Railroad Crossing Safety

West Virginians are encouraged to follow these safety suggestions when crossing railroad tracks.

  1. Approach railroad crossings with care. Slow down and be prepared to stop.
  2. Look both ways, even if the lights are not flashing.
  3. Stop 15 feet from the tracks if a train is coming. Rail cars extend beyond the tracks on both sides. Don’t get too close!
  4. Be sure that there is enough clearance so you can get completely over the tracks before starting across.
  5. Once you start across the tracks, keep going, even if the lights begin to flash or the gates start down.
  6. Don’t shift gears when crossing the tracks. Vehicles tend to stall when shifting gears more than at any other time.
  7. If your vehicle stalls on the track:
    1. Get yourself and any passengers out of your vehicle immediately. Some trains take over a mile to stop.
    2. Move away from the vehicle. Walk toward the train at a 45 degree angle away from the tracks (if your vehicle is struck, debris will fly in the direction the train is moving).
    3. Once you are safely away from the tracks, locate the railroad’s emergency number, which will be posted at the crossing, and the AAR/DOT identification number, which will be posted on the same plate.
    4. Call for help. If you cannot locate the railroad emergency number call the local police or dial 911. Give them your location and tell them your vehicle is stopped on the tracks.