September is Rail Safety Month!
During this time, Amtrak San Joaquins, in partnership with California Operation LifeSaver (CAOL), aims to raise awareness about risky pedestrian and driver behavior around railroad tracks.
“California Operation Lifesaver is committed to providing Rail Safety Education across California to change dangerous behaviors near railroad tracks. Ranking number one in fatalities in both trespass and grade crossing, this statistic emphasizes the critical need to educate the public about rail safety,” said Nancy Sheehan, CAOL Executive Director.
We know in 2020 the word “safety” has taken on new significance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we’ll share a few railroad safety tips, as well as information on how Amtrak is keeping you safe during your journey.
Railroad Safety Facts
- Even when emergency brakes are applied, a typical freight train can take more than a mile to stop. That’s the distance of 18 football fields!
- It’s never safe to stop closer than 15 feet from rails. A train is at least three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
- 95 percent of all rail-related deaths involve drivers trying to beat a train, or people trespassing on railroad tracks.
- Railroad tracks are private property, and walking on them is trespassing. This is illegal and dangerous; you risk being ticketed and fined, and seriously injured or killed.
Railroad Safety Tips
- NEVER drive around lowered gates—it’s illegal and deadly. If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.
- ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
- IN CASE OF EMERGENCY locate the blue ENS sign at the rail crossings and call the number
- We urge you to share rail safety messages with five of your family members and friends; ask those five to tell five more to keep the message growing. Join the campaign to raise awareness; #SaveLivesTell5!
- Every Friday in September, you can raise awareness by wearing red, taking your photo, and sharing and tagging @caoplifesaver or sending to firstname.lastname@example.org for CAOL to share on social media. Use the hashtags #RedOut4RailSafety #SaveLivesTell5
Amtrak San Joaquins’ top priority is the health and safety of our employees and passengers. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Amtrak San Joaquins has followed recommendations from the CDC and state and local public health officials when implementing measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees and the public. These include:
- Requiring social distancing and face masks for all staff, travelers and visitors inside stations, on platforms, and aboard the trains and Thruway buses
- Disinfecting stations multiple times a day on all high touch surfaces
- Posting signage about social distancing and other related health notices throughout stations and trains
- Prohibiting cash transactions in order to limit the exchange of items from passengers to employees and vice versa
- Providing hand sanitizer onboard for passengers
- Disinfecting trains with medical grade disinfectant on all seats and surfaces
For more information on how Amtrak San Joaquins is keeping staff, travelers and visitors safe during COVID-19, visit amtraksanjoaquins.com/covid-19.