some BNSF trains traveling faster through area

— Some trains passing through Enid may be going faster in the coming days.

BNSF Railway trains could go up to 60-70 mph. Speeds are governed by track quality and safety. According to a BNSF spokesman, there are five levels of track speed for freight. Class 4, which is the designation for BNSF tracks in Enid, allow speeds up to 60-70 mph.

Does that mean all BNSF trains going through Enid will go that fast? Not necessarily. They can under the rules, but some engineers may choose to go slower.

BNSF has seen an increase in volume into and out of the area, and increasing trains’ speed will allow the company to move products through faster, causing fewer delays in frequently traveled areas.

We can’t imagine many drivers complaining about not having to wait as long for a train, although we’re also sure we will hear some people complain the trains are moving too fast now. There will be such complaints no matter what the speed is.

We also want people to understand this only applies to BNSF trains. Other trains that come through Enid won’t be operating at the higher speeds.

With the speed adjustment, drivers are going to have to be more aware. Unfortunately, too many people still think it’s fun to try to beat a train to a crossing. We certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to do that.

Safety must be the top priority. BNSF engineers won’t be driving their trains at speeds faster than they feel comfortable. Drivers, too, will have to keep safety in mind. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware when you come to a railroad crossing.

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