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.

Crossing Safety

  • All at-grade railroad crossings have a blue sign postedon each side of the crossing with a unique 7-digitnumber associated with that crossing.
  • The sign identifies the railroad responsible for maintenance of the crossing, including an 800-number to call in case of an emergency.
  • When an individual calls the toll-free number, they can provide the unique 7-digit number posted on the sign indicating the exact location of the problem or emergency.

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 10 feet or more beyond the steel rail; always stay at least 100 feet from the rail.
  • Always assume railroad tracks are in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
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