Faster and more frequent trains leave communities concerned over lack of safety measures

JOHNSON COUNTY COUNTY, Ind. -- As trains get faster and more frequent people living in the communities they run through say they’re concerned with the lack of safety upgrades to prevent accidents.

Sharin Gobin, 74, died last November when she pulled out in front of a train at a crossing in Edinburgh that had no crossing arm.

Trains can travel up to 49 miles per hour along that stretch of track.

While signs were posted that train frequency and speeds would be increasing, people who live near the tracks say there was no increase in safety measures.

READ | Elderly woman dies after car, train collide in Edinburgh

Johnson County, Franklin, Greenwood and Whiteland were awarded $4.3 million federal grant to update up to 17 railroad crossings – but that money cannot be used until 2020.

A railroad crossing arm costs $250,000 to replace.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers says it's unacceptable that the burden has been placed on municipalities to make sure these crossings are safe.

“I’m trying to work with our congressman and senators to change the way the laws are written to make the railroad more liable to upgrade the crossings as well,” said Mayor Myers. “I’m working with the National Republican Mayor’s Caucus.”

Myers says he plans to take petition signatures to Washington D.C. in March to make his point about the safety upgrades.

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