“Do you have RailSense?” That’s the challenge Canadian Pacific (CP) is posing to the public on the first official day of summer. Hot weather can encourage outdoor exploration, and this can lead to dangerous encounters with railroad property. Last year, thousands of incidents involving people and trains left devastating effects on families, communities and railroad employees.
- 2,114 crossing incidents. 271 fatalities. 826 injuries. (Source: preliminary FRA statistics)
- 1,042 trespasser incidents. 535 fatalities. 507 injuries (Source: preliminary FRA statistics)
CP is dedicated to educating North Americans about train operations to ensure people have adequate knowledge to be situationally aware around trains. Through CP’s RailSense program and partnerships with CP Police, other policing agencies, communities, schools and advocacy groups like Operation Lifesaver the goal is to make people young and old think of lifelong consequences that can arise when tragedies occur on the tracks.
“We ask everyone to consider their own safety and reconsider reasons that may bring them to railroad property,” said CP Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Laird Pitz. “Through education and collaboration we can prevent these incidents from occurring, preventing tragic consequences for families, friends, and communities.”
CP’s RailSense challenge is simple: Recognize how outdoor activities can quickly become dangerous and share the message. A simple share on social media or conversation with a neighbor could save a life.
“Railroad tracks are not an extension of a public pathway, nor are they a safe or legal shortcut,” said Ken Marchant, CP Chief of Police. “Rail safety requires ongoing vigilance every minute of every day. Each year both crossing accidents and trespassing result in serious injuries and all too often loss of life. By working together we can make a difference when we use RailSense.”
“Operation Lifesaver is working to change people’s behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with our educational materials, safety presentations and tips for people of all ages,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Interim President Wende Corcoran. “We value our safety partnership with CP and look forward to continuing our joint efforts to encourage drivers and pedestrians to make safety an automatic habit near train tracks.”
- Don’t bike down or near railroad tracks
- Don’t use railroad tracks or the adjoining right-of-way as an ATV path
- Never walk on railroad bridges
- Keep your dog on leash at all times around railroad property
- Only cross tracks at designated crossings. Railroad lines are private property, and walking on them constitutes trespassing. The only safe, legal place to cross a rail line is at a marked grade crossing.
- Every rail crossing in North America has a 24-hour toll-free emergency number posted. If you ever see something unsafe around the tracks, call immediately.
- If you’re concerned about someone’s mental health and their interest in train tracks call your nearest mental health support line to get them help.
- If your vehicle is stalled on the tracks get out, get away. Call the emergency number on the crossing or 911.