To prevent deaths and injuries
at railroad crossings and along railways.
About DuPage Railroad Safety Council (DRSC)
DRSC is a nonprofit organization made up of railroad professionals, government officials, law enforcement, engineers, educators and private citizens who share a profound concern for safety at highway-railroad crossings and along railways. The Council was founded on April 30, 1994, as an outgrowth of a Railroad Safety Task Force called for by the Chairman of the DuPage County Board. Since that time, the Council has met regularly to examine ways to heighten awareness and improve safety at highway-railroad crossings and to work with civic, law enforcement and railroad leaders to eliminate deaths and injuries along railways.
Although vehicular grade separations are expensive, the DRSC encourages them when it is practical and appropriate. We have promoted the CREATE Project – a public/private partnership to fund changes that will improve rail service for passengers and freight while increasing safety in the Chicago area. The project includes 25 new highway-rail separations and improvements to existing railroad grade crossings throughout the region.
Rail Trespasser Laws Enforced
Crossing violation fines were increased to $500 or 50 hours of public service in large part due to the efforts of the DRSC. Fines were later reduced to $250 or 25 hours of public service for first offenders. Through the efforts of the DRSC, the first photo enforcement pilot project at railroad crossings in Illinois was undertaken in DuPage County.
Four Quadrant Gates
Throughout its history, the DRSC has recommended the installation of four-quadrant gates. In 1994, there were no four-quad gates in Illinois. Today, there are 137 installations, the most of any state. This total includes one at Monroe Street in Hinsdale, IL, where Lauren Wilson was fatally injured and Jonathan Goers was severely disabled, inspiring the formation of the DRSC.
Vision for the Future
The DRSC has made great strides since its incorporation in February of 1996, but there is still much to be done.
While highway-railroad grade crossing incidents are decreasing, we envision a day when there will be no collisions, fatalities, or injuries. As four-quadrant gate installations prove effective, the DRSC supports them as the standard for future active-warning devices and would like to see them installed at every highway-rail grade crossing in the Chicagoland area. North Carolina’s “Sealed Corridors” (fully protected railway passages that approach impenetrability) also work and are cost-effective. The DRSC believes North Carolina’s success can be replicated in more densely populated areas like northeastern Illinois.
And while vehicular incidents have decreased, trespasser and suicide incidents are on the rise. The DRSC supports the increased use of pedestrian gates, appropriate fencing, pedestrian bike under/overpasses, channelization, and suicide prevention measures. We are focused on raising public awareness of rail-related trespassing and suicide fatalities and have established a goal of reducing such deaths by 50% by 2026.
2022 DuPage Railroad Safety Council – Board
Dr. Lanny F. Wilson
Awards Granted by DuPage Railroad Safety Council
Lauren E. Wilson Future Generations Award – Ronald Batory, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
Victor Olivera Award (SUCCESS – Lifetime Achievement Award) – Paul Piekarski, retired as Chairman, Illinois State Legislative Board, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Jonathan Goers Award – Rodney S. Craig, Metra Board of Directors; Village President of Hanover Park, IL
Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Metra Board of Directors: Norman Carlson, Chairman: Romayne C. Brown, Vice Chairman: John Plante, Treasurer: Rodney S. Craig, Secretary: Tim Balderman, Don A. DeGraff, Alexandra Holt, Ken Koehler, Steven K. Messerli, Stephen Palmer, John P. Zediker
Jonathan Goers Award (Public Awareness – Media) – Bob Johnston, Trains Magazine
Michael S. DeLarco Educator for Railway Safety Award – Larry Green, Metra
Victor Olivera Award (SUCCESS – Lifetime Achievement Award) – Micheal E. Stead, Illinois Commerce Commission
Future Generations – Scott Gabree, PhD. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – David Mattoon
Michael S. DeLarco Educator Award – Christopher Barkan, PhD
Victor Olivera Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) – Don Orseno
Kristie Topel Award (Public Awareness — Media) – Mary Wisniewski (Chicago Tribune)
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Laura and Kurt Topel
Michael S. DeLarco Success Award – Carole Messana (posthumous)
Victor Olivera Educator Award – Joyce Rose
Public Awareness Award – Marni Pyke (Daily Herald)
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) -Lyn Hartley and Jim Speta
Michael S. DeLarco Educator Award – Dr. Joseph Schwieterman
Victor Olivera Educator Award – Dr. Ian Savage
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – BNSF Railway
Educator Award – Helen Sramek
Success Award – Tom Zapler
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Barbara and Fred Biederman
Educator Award – Dr. Barry Kaufman
Future Generations Award – Joyce Stupegia
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – George Graves and Betty M. Olivera
Educator Award – David C. Franson
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Bob Meyer
Educator Award – Chip Pew
Future Generations Award – William Lipinski
Public Awareness Award -Ed Sirovy
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Randy Pros
Educator Award – Zeke Rodriguez
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Leo A. Ditewig
Lifetime Achievement Award – Beverly Fawell
Future Generations Award – Robert Schillerstrom
Success Award – Henry Humphries
Public Awareness Award – The Daily Herald and Suburban Life
Law Enforcement Award – Clarendon Hills Police Department and Metra Police Department
Model Community Award – Naperville, IL
Educator Award – Gordon Bowe and Suburban Life
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Lourdes Beard and Rose Humiston
Public Awareness Award – The Daily Herald
Law Enforcement Award – Metra Police Department
Educator Award – Don Richardson
Model Community Award -Village of Downers Grove, IL
Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – George Swimmer
DRSC is Proud to Receive the Following Awards
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police – 2017
Operation Lifesaver Champion Award presented to Dr. Lanny Wilson – 2016
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police – 2015
Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award presented to Dr. Lanny Wilson – 2006
Federal Railroad Administration Administrator’s Community Safety Award – 1998
Read about the history of the DuPage Railroad Safety Council dating back to its first meeting on April 30, 1994.
The DuPage Railroad Safety Council files its annual financial reports with the Internal Review Service as required. Forms are available for review by clinking the button.