In the Interest of Safety: Transit Safety Slide Reference Guide

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1 In the Interest of Safety: Transit Safety Slide Reference Guide Slide T-1: In the Interest of Safety: Transit Safety Welcome to In the Interest of Safety: Transit Safety. Suggested Opening: Thank you for inviting me to present the Operation Lifesaver rail safety message. I m (your name) and I work for (name of employee, if applicable). However, today I m here as an Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer. Operation Lifesaver is a public rail safety education program that began in 1972 by some railroad employees in Idaho. Since then, it has been established in all 50 states and has now become international, all in the interest of safety. Today I am going to focus on rail transit safety.

2 Slide T-2: Types of Rail Transit Streetcar, Light rail, Subway, Commuter rail Draw Attention to these items on the slide: This slide shows four different types of rail transit. The upper left corner shows a streetcar, also known as a trolley. Streetcars run on city streets and typically stop every few blocks. The upper right corner shows a light rail train. Light rail can run on city streets or along major roads and highways. The lower left shows a subway train. Subway trains can run underground, but can also run at street level or on elevated tracks. The lower right shows a commuter rail train. Commuter rail trains run on railroad tracks, just like freight trains, and usually connect suburban areas to the downtown business district. Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What type of rail transit operates in my neighborhood? You can find out what type of transit operates in your neighborhood by contacting your local transit agency or consulting the state-by-state list maintained by the American Public Transportation Association: -2-

3 Slide T-3: Rail Transit Operations Some transit systems, like light rail and streetcars, run in the street, alongside cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Trains and streetcars can come from any direction. Many people believe they will always hear a train coming, but some trains are quiet and difficult to hear. Rail transit vehicles may be running only seconds apart from each other; a second train may be closely following the first. Always expect a train! Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. Does rail transit run on a schedule? Not always. Even for systems that run on a schedule, there may be circumstances that cause the schedule to be modified. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation, assuming that a train is not coming. Remember that a train can come at any moment, from any direction. Aren t trains loud? Why wouldn t I be able to hear it coming? Trains today are much quieter. They don t make the clickety-clack sound of old-time trains anymore. Streetcars are also quiet vehicles. Weather conditions like wind can block out the sound of an approaching train or streetcar. In the winter, wearing hats or ear muffs over your ears also makes it difficult to hear a train. Remember that these days many people are walking around listening to music, talking on cell phones or texting messages, which are all activities that require concentration and also make it difficult to notice a train or streetcar approaching. -3-

4 Slide T-4: Rail Transit - Electrification The third rail provides high voltage electrical power to the train. Never walk next to or in between rails. Overhead wires also carry high voltage electricity to power trains. Never climb on top of trains or play with the overhead network of wires. Draw Attention to these items on the slide: For rail transit that uses a third rail, like subway systems, the third rail is not used by the train wheels. It is used to carry electrical power to the train. The third rail is the power source of the train and provides high-voltage electrical charge. For some types of rail transit, like light rail and streetcars, a device (called a pantograph ) reaches up from the train or streetcar and makes contact with a high-power electrical line. The electrical system transmits a large electrical voltage to make the train move. The high-power electric lines carry enough voltage to be deadly to anyone who makes contact with it. Never climb on top of trains or play around the electrical system! Never walk next to or in between the rails! Never touch the third rail! Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. How can I tell if there is an electrified third rail, or just regular train tracks? The two parallel rails that look identical are the rails the train actually runs on. These are known as the running rails. The third rail is the rail that does not have a mate; it is next to the running rails, and is typically raised and has a cover. It is important to keep in mind that on electric railroads, even the running rails have the potential to be electrified, so be sure to use designated crossings and never go onto the tracks. -4-

