Have you ever taken a photo while standing on or around train tracks? Have you walked across a train track without looking before you crossed? Do you pay attention to the signs and signals as a train approaches? What will happen in the unlikely event of an emergency? September is Rail Safety Month and we want to highlight safety measures Amtrak San Joaquins has in place to increase awareness about safety around railroad tracks, on trains and Thruway buses, and at stations year-round.
Here are five ways we are working to keep you safe while you travel:
California Operation Lifesaver
Amtrak San Joaquins has partnered with rail-safety non-profit, California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) to promote safe behaviors near tracks and trains. Through activities including free presentations, rail safety events, and media campaigns, CAOL's goal is to educate riders in an effort to reduce the number of rail-related injuries and fatalities to zero. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), more than 400 trespass fatalities take place on private railyard property and nearly as many injuries also occur each year. A vast majority of these are preventable.
Capital Improvement Projects
To ensure passengers are safe at stations and in surrounding communities, Amtrak San Joaquins is working on important capital improvement projects that include fencing projects at identified hotspots with high numbers of near misses, increasing lighting at stations and parking lots, installing blue light phone towers, and signage around suicide prevention and railroad safety.
Emergency Response Preparedness
Passenger safety remains a top priority for Amtrak San Joaquins in the unlikely event of an emergency. Amtrak Emergency Management and Corporate Security (EMCS) provides tools, resources, and training for staff to ensure a swift and effective response. Additionally, Amtrak Passenger Train Emergency Response (PTER) Training equips first responders, such as firefighters, emergency medical services, law enforcement officers, emergency managers, and police dispatchers to facilitate operations and emergency response in the unlikely event of a train or rail incident.
Positive Train Control
Positive Train Control (PTC) is an advanced railroad communication system that has been implemented on all Amtrak San Joaquins trains. PTC increases the operational safety of passenger trains by preventing train to train collisions, over-speed derailments, and incursions into established work zone limits.
COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines
In alignment with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California state health officials, face masks will continue to be required on Amtrak San Joaquins trains, Thruway buses, and at stations. Additionally, Amtrak San Joaquins will continue stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure the health and safety of passengers and employees. Disinfection wipe downs are performed multiple times each day on all high touch surfaces, and hand sanitizer is available for passengers.
Our goal is to keep you safe throughout your entire journey. We look forward to helping you connect to the many destinations California has to offer. Please take a moment to share the rail safety measures with your friends and family and remember, when you see tracks, think train.