NewsCovering Colorado


Railroad trestle permanently off-limits at John Martin Reservoir SWA following near-tragedy

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 20:09:35-04

HASTY – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced restrictions to public access on the railroad trestle bridge at the John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area.

CPW said effective immediately, the public is barred from the bridge by the BNSF Railway Police and restrictions will be strictly enforced following a recent near-tragedy involving a passenger train and two fishermen.

Fencing around the bridge is being rebuilt and new signs are being erected on the boundary of the railway’s private right-of-way.

(courtesy: CPW)

CPW said the BNSF decision comes after an incident on June 8th in which two men were walking on the railroad track over the trestle bridge as an Amtrak train approached at about 80 miles per hour. One of the men jumped off the bridge into the water, but the other was hit by the train and suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

BNSF said the railway property is not open for public recreation in any way.

According to CPW, what this all means is that there is no more fishing from the trestle bridge or any railway property. This included the tracks, rock surrounding the tracks, and concrete slabs near the water. Boats will still be allowed to pass under the trestle, but they are not allowed to land on BNSF property.

CPW also said that BNSF informed them that the tracks, trestle, and surroundings have always been private railway property and were never open to public access.

(courtesy: CPW)