5 Slide T-5: Walking & Biking Around Rail Transit Commuter Rail NOTE: This slide should be used in locations that have commuter rail. If your area has light rail or streetcars, use slide T-6 instead. When you are walking or biking around rail transit: Do not walk or ride your bike along the tracks. Obey all warnings, traffic signals, lights, and signs. Be aware of your surroundings; avoid distractions speaking or texting on a cell phone, listening to music, and even talking with others are all potentially deadly distractions. The only safe place to cross railroad tracks is at a designated public crossing with crossbucks, flashing lights, or gates. Draw Attention to these items on the slide: To safely cross the tracks, cyclists should cross at a 90-degree angle. To be safer, dismount and walk your bike across. This also applies to wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, and strollers. -5-

6 Slide T-6: Walking & Biking Around Rail Transit Light Rail & Streetcars NOTE: This slide should be used in locations that have commuter rail. If your area has light rail or streetcars, use slide T-5 instead. When you are walking or biking around rail transit: Use caution when walking or biking in a street with tracks; know and follow the rules of the road. Obey all warnings, traffic signals, lights, and signs. Be aware of your surroundings; avoid distractions speaking or texting on a cell phone, listening to music, and even talking with others are all potentially deadly distractions. Draw Attention to these items on the slide: To safely cross the tracks, cyclists should cross at a 90-degree angle. To be safer, dismount and walk your bike across. This also applies to wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, and strollers. Presentation Tip: You can use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. Where can I find out the rules of the road, such as when it s okay for me to cross over the tracks? Be sure to follow all warnings, traffic signals, lights, and signs to determine when it is safe to cross. Before crossing tracks, look both ways and remember that a train can come from any direction at any time. You can usually find information about traffic rules from your Department of Motor Vehicles and local transit agency. Can I walk or bike along the tracks if a train isn t coming? It is never safe to walk or bike along train tracks. Is it safe to go right or left in front of a stopped streetcar or light rail train? Only when you are at a designated crossing and traffic signals indicate that you may cross. Never cut off or dart in front of a streetcar or train. -6-

7 Slide T-7: Sharing the Road with Rail Transit Trains and streetcars are wider than their tracks. Be sure to stay a safe distance from the tracks. When parking on a street with tracks, make sure you have left enough room for the train or streetcar to pass safely. Look for approaching trains or streetcars before opening your door. Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What would happen if my parked car blocked rail transit tracks? Worst case scenario, your car may be hit, resulting in significant damage and possible injuries. If the train operator is able to stop in time, the result would be disruption of train service and you could be fined. Transit agencies can also tow parked vehicles that block rail tracks. How much wider than the tracks are rail transit vehicles? The width of rail transit vehicles varies, but they can be up to three feet wider than the tracks on either side. Always follow street and lane markings and never walk or bike along the tracks. -7-

8 Slide T-8: Crossing Rail Transit Tracks NOTE: This slide is for areas with commuter rail, light rail, or streetcars. Subway tracks should not be crossed. When you need to cross rail transit tracks whether on foot or with a bike, remember: Rail transit can run on any track, at any time, from either direction, even outside of normal service hours. Look both ways before crossing; after one train has gone, a second train may be coming shortly behind the first, or from the opposite direction. Know and follow the rules of the road. Cross tracks quickly; do not play, walk, or linger on the tracks. Use designated crosswalks. When crossing the tracks with a bike, cross at a 90-degree angle, and to be even safer, dismount and walk your bike across. Hold children by the hand when crossing tracks. Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. Do I always have to dismount my bicycle before crossing tracks? It is always safest to dismount before crossing tracks. However, if you are at a designated crossing and traffic signals indicate that it is okay to cross, you may cross at a 90 o angle without dismounting. Remember to make a wide turn if you are turning so that the bicycle tire does not get caught in the tracks. Won t a train driver stop if he/she sees me on the tracks? The only things a train operator can do when a person is on the tracks are to apply the emergency brakes and sound the horn. How long it takes a train to stop depends on the weight of the train and the speed at which it is traveling. By the time the operator sees you, the train may not be able to stop in time. -8-

