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#1 2009-06-26 14:31:50

Registered: 2009-06-26
Posts: 1

Rail Right of Way Safety Reminder and Tips

Capital MetroRail trains are traveling more frequently and at higher speeds along the 32-mile line from Leander to Downtown Austin.

MetroRail trains are much quieter and faster than the freight trains that have traveled the 125 year old tracks since the Capitol was built. These passenger rail trains are operating at speeds up to 65 mph in some areas!  What does this mean for you?  Well, remember to always use caution when crossing the tracks and NEVER ride your bike, walk, or run on the tracks!

Here are important tips that can save your life.

When you're on a bike…

Never ride down a train track; it's illegal and it's dangerous. It can take a mile or more to stop a FREIGHT train, so by the time an engineer can see a pedestrian, bike, or a vehicle on the tracks, it may be too late.  Even MetroRail trains can't stop quickly, so it's up to you to stay off the tracks and yield to trains.

Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings and obey all warning signs and signals. The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing. When you cross train tracks look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember that it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined.

Never ride around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. If the gate is down, the road is closed. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.

Be sure to cross tracks at a 90 degree angle.

Never stop your bike on railroad tracks. It is illegal, and dangerous to stop on railroad tracks.

Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection. Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule and commuter trains schedules change.

Trains can't swerve, so, again, it's up to you to stay off the tracks.

Trains are quieter than you might think, commuter rail trains are much quieter than freight trains.

Always stop, look, and listen for trains before crossing the tracks and be sure to look both ways.

Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.

Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.

Make sure that everyone in your family knows all these safety rules. 
Visit … fety.shtml or for more information on Capital MetroRail safety.

If you'd like to schedule a rail safety presentation for your group (all ages), contact:

Alissa Schram, Community Involvement Specialist & Rail Safety Liaison


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