Our Mission

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.

Success Stories

CREATE Project

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

Dr. Lanny F. Wilson


Deborah Hare

Vice Chairman

Steve Laffey


Hilary Konczal

Board Member

Betty Olivera

Vice Chairman

Joe Amore


Karen Darch

Board Member

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

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Lou Jogmen

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)

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Liz Chaplin and Hilary Konczal

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)

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Brian Vercruysse and Paul Worley
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
Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Linda and Michael DeLarco

Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – BNSF Railway

Educator Award – Helen Sramek

Success Award – Tom Zapler

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – William Lyons, Mark Wodka and Tom Zapler

Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Barbara and Fred Biederman

Educator Award – Dr. Barry Kaufman

Future Generations Award – Joyce Stupegia

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Steve Laffey

Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – George Graves and Betty M. Olivera

Educator Award – David C. Franson

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Carole A. Messana

Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Bob Meyer

Educator Award – Chip Pew

Future Generations Award – William Lipinski

Public Awareness Award -Ed Sirovy

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Jim Bedell

Jonathan Goers Award (Private Sector Champion) – Randy Pros

Educator Award – Zeke Rodriguez

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Rick Talerico

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

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – Paul Froehlich and Deborah Hare

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

Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Award (Public Sector Champion) – James Kveton

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.

990 Form

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.