(via Flickr/NathanReed)

When it comes to successfully or unsuccessfully governing and managing communities, leadership decisions can make or break a city or region.

St. Louis has been cited as a city “that let greatness slip away over the 20th century.”  That’s the contention of Colin Gordon, Professor of History at the University of Iowa, in his book, Mapping Decline…St. Louis and the Fate of the American City.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

With the arrival of spring, there's typically an uptick in accidents near railroad tracks.

This afternoon law enforcement teamed up with the rail industry in an effort to raise awareness of the issue.  

Police focused on monitoring traffic at two crossings in the metro east, stopping drivers who neglected to yield when a train was approaching.

Lindell Barton is Chief of the Alton Southern Railroad Police, and said even though railroad accidents involving motorists have declined across the country, it remains a serious problem.   

(via Flickr/aka Kath)

Union Pacific Railroad is urging hunters to resist the temptation of hunting near railroad tracks.

The company says its tracks often run through newly harvested farm fields that attract wildlife. That can make railroad property attractive to hunters, but it's also a good way to get hit by a train.

It can take engineers a mile to stop, so they can't do much to avoid hitting someone on the tracks.  Railroad cars hang out about three feet beyond the sides of the tracks, making it easy for someone standing near the tracks to be clipped by a car.

vxla / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging railroad companies to conduct frequent track inspections to prevent rail derailments resulting from heat-related track buckling.
The Illinois Democrat's remarks during a Sunday press conference come as investigators continue to examine the cause of a July 4 train derailment that killed two people.
A Glenview husband and wife were crushed by the wreckage of a Union Pacific freight train derailment that caused a suburban Chicago railroad bridge to collapse. It sent train cars crashing onto the couple's car on the road below.

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) wants public input on a $1.3 billion plan for improving and expanding rail service across the state.

The 20-year plan covers both passenger and freight service.   Passenger service recommendations include more round trips between St. Louis and Kansas City and pursuing new passenger routes across Missouri.  Those could include new Amtrak routes from St. Louis to Springfield, Kansas City to Springfield, Hannibal to Quincy, Illinois, and Kansas City to Omaha, with a stop in St. Joseph.