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Kingston Ash Release

Caution Urged Due to New Railroad Activity at Kingston Fossil Plant

TVA has built a new rail spur to accommodate trains that will transport spilled ash from the Kingston Fossil Plant and is urging motorists driving near the plant to use caution near the new rail spur and to follow the rules of rail safety.

“Please don’t try to beat a train,” said Mike Scott, project manager for the Kingston ash spill remediation. “We’ve put warning signs up on Swan Pond Road to remind residents to slow down.  The new rail spur was built to help us get the ash off site, and we are committed to doing it safely.”

Trains will use the spur to access the ash on the Kingston site and transport it to approved landfills.  Loading the 85-car trains with ash will require the trains to slowly move back and forth across Swan Pond Road, which may tempt people to try to beat the train, or drive around it on the track.

“Never race a train to the crossing. Even if it’s a tie, you lose,” said Jill Moody, state coordinator for Tennessee Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit program dedicated to eliminating deaths and injuries at America’s highway rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way through public awareness and education.  “And don’t be fooled into thinking a slow train is a safe train to beat.  The majority of grade crossing crashes happen when trains are traveling less than 30 miles per hour.”

Scott urged Roane County drivers to follow the directions of flaggers at the rail spur and never drive around gates at this or any other crossing.  “The safety of our workers and the public is our No. 1 concern at this site,” he said.  “We are grateful to the people of Roane County for helping us keep this site safe.” 


Highway-Rail Grade Crossings - Seven Steps for Safety

  1. Approach crossing with care.  Slow down when you see an advanced warning sign.
  2. Prepare to stop. Turn off fans and radio, roll down windows; look and listen for a rain.
  3. Stop at least 15 feet from nearest train track, but not more than 50 feet, if you see a train.
  4. If it won’t fit, don’t commit.  Trains extend beyond the width of the tracks at least 3 feet on each side. If your vehicle has a trailer, remember the additional length.
  5. Double check before you move - look in both directions.
  6. Cross tracks with care. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, use a gear that will not require shifting until you reach the opposite side.   
  7. Keep going once you start, even if lights start to flash or gates come down.

Page Updated December 5, 2013 1:39 PM


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