Norfolk Southern: Be Track Aware this Rail Safety Week

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Norfolk Southern Corporation is joining with Operation Lifesaver, Inc. to recognize Rail Safety Week. The annual event aims to raise public awareness about the importance of safety around railroad tracks and rail crossings.

In recognition of Rail Safety Week, Norfolk Southern offers the following four tips to help the public stay safe:

  1. Avoid stopping on railroad tracks. Before crossing, be sure there is space on the other side to completely clear the tracks.

  2. When crossing, ensure you can clearly see down the tracks in both directions before proceeding and that your vehicle will completely clear the tracks.

  3. Train tracks are meant for trains. Do not walk, jog, or bicycle on or beside them.

  4. Only cross train tracks at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.

"Trains play an important role in our economy – carrying the goods that fill our stores and help fuel our factories. Every day, trains move through our communities, and we want the public to be safe as they approach railroad tracks and crossings," said John Fleps, Vice President Safety. "Norfolk Southern is proud to again partner with Operation Lifesaver to raise awareness among drivers and pedestrians about the importance of rail safety – all to prevent injuries and save lives."

More than 60% of vehicle-train collisions occur at active railroad crossings with either crossing lights or gates. The number of train/motor vehicle collisions has declined 82 percent since 1972 from 12,000 annual incidents to approximately 2,190 incidents in 2022.

Norfolk Southern makes annual improvements to its infrastructure to help the public stay safe at rail crossings. Since 2013, the company has worked with landowners and communities to permanently close 775 at-grade crossings, including 20 so far in 2023. In addition, Norfolk Southern is working with governmental entities to facilitate nearly 1,000 active public projects throughout its 22-state network. Projects of this kind will benefit the public by preserving and implementing the federal, state, and local highway systems and other public infrastructure.

Norfolk Southern also helps prepare first responders to be able to respond to an unlikely railroad incident. Its Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program travels the company's 22-state network providing emergency responders with free training on responding to railroad incidents through classes held aboard Norfolk Southern's safety train.

Visit Operation Lifesaver to learn more about Rail Safety Week.