Are the trains moving through Washington going too fast? Some people believe they should slow down, and say the speed is posing a hazard.
With the developments along the river and Front Street, there is an increasing number of motorists and pedestrians crossing the tracks at Lafayette Street. Every day brings people to the riverfront regardless of the weather. Right now the rising Missouri River is attracting people. Usually, it is boating, the Rotary Trail, picnics and countless events that bring people to the riverfront.
Not all trains speed through Washington. Some do slow down. With 50 to 60 trains a day passing through Washington, the tracks are busy.
Washington does not have an ordinance governing the speed of trains in the city, according to City Attorney Mark Piontek. In fact, his research reveals the city does not have the authority to set the speed of trains, which are regulated by the Feds.
Even if the city did have the authority, how would it be enforced? The train operator would have to be cited and that would be almost impossible to do.
So about all that can be done as motorists and people navigate the tracks is to use caution. Traffic controls are in place at the Lafayette Street crossing. The speed and noise of the fast-moving trains can be annoying, but it’s one of those things we just have to learn to live with.
And, we do depend on trains for the movement of freight and people.