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Rail News: Safety

California 'Officer on the Train' event raises public awareness of rail safety


Last month, an “Officer on the Train” event in southern California involving BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak and Metrolink netted 159 citations for crossing and trespassing law violations, and 291 total reports of violations.

The event, during which more than 120 officers from Orange County monitored motorists and pedestrians, aims to increase awareness of rail safety. Violations included pedestrians who didn’t stop at grade crossings, motorists who drove around lowered crossing gates and people who trespassed on railroad property. In addition, 11 people were arrested, including one for driving under the influence.

During the event, the participating railroads operated a safety train with locomotives from each. The train ran on BNSF’s network from Los Angeles to Fullerton, then on Metrolink’s Orange Subdivision, and returned on the same route.

The Southern California Rail Safety Team includes representatives from all major railroads in the region, the Federal Railroad Administration, California Public Utilities Commission, and numerous law enforcement and fire agencies. The team frequently conducts events such as Officer on the Train to raise public awareness about rail safety laws.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/2/2008