Charles Goetsch
Law Offices LLC
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Protecting Whistleblowers & The Injured

Can a train be derailed with a penny?

| Oct 16, 2020 | Railroad Injuries

As someone who works on the railroad, you’ve probably heard about the myth that a single penny or quarter could derail a train. The good news for you is that putting a penny on the tracks isn’t likely to cause the train any trouble at all.

However, as a railroad worker, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for any pennies or debris you do see on the tracks. If that debris is hit, there is a potential for any pieces to become projectiles that could harm others. Someone working nearby could even be killed if those projectiles were flying at them quickly enough or were sharp from damage.

Pennies won’t derail trains, but other items could

Another thing to remember is that larger items could derail a train. This is one reason why there should always be safety precautions taken to clear the rails. If you’re driving a train, you likely won’t have the ability to slow down quickly, so you may not be able to stop if there is any large debris ahead of you on the tracks. Of course, the railroad is supposed to maintain clean tracks by adding space that is free of grass, debris and other obstructions, but if the tracks aren’t maintained, many people could be hurt.

If you are hurt on the job because of flying debris or due to tracks that weren’t kept clear, you may be able to seek compensation accordingly. The Federal Employers Liability Act may protect your right to compensation for your injuries, and your attorney can help you file a claim if and when needed.