The BNSF Railway Co. is clamping down on people trespassing on its property, and that includes anywhere the company has tracks.
“We are going to be aggressively enforcing our no trespassing policy,” BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas, of Seattle, told The Montana Standard on Friday.
The Butte rail yard has its own security personnel, and Butte police will be asked to help enforce the no trespassing policy, Melonas said. Sheriff John Walsh could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The offense of misdemeanor criminal trespass can result in jail time and a fine up to $530.
Melonas claims the company has received increased reports this summer of trespassing on the railroad’s property that runs through Butte. People on leisurely walks are taking “short cuts,” riding all-terrain vehicles and transients are loitering on railroad property, according Melonas.
Crews have reported seeing up to 25 people on the property at one time without authorization, he said.
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Melonas said although railroad security has cited people this year for trespassing, the company doesn’t make those numbers public.
Melonas says trespassing is a safety issue.
“These trains can operate on any track at any time in any direction,” he said.
The BNSF is encouraging people to use designated crossings instead of going through the railroad property.
The BNSF is stepping up its anti-trespassing policy at rail yards over the state and beyond.