FACTS AND SAFETY TIPS
- Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection!
Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule; schedules for passenger trains change.
- Train tracks are private property, no matter which railroad owns them.
Trains have the right of way 100% of the time- over ambulances, fire engines, cars, the police and pedestrians.
- Assume that the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the tracks are rusty.
- A typical locomotive weighs approximately 400,000 pounds or 200 tons.
When 100 railcars are added to the locomotive, the train can weigh approximately 6,000 tons. The weight ratio of an automobile to a train is proportional to a soda can and an automobile.
- Trains cannot stop quickly!
It is a simple law of physics: the huge weight and size and the speed of the train dictate how quickly it can stop under ideal conditions. A 100-car freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour will need more than one mile to stop – that’s approximately the length of 18 football fields – once the train is set into emergency braking.
- Trains can move in either direction at any time.
Trains are sometimes pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled. This is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
- An approaching train will also be closer and moving faster than you think.
- Modern trains are quieter than ever, with no telltale “clackety-clack.”
- Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
- Never walk down a train track; it’s illegal and dangerous!
By the time the locomotive engineer can see a trespasser or a vehicle on the tracks, it is too late. The train cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.