Look, listen and be safe…
Everyday, trains operate on 6,692 kilometres of railway tracks across British Columbia. These trains are an important part of our transportation network, not only transporting people and goods, but moving necessary supplies to communities all over the province. We’re conscious of that everyday and especially during the last week of September during Rail Safety Week.
As busy as the train networks are, tracks often seem deserted which is pretty deceiving. Don’t forget the dangers of crossing the railway tracks. Make sure to recognize the signs of an oncoming train and also what to do in case of an emergency. Although trains may not look fast, they can travel up to 160 km/h sometimes even taking up to two kilometres to come to a complete stop. That’s not exactly stopping on a dime. Trains can’t swerve out of your way so it’s important to learn how to stay out of theirs.
For Rail Safety Week, and every week before and after, remember to stay safe and:
- Expect a train and proceed onto the tracks with caution.
- Look and listen for signals. A signal can be a marked “X” on the road, or a stop sign in front of the track. It can also be red lights and a bell, or like in the photo above, a bell and a gate.
- Stay put — don’t drive around a gate. It’s not only illegal but can have deadly consequences.
- Keep moving; do not stop on the tracks! Make sure there is enough time to get from one side to the other.
- Call 911 immediately in the case of an emergency. Also, look for the 1-800 emergency notification number, posted on or near the crossing signal, to notify railway personnel of emergency situations.
Always remember to look, listen and be safe when crossing railway tracks.
If you’ve ever been curious about how much a train weighs, how quickly they stop, how many rail crossings are in Canada and other interesting bits of information, check out this Rail Safety FAQ provided by Operation Lifesaver.
CN Rail also has some good safety information you might find handy.
Please remember, when you’re around train tracks, it’s always important to look, listen and be safe.