See Tracks? Think Train! to reduce trespassing and grade crossing incidents on railroad tracks
WASHINGTON – Amtrak joins Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), the Association of American Railroads and other railroads in raising awareness about safety near railroad tracks through See Tracks? Think Train!
The national campaign seeks to educate the public about the deadly consequences of trespassing on railroad property, and failure to obey grade crossings signs and signals. See Tracks? Think Train! was triggered in part by increases in trespassing and grade crossing deaths and injuries along railroad rights-of-way. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), a person or vehicle comes into contact with a train every three hours.
“Education and outreach are critical in helping the public understand the importance of railroad safety,” said Amtrak Chief Safety Officer Michael Logue. “Amtrak is more than a railroad. We’re responsible each day for moving thousands of people around the U.S. If we fail to accomplish this mission, nothing else matters. This campaign is 100 percent aligned with our No. 1 priority; safety.”
According to OLI, See Tracks? Think Train! highlights common risks drivers and pedestrians take each day, such as trying to beat a train at a grade crossing or trespassing on railroad property.
Pedestrians and drivers often do not realize how dangerous it is to walk on or near railroad tracks, or how long it takes the average train to stop. It can take a mile or more for a fully loaded freight train to come to a full stop, making it difficult for railroad engineers to avoid collisions in emergency situations.
Amtrak is one of several partners with OLI, a national, non-profit safety education group working to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights of way. The organization has programs in all 50 states, and has trained volunteers who provide free safety presentations to community groups, school bus operators, truckers and student drivers to raise awareness of the dangers around railroad tracks and trains.
“Trains cannot swerve to get away from a pedestrian or vehicle in its path,” said Logue, a former FRA official and railroad engineer. “If you trespass on railroad property, the train will be on the tracks where it belongs. The only question is whether you are where you belong.”
Logue and other safety advocates and railroads have devoted careers to railroad safety and the goals of OLI. He serves on the OLI board of directors, and is responsible for planning, directing and overseeing the safety activities and standards at Amtrak to protect passengers and employees. In addition, he provides oversight of Amtrak compliance with safety regulations and participation in current and emerging industry safety practices.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.