ORANGE–In recognition of September Rail Safety Month and U.S. Rail Safety Week, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner will highlight the importance of safety around train tracks with public education and outreach events in collaboration with California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) and two Southern California Major League Baseball teams: the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Pacific Surfliner will host educational events featuring rail safety experts from CAOL on the dates listed below. Attendees will learn valuable tips for staying safe around railroad tracks, including those used by the Pacific Surfliner between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
The educational events will be held on Sunday, September 16 at Angel Stadium, prior to the Angels game against the Seattle Mariners; Monday, September 17 at Petco Park, prior to the Padres game against the San Francisco Giants.
September is Rail Safety Month in California and September 23 to 29 is U.S. Rail Safety Week across the nation. California leads the nation in annual rail fatalities for the most highway-rail grade and trespassing casualties, according to CAOL and the Federal Railroad Administration. Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and CAOL seek to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities at rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way through education, engineering, and enforcement.
“It’s critical that we work together to educate the public on ways to keep themselves and their loved ones safe around train tracks,” said Bryan MacDonald, chairman of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Pacific Surfliner service. “Walking, jogging, and taking pictures on or near railroad tracks are all illegal activities that are extremely dangerous and should always be avoided.”
Andrew Heaney, a starting pitcher for the Angels, recently recorded a rail safety radio spot encouraging fans to follow simple safety rules. “In baseball, you always have to run to first base and stay within the lines,” Heaney says in the radio spot. “It’s the same with trains. Remember to cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all posted warning signs and signals.”
Most accidents and incidents on railroad tracks are preventable by following these safety rules. Pedestrians are also urged to never walk on train tracks, and remember that trains always have the right of way and cannot stop quickly to avoid obstacles.