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Railroad Safety


  • Always cross at a railroad crossing. Crossings have a sign and most have lights, a bell, and/or gates.
  • Look both ways before crossing the tracks. Listen for a train coming and/or a warning bell.
  • If the warning lights are flashing and the gates are down, stop and don’t cross.
  • Once the warning signals begin, it can take as little as 20 seconds for the train to come — not enough time to get across.
  • Stand back from the track at least 15 feet or about 10 giant steps.
  • Once a train goes by, look both ways again before crossing. Make sure that another train is not coming.
  • Take off your headphones when you are near railroad tracks.
  • Never walk, stand or play on or near railroad tracks. It is dangerous and illegal!


  • Always walk your bike across the tracks to make sure the tires don’t get caught.
  • Don’t ride alongside the tracks. Trains are wider than the tracks and could hit you.


  • Obey all signs and signals.
  • Never drive around crossing gates that are closing or down. Wait!
  • If there are no gates or lights, stop, look, and listen for an approaching train.
  • Trains can’t stop quickly. It can take up to 1 mile (about 20 football fields) for a train going 55mph to stop.
  • If your car gets stuck while crossing tracks, get everyone out and far away from the tracks. Call the local emergency number for help.
  • Pay careful attention at crossings at night and in bad weather.
  • Never take a short cut across the tracks. Because of their size, trains look like they are moving slower than they really are. Your life and your child’s are worth more than a few minutes of time saved.


These are a few important lessons to teach your child about railroad safety:

  • Never try to cross the tracks if a train is coming. Trains are very large and heavy, and they take a long time to stop!
  • Only cross at railroad crossings.
  • Never walk or play on railroad tracks.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the tracks.
  • Get off your bike and walk it across the tracks. Always wear your helmet when you ride your bike.