Playing It Safe This Summer: Spotlight on Rail Safety

Jul 14, 2017 5:25 PM ET

Safety is and has always been a priority for CSX, guiding every aspect of the company’s operations. CSX works tirelessly to prevent rail-related injuries and accidents at all levels through educational programs and initiatives to help protect employees, the public, and the communities in which we operate.

The summer season is a great time to revisit CSX’s “Tips for Staying Safe Near Trains or Tracks”:

  1. Never walk on or along railroad tracks—it’s dangerous, and it’s illegal!
  2. Always look out for warning signs and signals.
  3. Always assume a train is coming, as trains can run on any track at any time, day or night.
  4. Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. The average freight train traveling 55 miles per hour takes a mile or more to stop.
  5. Only cross tracks at designated crossing areas, and always look both ways before crossing.
  6. Never try to beat a train across the tracks. There is no reason to risk your life for a few extra minutes.
  7. If you’re in a vehicle, don’t stop on the tracks. Before you cross, make sure there is enough room for your vehicle on the other side. There should be at least 15 feet between the end of your vehicle and the tracks.
  8. If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, get everyone out immediately. Stand far away from the tracks, even if you don’t see a train. Then call the emergency notification number posted on or near the crossing, or call local law enforcement.
  9. Be aware that some vehicles, like school buses, commercial buses, and trucks carrying hazardous materials, must always come to a full stop at railroad crossings. (State laws vary.)
  10. If there is an emergency on or near the CSX railroad tracks, please call 1-800-232-0144.

CSX promotes these safety tips year-round across our network through several national programs and partnerships aimed at enhancing rail safety. One of CSX’s partnership initiatives is Play It Safe, a public outreach initiative in partnership with NASCAR to educate people about the importance of staying safe around trains and tracks. This program reaches many young men, aged 18-34, a high-risk group for train and track safety.

CSX also partners with Operation Lifesaver, whose mission is to end rail-related collisions, deaths, and injuries. This partnership has reached 725,000 people with in-person rail safety messages, and countless more through social media campaigns. One such campaign was “No Selfie is Worth the Risk” which discouraged youths from taking photos near and on train tracks.

CSX provides first responders with critical information about what is traveling on CSX rails. In the event of an emergency, this enables police officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders to quickly assess a situation and respond safely and efficiently.

Through these partnerships and initiatives, CSX is able to reach out to residents throughout the communities it serves, informing them and advocating for them when it comes to the importance of rail safety. To learn more about CSX’s efforts to promote rail safety, visit