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Faulty Train Equipment Leaving Deerfield Residents Isolated

trainDEERFIELD, Mass (WGGB)– Faulty safety equipment designed to save lives is causing big headaches at a dangerous train crossing in Deerfield. Residents in the Keets Road area say that emergency arms in the crossing are consistently deploying for no reason.

“It was down Friday night from probably 1030 until after midnight,” neighbor Karen Ahearn said.

But often times for no reason. Friday there was no train passing through the intersection for such a long period of time. Ahearn says idling trains nearby often trigger the arms to come down and other times they spontaneously come down for no reason.

“The gates will stay down. I had one neighbor who told me it was down for 24 hours within the past year,” Ahearn said.   “It’s just a constant clanging. The bell is really loud.”

But it’s not just an annoyance. The problem is there are about 8-10 houses plus a conference center on the dead end road so when the train signals go down people cannot get in or out of Keets Road. That’s why many people wind up going through the gates anyway. Ahearn wants the issue fixed before there is an accident, especially with high speed rail coming soon.

“It’s difficult to know when it’s real and when it’s not real,” Ahearn said.

Pan-Am Railways says they recently put in a new safety system and are investigating why the arms keep coming down. Pan-Am also says they are now going to ask engineers to idle further down the tracks to avoid triggering the safety arms.


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