Drivers and pedestrians are urged to be mindful of railway safety

By Allen Fennewald
Ledger Staff Writer
Drivers and pedestrians are urged to be mindful of railway safety while visiting The Holiday Express this year.
The Holiday Express will be coming to town Dec 15, stopping at the railroad crossing at 326 South Jefferson Street. The Express brings with it a celebrity passenger, Santa Claus, who rides the decorated locomotive to visit the area's children.
In the rush of holiday excitement, city employees have had to warn past Express visitors against unlawfully crossing or otherwise trespassing on railroad property. Some such deterrents were disregarded.
This year, these warnings will be enforced. Police Chief Susan Rockett would like visitors to be mindful of railway dangers and to walk only in designated areas. She and railroad officials are directing visitors to park on the north side of the tracks, so pedestrians won't need to cross the railway. There will be available parking in parking lots and streets on the north side of the railroad.
Chief Rockett warns that train traffic is not halted during The Holiday Express and that other trains will be coming through. The Express is the only train stopped during the event.
Kansas City Southern Railways reiterated these sentiments, stating "Kansas City Southern warmly welcomes all of its visitors to the Holiday Express. Please remember that regular freight trains may still be operating through Mexico during the Holiday Express train stop. For your safety, be sure to stay in areas designated for visitors to the Holiday Express."
Safety is the first priority of MPS and jovial holiday entertainment is a close second. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy themselves, but to be mindful that though the event is a cheerful occasion, its surroundings can still be dangerous.