Planning for construction of the Middlebury rail spur is moving ahead.  Vermont Rail System has formed a new privately owned railroad, the "Otter Creek Railroad" which will acquire property and build the tracks.  The 3.3 mile spur will link the Vermont Railway main line just south of Middlebury with Omya's quarry and several other industries, enabling 70,000 trucks a year to be removed from route 7.  According to the Addison Independent, the railroad hopes to start construction in the spring of 2013 and finish in the fall of 2014.

Here's what you can do to stay safe around trains...

Never trespass on any railroad property or right of way!
Doing so is illegal and risks serious injury or death.

Cross only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings!
Look for a train moving from either direction -- and then look for a second train from either direction.

Always expect a train!
Trains do not have set schedules and can approach from either direction at any time of day or night.
Trains do not take holidays.

Don't stand next to tracks!
Trains can overhang the tracks by three feet on either side, and straps and tiedowns can extend even further.

Never try to beat a train!
Because of their size, you cannot judge a train's speed or distance. Trains cannot make sudden stops. Remember that a locomotive weighs 200 tons. An automobile being hit by a train is equivalent to a soda can being hit by an automobile.