Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Be Safe Around the Rails

It’s important to know that train tracks are private property, and walking or riding on or near the tracks – outside designated crossings – is not only extremely dangerous, it’s illegal. We urge you to consider these safety tips when walking, biking or driving near railroad tracks:

  • Always expect a train. Freight trains do not follow set schedules. A train could come at any time, on any track and from any direction.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. A freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied.
  • Never walk along railroad tracks – remember that trains are wider than the tracks. Freight trains can overhang the tracks by up to three feet on either side. Bridges and tunnels often are only wide enough to accommodate the train, with no extra space for anyone or anything on either side.
  • Never wear headphones or text while near railroad tracks. Modern trains are quieter than most people expect. Many pedestrians don’t hear a train approaching because they’re listening to music or distracted by their phones.
  • Never race a train to a highway-rail crossing. Even if you tie, you lose.
  • Never drive around lowered gates. It's illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the CSX Public Safety Coordination Center at 1-800-232-0144.

For more information on rail safety, please visit www.oli.org, and for details on the rail capacity projects in your area, go to www.csx.com/virginiacapacity.

We wish everyone a safe and productive school year!

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