Railroad Safety

Railroad Safety Precautions
The following tips can help to avoid accidents and injuries associated with trains tracks and railroad crossings:
  • Always expect a train at each rail intersection; heed railroad crossing signals and never drive around barriers or lowered safety gates.
  • Never walk or drive motorized vehicles on train tracks, in railroad tunnels, or on railroad bridges. Not only is it illegal, it is highly dangerous. Always maintain a safe distance from tracks as train cars can protrude up to three feet beyond the rails.
  • Never place items on railroad tracks or throw objects at moving trains.
  • Remember that many vehicles are required by law to stop at railroad crossings (school buses, public transport vehicles, etc.). Be alert when nearing railroad tracks – do not text, talk on a cell phone or become distracted as it may hinder you from hearing an approaching train or seeing warning signals.
  • Even if the track looks abandoned, assume it is still operational. Be aware that not all approaching trains can be heard; any approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
  • If you witness a railroad accident, contact local emergency personnel immediately by dialing 911. From a safe distance, look for any markings or rail signage to indicate to responders the exact railway line and its location on the rail system. If a de-railed car is emitting any fumes or substances, move away from the area quickly and notify emergency personnel.
NOTE: It takes a train traveling at 55 mph at least one mile of track to come to a stop.

Sources and Resources
  • Operation LifeSaver, Rail Safety Education
  • Texas Department of Insurance
Railroad Composite