June 15, 2017 Amtrak Promotes Safety Around Railroad Crossings and Tracks

Be Track Smart This Summer

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is raising awareness about safety in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from unsafe behavior by motorists and pedestrians on railroad crossings and tracks as the summer season gets underway.

Vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings fell 2.4 percent in 2016, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The number of people killed in these incidents rose 13.7 percent last year, and deaths due to train track trespassing increased 12.8 percent. Total trespass-related casualties increased 14.5 percent from 2015 levels, according to the FRA.

America’s Railroad is one of several partners with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), a national, nonprofit safety education group working to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights-of-way.

OLI has programs in 46 states, and 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. OLI uses materials from their national public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” to connect with the public through digital ads and at events.

Amtrak Police Department Deputy Chief Martin Conway serves on OLI’s board of directors.

“The safety of customers, employees and the public is Amtrak’s top priority,” Conway said. “Education and outreach are critical in helping the public understand the importance of railroad safety.”

Rail Safety Tips:

  • Report an emergency. A toll-free number is posted on every grade crossing for the public to contact a railroad to report problems.
  • Avoid walking, biking, or jogging on a railroad track.
  • Remember to always stop at railroad crossings.
  • Obey all warning signs and signals. Trains can come from either direction on the same track at any time and can be very quiet.
  • Use of headsets or cell phones around tracks can prevent a person from hearing an approaching train.
  • Trains are wider than the tracks. If a person gets too close , they 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.

For more information on railroad safety, visit Operation Lifesaver.

For More Information

Kimberly Woods

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 Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.