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railway crossing on Clarke Road north of Dundas

Railway Safety

Rail Safety Tips

Whether you are on foot, in a car, or riding a bike or off-road vehicle, staying safe around railway tracks or property is all about knowing the rules. Be sure to follow the tips below—they could save your life

Stay Off the Tracks

Never walk, cycle or drive along railway tracks. It’s hard to judge how far away a train is or what speed it’s travelling at. Trains can go as fast as 160 km/h and can take up to 2 kilometres to come to a complete stop. That’s the length of 18 football fields.

Use Designated Railway Crossings

Always cross railway tracks at designated crossings. Trying to cross tracks anywhere else could be deadly. Remember, trains can come at any time, from either direction, and on any track. They also don’t always run on a set schedule.

Obey All Railway Signs and Signals

Obey all railway signs and warning devices, such as lights, bells and gates. Before proceeding through a crossing, look both ways and listen for approaching trains. If a train is coming, or railway warning signals are activated, stop behind any gates or stop lines—or no closer than 5 metres away from the nearest rail—and wait for the train to pass. Cross only aer the warning signals have ceased and you are certain no other trains are approaching, from either direction, on any track.

Stay Alert

You can’t avoid getting struck by a train if you can’t hear it or see it coming. Today’s trains are extremely quiet, so don’t be distracted by cell phones or other devices when behind the wheel or in the vicinity of a railway crossing. Although trains sound their whistles at most crossings, or in the case of an emergency, you won’t hear the warning if you are wearing headphones.

Keep Your Distance

Trains can overhang the tracks by as much as 1 metre on each side. They can also carry loads that are wider than the railway cars themselves. So, stay clear. You could also get hit by chains, straps or other equipment if you are too close.


  • An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train’s distance from you, or its speed. Trains are usually a lot closer than they seem—and travel a lot faster.
  • A train hitting a car is like a car running over a pop can. The average freight train weighs more than 5.5 million kg. In comparison, a car weighs around 1,375 kg.
Rail Safety Week 2018 | Look. Listen. Live. Community Safety Partnership Program
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