September 10, 2014 Take a Pledge to “Be Track Smart”

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Amtrak California and Caltrans kick off Rail Safety Month

OAKLAND – September is Rail Safety Month and Amtrak California and Caltrans are asking Californians to always practice safety when crossing train tracks. A giant rail safety pledge banner will make its way across the state throughout the month of September collecting pledges and signatures including those of local mayors and family members of those who have been killed in rail-related incidents.

“Rail passengers, pedestrians and drivers should be aware of the dangers of walking on or close to train tracks. By the time a train engineer sees you, it’s often too late to stop the train,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Our goal is to educate Californians on the potential dangers and get them to be track smart when crossing the tracks.”

Make your pledge and sign the pledge banner in person between 7 and 10 a.m. at one of these local events:

  • Los Angeles Union Station – September 10
  • San Diego Downtown Station – September 11
  • Emeryville Station – September 17
  • Sacramento Station – September 30

The public is encouraged to pledge to spread the word of rail safety to friends and family. Tweet a friend, post on your Facebook page, tell a co-worker. Get the word out to “Be Track Smart.”

California has more preventable rail-related fatalities and injuries than any other state in the country. Trains and the tracks they travel on can be dangerous if simple safety rules are not followed.

  • Trains travel in both directions on the SAME track. Be sure to look both ways before crossing.
  • It can take a train up to a mile to stop. If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out immediately and run away from the tracks in the direction of the oncoming train. This will prevent injuries from flying debris when the train hits the vehicle.
  • Never walk, bike, jog, or run down a train track. Trains can be very quiet; you may not hear it coming.
  • Never walk within six feet of a moving train. Trains are wider than the tracks. If you get too close you can be hit or dragged under the train.

About Amtrak®

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 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

About Amtrak California

Under the Amtrak California banner, Caltrans funds three of the five busiest intercity passenger rail routes in the Amtrak system: the Pacific Surfliner® corridor (ranked second), the Capitol Corridor® (ranked third), and the San Joaquin® corridor (ranked fifth). Caltrans manages both the Pacific Surfliner® and San Joaquin® corridors. The Capitol Corridor®, although funded by Caltrans, is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Visit us at; join us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at