September 18, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

In just the first 6 months of 2023 there have been 239 injury and fatality reports across Texas that involved either trespassers on railroad property, vehicles or pedestrians hit at rail crossings or on-the-job railroad injuries. These reports are compiled and distributed from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis. 55 of the reports resulted in a fatal injury. 

Strangely absent from the Texas Department of Transportation and safety campaigns that they stress, was any mention about Rail Safety Week and how to be safe around railroads. This is the multi-modal agency responsible for all-forms of movement by road, air, rail and water in the state,

All of these incidents point out that we could all be doing a better job about being safe around railroad activity. A person or vehicle is hit by a train in the U.S. every three hours, according to FRA records. 

This is National Rail Safety Week, a time to realize that life is precious and the extra moments you take to be aware of your surroundings means you get to go home to your loved ones, safely. 

On Tuesday, September 19 you may see law enforcement and first responders active around grade crossings as part of Operation Clear Track. First responders, including firefighters, Emergency Medical Services and Offices of Emergency Management will be stationed at grade crossings across Texas and the country to distribute safety materials to motorists and pedestrians and reinforce the importance of crossing and trespass laws as well as participating in rail safety messaging on social media. 

Union Pacific Railroad is observing National Rail Safety Week with a reminder that nothing is more important than safety. This means all employees returning home to their loved ones each day – and safeguarding the communities where they operate. “Safety is the foundation of everything we do here at Union Pacific, and we are recommitting ourselves to being the best in the industry and to re-embedding our training and safety mindset into everything we do,” said Union Pacific CEO Jim Vena.

Railroads across Texas and the U.S. train thousands of first responders every year on proper hazmat response in a partnership with TRANSCAER, an outreach program supporting Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response.

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national rail safety education nonprofit, works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and other organizations to observe Rail Safety Week (RSW) each year.