In recognition of Rail Safety Month and U.S. Rail Safety Week in September, the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which manages the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service, is elevating educational resources and tools that can help individuals stay safe around railroad tracks. 

Digital tools and resources are available on the Pacific Surfliner website including activities for kids, lesson plans for teachers and parents, and downloadable presentations that have been developed by Operation Lifesaver and California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL), two non-profit entities that work year-round to promote rail safety. CAOL will also host the second annual social media rail safety awareness campaign called Rail Safety Partners – Raising Awareness to Save Lives. Followers across all channels can join in taking the pledge to make safe decisions near trains and railroad tracks and share the message with family and friends using the hashtag: #SaveLivesTell5. 

“Rail Safety Month is a great time for all of us to come together and highlight the importance of being vigilant around the railroad tracks,” said Donna DeMartino, Managing Director of the LOSSAN Agency. “It is our honor to support this initiative and help educate the public. We cannot stress enough that walking, jogging, and taking pictures on or near the tracks is not only illegal, but also very dangerous.”

September is Rail Safety Month in California, and September 20 – 26, 2021 is U.S. Rail Safety Week across the nation. California leads the nation in annual fatalities due to highway-rail grade crossing and trespassing incidents, according to CAOL and the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Most incidents are preventable by following simple safety rules, including:

·  Never walk on or along train tracks; it’s illegal trespassing and highly dangerous. 

·  Cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.

·  Stay alert around railroad tracks. Don’t use your phone, wear headphones or let other things distract you and possibly prevent you from hearing an approaching train. 

·  Report suspicious items, persons, or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department by approaching a uniformed officer, calling (800) 331-0008, sending a text to APD11 (27311), or by calling 911. Enter these numbers in your cell phone. 

“California Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to raising awareness during Rail Safety Month and all year long. We greatly appreciate our partnership with Pacific Surfliner and our mutual commitment to saving lives with rail safety education.  We ask Californians to make safe decisions near tracks and trains and ask them to share rail safety messages with their family and friends.” emphasized Executive Director of California Operation Lifesaver, Nancy Sheehan.  

In addition to increasing awareness about rail safety, the Pacific Surfliner encourages passengers to follow safety measures and any important public health orders in place during their trip and at their destination. This includes wearing a mask at stations and onboard trains at all times, washing hands or using sanitizer often, and staying home if they are feeling sick. Visit Pacific Surfliner’s website for additional information.

Photo provided courtesy of LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.