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May 23, 2024

Article: Use the Power of the Blue and Let the Sign Save You

You have the ability to prevent vehicle train collisions and save lives

By Steve Predmore, Chief Safety Officer at Amtrak

As Chief Safety Officer at Amtrak, my day starts with a review of train performance and unusual occurrences. If one of our trains is involved in a crossing accident, I’ll ask if the incident could have been avoided and if there might have been time for someone to spot the blue sign and take action.

What is the blue sign I should find? Called an Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign, the blue sign provides emergency contact information at railroad crossings. This means that at locations where a road crosses railroad tracks, you will find an ENS sign. These signs provide necessary information to promptly report emergencies and stop train traffic when necessary. I repeat:  Stop. Train. Traffic.

Image caption: Seen this blue sign before? Would you know how to use it?

So, what can you do if you are stuck on or adjacent to train tracks?

  1. If you are on a crossing and the crossing gates come down, drive through the gates
  2. If your vehicle is stuck on the crossing or train tracks, get out of the vehicle immediately and step away from the tracks to a safe location
  3. Locate the blue and white ENS sign
  4. Call the emergency number on the sign
  5. Read the location and crossing numbers to the dispatcher (also on the sign)
  6. Find and remain in a safe spot away from the tracks and road until emergency personnel arrive

Railroad safety is public safety. Everyone is empowered to stop an operation when an unsafe condition exists and these blue signs extend that power to you too. So remember, it’s as simple as locating the blue sign, calling for help and communicating the location and nature of the emergency to the dispatcher.

Please, share the power of blue, tell others what you’ve learned and do your part to prevent a track tragedy so we can all save lives together.

For More Information

Olivia Irvin
Senior PR Manager

About Amtrak®

For more than 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and modernized train travel. Offering a safe, environmentally efficient way to reach more than 500 destinations across 46 states and parts of Canada, Amtrak provides travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at and connect with us on X, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.