Railroad Safety

October 19, 2023
Railroad safety training image

Stay Off the Tracks is a division of the Amtrak Police Department dedicated to spreading a message of rail safety with a singular purpose: reducing train strike incidents to zero. Below are facts from Amtrak that could save your life:

  • Approximately every three hours, a person or vehicle is struck by a train somewhere in the U.S.
  • A train traveling at 55 miles per hour can take approximately one mile or the length of about 18 football fields to stop
  • It only takes about 20 seconds for a train to be at a crossing once the lights start flashing
  • The average train is at least three feet wider than the track on each side
  • A train can travel on any track, in any direction, at any time
  • If you’re standing on train tracks, you may not hear or feel an oncoming train in time to get away safely
  • In the majority of grade crossings incidents, the train is traveling between 40 and 49 miles per hour
  • Most grade crossing incidents occur when the weather is clear and dry
  • If you are on railroad property you are trespassing and breaking the law
  • There are more than 250,00 grade crossings throughout the U.S.

If you are stuck on the tracks, and there are no warning lights, or the warning lights have not activated yet, get out of your vehicle, and immediately dial 911 and the ENS (Emergency Notification System) number located on the railroad crossing posts or in the crossing vicinity. Leave the vehicle and walk to safety, ensuring that you are a distance from the tracks and any possible train clearance. Provide the location, crossing number (if posted) and the road or highway that intersects the tracks. Be sure to specify that a vehicle is on the tracks!

Railroad Emergency Notification numbers:

Amtrak 1-800-331-0008
BNSF Railway 1-800-832-5452
CSX 1-800-232-0144
Canadian National 1-800-465-9239
Canadian Pacific 1-800-716-9132
Kansas City Southern 1-800-892-6295
Norfolk Southern 1-800-453-2530
Union Pacific 1-888-877-7267

Credit: Amtrak

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