9 Slide T-9: Driving Around Rail Transit When you are driving on or across a street with tracks: Know and follow the rules of the road. Watch for people approaching or getting off rail transit. Obey all warnings, traffic signals, lights, and signs. Take extra care when crossing the tracks; don t start across unless you have the time and space to make it safely all the way across. Remember, trains can come on any track at any time from either direction. A second train may be coming shortly behind the first, or from the opposite direction. Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What should I do if the red lights start to flash after I have already started across the tracks? KEEP GOING! Do not stop or back up, keep proceeding across. If the crossing has gate arms, don t worry about breaking them, as they are designed to break away if hit. Call the number on the Emergency Notification System sign posted at the crossing or 911 to report the situation. Is it safe to stop on the tracks when you are stopped at a red traffic signal? No, you should never stop on the tracks for any reason. If you don t fit, don t commit! When is it safe for me to turn left or right in front of a stopped streetcar or light rail train? It is only safe when traffic signs and signals indicate that you may turn. Never cut off a streetcar or train. Is it ever safe to pass a stopped streetcar or light rail train? Yes, if there is another travel lane and street conditions allow passing. Always exercise caution and do not turn in front of the train unless authorized by a traffic signal. Always anticipate passengers boarding or getting off on the right hand side of a stopped streetcar or train, who may walk in front of the vehicle. -9-

10 Slide T-10: Safely Riding Rail Transit Systems When riding rail transit, be safe at stations and platforms, and when getting on and off the train: Obey all signs, announcements, and signals. Never run to catch the train or streetcar, or try to board when it s moving. Watch your step getting on and off the train or streetcar there may be a gap or steps down to the ground. Draw Attention to these items on the slide: Many rail transit stations have bumpy tiles or raised domes to alert you that you are near the edge of the platform, as in this picture. Always stand behind the bumpy tiles until the train has come to a complete stop. Stay at least 3 feet from the train while it moves in or out of the station to avoid being snagged by any loose straps or bags you are carrying. Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What do you do if an object you are holding gets caught in the door while it is closing? Let go of the object. Sometimes the door will not close completely unless it is clear. -10-

11 Slide T-11: Rail Transit Platform Safety - Subways NOTE: This slide should be used in locations that have subways. If your area has commuter rail, light rail, or streetcars, use slide T-12 instead. While you are on the platform: Stand behind the painted or raised platform edge markings. Never go down onto tracks. If you drop something, alert a station agent, police officer, or other company personnel. Hold children by the hand and pay attention to the location of strollers and personal belongings. Make sure everything important to you is safe! Draw Attention to these items on the slide: Subways may be powered by an electrified third rail, so never go onto the tracks or attempt to cross the tracks. Stay at least 3 feet from the train while it moves in or out of the station to avoid being snagged by any loose straps or bags you are carrying. Presentation Tip: You can use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What should you do if you see someone fall onto the tracks? Alert station personnel or law enforcement. You may use the emergency phone on the platform or call 911. If a train is entering the station, wave your arms to signal to the operator to stop. You may offer assistance to the person on the tracks, but do not go onto the tracks yourself. Why isn t it safe to go onto the tracks to retrieve something if the passenger information system shows that there is plenty of time before the next train comes? It is never safe to go onto the tracks. Tracks may be electrified, and trains may be approaching at a high rate of speed. -11-

12 Slide T-12: Rail Transit Platform Safety Commuter & Light Rail and Streetcars NOTE: this slide should be used in locations that have commuter rail, light rail, or streetcars. If your area has a subway, use slide T-11 instead. While you are on the platform: Stand behind the painted or raised platform edge markings. At locations where crossing the tracks is permitted, do so quickly, using designated crosswalks. Remember to look both ways trains can run on any track, at any time, from either direction, and can be very quiet. Hold children by the hand and pay attention to the location of strollers and personal belongings. Make sure everything important to you is safe! Presentation Tip: You can always use any of these FAQs to get your audience involved in your presentation. Instead of waiting for someone to ask one of these questions, if you have time, you can ask the question to the audience. What do you do if an object you are holding gets caught in the door while it is closing? Let go of the object. Sometimes the door will not close completely unless it is clear. -12-

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