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Villa Park receives $5K for railroad safety initiative

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:31 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 21, 2014 10:08 a.m. CDT
Pedestrians cross the tracks Tuesday at Ardmore Avenue in Villa Park.

VILLA PARK – A $5,000 grant from Union Pacific Railroad will allow Villa Park to fund software needed to develop public safety announcements that will run on a loop at the village's train station, as well as be broadcasted on its local television station and in local grade schools.

Union Pacific representative Adrian Guerrero on Tuesday morning presented village officials with the UP Cares grant, a safety program started last year to award municipalities with funding for safety projects.

"We are excited that we have funding from this generous grant that will allow us to share additional information through a different mode of education," Villa Park President Deborah Bullwinkel said.

Guerrero applauded Villa Park officials and said the village was the first to submit an application intended to fund a software program.

Union Pacific has awarded 21 grants across its 23-state operating system. The grants, ranging from $500 to $5,000, support initiatives developed by community organizations to enhace and promote railroad safety.

Villa Park has six railroad crossings, and sees more than 200 freight and commuter trains passing through per day, Bullwinkel said.

"We are a busy municipality on many fronts and our train traffic is up there so this impacts our village on a lot of different levels," Bullwinkel said.

The public service announcement will provide information on safe crossing practices and other safety tips.

"It's all a part of our push to educate the public on railroad safety," Bullwinkel said. "This is something the village has been interested in for years."

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