Rail Safety

Always Expect a Train…

Train Facts

  • In the U.S., approximately every 2 hours a train collides with a person or a vehicle.
  • Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop.
  • The average locomotive weighs about 400,000 pounds (200 tons) and can weigh up to 600,000 pounds. This makes the weight ratio of a car to a train proportional to that of a soda can to a car.

Safety Tips

  • You cannot accurately judge the distance and speed of an oncoming train. Never try to “beat” a train.
  • A train can appear on any track at any time. Freight trains do not travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains change. Always expect a train at each road and rail intersection.
  • Only cross tracks at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
  • All train tracks are private property—trespassing is illegal and highly dangerous.
  • Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks, bridges, or property or through tunnels.
  • Never drive around lowered gates—it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call your local law enforcement agency.
  • If your vehicle stalls on a crossing get out and clear away from the crossing. Call your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
  • Quieter technology makes it less likely that you might hear the approach of a train. Any approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
  • Stay alert around railroad tracks. Do not text, use headphones or have other distractions that would prevent you from hearing or seeing an approaching train.
  • A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail; always stay at least 20 feet from the rail.
  • Always assume railroad tracks are in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.

Links


North Carolina Operation Lifesaver

http://www.ncol.org/

National Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
http://www.oli.org/

NC DOT Rail Division
http://www.bytrain.org/

NC DOT BeRailSafe
http://www.berailsafe.org/

Railroad Crossing Statistics – North Carolina
http://www.bytrain.org/safety/xingstats.html

Norfolk Southern Railroad
http://www.nscorp.com/

CSX Transportation
http://www.csx.com/

Amtrak
http://www.amtrak.com/

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
http://www.fra.dot.gov/

FRA Accident/Incident data search
http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/officeofsafety/publicsite/Query/stateoverview.aspx

 

The North Carolina Railroad wishes to thank North Carolina Operation Lifesaver and the North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association for their support of this safety initiative.