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Many of us probably don’t take this advice as seriously as we should. I’m sure many reading this have tried to beat a train. Many don’t take time to stop and look each way when driving over tracks if gates aren’t down. Very few of us could claim we have never walked near or on railroad tracks at some point in our life. Just as many of us are guilty of using rail lines as a shortcut.
Unfortunately – past couple of years seem to have seen an increase in train versus vehicle and people crashes / strikes. Numbers may not have actually increased – could be – we are just seeing more reporting of these events. Interestingly enough this seems to go in cycles. Some years seem to have more incidents than others.
In Springfield Illinois there have been multiple events involving Amtrak and freight trains. Amtrak vehicle strikes have take place in Auburn and Lincoln Illinois. On a rail bridge crossing Lake Springfield there has been at least one death and multiple trespassers. Several people have been killed by freight trains in Springfield.
Sometimes these situations are just unfortunate accidents. Other times people are trying to commit suicide, walking where they shouldn’t be, trying to beat a train or just get stuck on tracks.
If you get stuck on tracks and can safely and quickly exit vehicle – you should do so immediately. Once in safe location – call 911 ( in United States ) – let local authorities know your location and situation. DO NOT try to remove vehicle from tracks!! DO NOT get back into your vehicle!! Stay a safe distance from vehicle and tracks.
Movies and television shows continue to feature scenes with actors doing many of the things you shouldn’t on or near railroad tracks. During filming of one movie recently – a horrible accident occurred while a scene was being filmed on a bridge. A recent episode of Showtime Series Shameless featured a couple having sex directly on a set of tracks. History has shown that someone will imitate this in real life – I’m sure it’s been done long before shown on TV.
Many areas in United States have financed projects to reduce number of rail crossings. A few States over years have implemented or tested new safety systems / barriers at crossings – some with mixed results.
Signs in video were recorded from inside Amtrak Hoosier State Business Class at Dyer Indiana station on my way back to Chicago from Indianapolis.
Operation Lifesaver Our mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety.