Ways you can be prepared this Rail Safety Month!

August 31, 2022

Do you notice signs or warnings around train tracks when you visit the train station? Are you easily distracted by your phone, wear headphones, and let other things prevent you from hearing a train?  If you are involved in an emergency around train tracks, are you prepared? Amtrak San Joaquins keeps you “In the Know” for Rail Safety Month with these tips and tricks to keep you safe around trains and train stations. Here is a refresher on the do’s and don'ts around tracks, stations, and trains, as well as a few updates on the improvements and steps we are taking to ensure your safety. 

Amtrak San Joaquins is partnered with California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL), which aims to educate the public through presentations, rail safety events, and media campaigns to increase awareness and reduce the risk of rail-related injuries.

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Safety Tips

  • Be alert around trains! Trains are quieter and faster than youthink. Do not run, walk, or go near the tracks. Even if you don’t see a train, it does not mean there is not one en route.
  • When you are at a train station or near the tracks, stay alert! Ensure your phone, headphones, or other distractions do not prevent you from being cautious and aware of your surroundings.
  •  While driving, NEVER try to beat the train. Do not speed up your car and think you can beat the train when you see the red crossing lights flashing or the gate arms coming down. Instead, stop your vehicle 15 feet from the tracks and wait for the train to pass.
  • When crossing a train track, cross only at a designated public crossing. If you see the crossing lights flashing and gates coming down, wait until the train has finished passing. 
  • If your vehicle gets stuck on the tracks, immediately look for the blue Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign, posted at or near a highway-rail grade crossing. This sign lists a telephone number along with the crossing’s US DOT number and is used to notify the railroad of an emergency or warning device malfunction. Watch this “Find the Blue and White ENS Sign” PSA which shows you what to do if you are stuck on the tracks at the crossing.


Thanks for being safe out there.  At Amtrak San Joaquins we are also taking measures to be Rail Safe! We are working on important capital improvement projects to ensure passengers are safe at stations and in surrounding communities. We are implementing crosswalk and access improvements and increasing lighting at stations and parking lots, installing blue light phone towers, and adding signage around suicide prevention and railroad safety.

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_Updated final Respect The Rails CAOL Rail Safety Oval Sticker (3 × 2 in)

The safety of our passengers continues to be our top priority. In the unlikely event of an emergency, the Amtrak Emergency Management and Corporate Security (EMCS) provides tools and resources to our staff, ensuring a swift and effective emergency response. In addition, Amtrak Passenger Train Emergency Response (PTER) training equips first responders to facilitate operations and emergency response in the unlikely event of a train or rail incident. 

Positive Train Control

Our trains are also equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC), an advanced railroad communication system that increases the operational safety of passenger trains by preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, and incursions into established work zone limits.

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Our goal is to keep you safe throughout your entire journey and while you are out near train tracks. We look forward to helping you connect to the many destinations California offers. Please take a moment to share the rail safety measures with your friends and family, and remember, when you see tracks, think train.

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