Be Track Smart Around Railroad Tracks

May 23, 2017

Just a reminder to be safe around railroad tracks every day and especially during the upcoming summer travel season. Amtrak San Joaquins trains travel through small towns and big cities – along country roads and down the middle of Main Streets on its way delivering passengers to summer travel destinations like the Bay Area and Sacramento.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in 2016, California registered 191 casualties from trespassers on the railroad tracks that is a 38.4 percent increase from 2015. Of these causalities, 101 of them were fatal which is a 17.4 percent increase from 2015. In 2016, California registered 167 Grade Crossing Vehicles Incidents that is an 11.3 percent increase from 2015. Of these incidents, 52 of them were fatal which is a 79 percent increase from 2015. These statistics make California #1 in Trespasser Casualties and #2 in Grade Crossing Incidents. Trains and the tracks they travel on can be dangerous if simple safety rules are not followed.

Rail Safety Tips

  • Never walk, bike, or jog on a railroad track.
  • Always stop at railroad crossings.
  • Trains can come from either direction on the same track at any time and can be very quiet. Around train tracks or in stations, obey all warning signs and signals.
  • Use of headsets or cell phones around tracks can prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
  • Trains are wider than the tracks. If you get too close you can be hit by or dragged under the train.
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it’s illegal and deadly. In addition, there are substantial fines for going around the crossing arms.
  • Report suspicious items, persons, or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department by approaching a uniformed officer, calling (800) 331-0008, sending a text to APD11 (27311), or by calling 911. Enter these numbers in your cellphone.

For more information on railroad safety please also visit Operation Lifesaver.

The San Joaquins is Amtrak’s sixth busiest route with 365 miles of track, 18 stations, 1.1 million annual riders and provides a safe, comfortable, reliable way to travel throughout California. With recent additions to service, the San Joaquins now has five daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Oakland and two daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Sacramento. In addition to its train service, the Amtrak San Joaquins Thruway provide connecting bus service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno.

The San Joaquins feature comfortable seating, electrical outlets at each row, complimentary AmtrakConnectSM Wi-Fi, and Café Car offering seasonal sandwiches, snacks and beverages, bike racks and much more. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and veterans as well as a new ‘Friends and Family’ discount. To book your next trip, visit or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

For More Information

Vernaé Graham

About Amtrak®

Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past six years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman.  Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at, Like us on and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.

About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)

As of July 2015, SJJPA is responsible for the management and administration of the Amtrak San Joaquins service. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the 10 Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquin route. For more information on SJJPA see