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Rail safety week underway

By CJ Goater Sep 18, 2023 | 12:49 PM

CN train crosses the Rainer Bridge into the Minnesota. Image: Randy Thoms

The 20th annual Rail Safety Week led by Operation Lifesaver teams across the continent is underway from September 18-24.

Every year more than 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed in railway crossing or railway trespassing incidents.

All railway tracks, bridges, yards and tunnels are considered private property, and crossing the tracks at any location other than an official railway crossing is trespassing.

It is very difficult for trains to stop with the average freight train traveling at 100km/hr or passenger train travelling at 160km/hr requiring roughly 2km, or 18 football fields to stop.

OL suggests that you “Stay at a safe distance from trains and off railways property and tracks. Do not use tracks as shortcuts, and always obey railway signs and signals. Look. Listen. Live.”

Operation Lifesaver is a collaborative effort between  Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Lifesaver Inc (USA), and the Mexican Association of Railroads, creating a continent-wide safety effort.

In 1981 Canada’s railway companies joined together with federal, provincial, and municipal governments across the country to improve rail safety, and Operation Lifesaver Canada was born.

OL is funded by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada and they are the only public education program dedicated to improving rail safety in Canada.

All statistics and information are via Operation Lifesaver more information can be found here.