Train Safety

Train on tracks

Train Safety Tips

Freight trains are now operating through Santa Rosa. Railroads have been an important part of transportation for over 150 years, and people from all walks of life are interested in trains.

Expect a Train

Always expect a train. Modern trains are faster and quieter than ever before. A train can arrive suddenly - almost before you can hear it coming. Freight trains do not follow set schedules-any time is train time.


Don't walk along the tracks even if you are familiar with the area. Short-cutting through or hanging out along the tracks is not only dangerous, it's also illegal.


Never race a train to the crossing - even if you tie, you lose. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.


Trains can't stop quickly. A freight train can take up to a mile to come to a complete stop. A locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks is not be able to stop in time.


Cross only at designated crossings. The only safe place to cross is at designated public crossings which are indicated by a crossbuck sign, specially designed, paved crossing surface, flashing red lights or a gate.

Crossing the tracks at a public crossing is very different from crossing a street-at a rail crossing, the trains will not stop for you. Look both ways before crossing, freight trains travel in both directions and do not follow set schedules.

Flashing Red Lights

Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk or drive around lowered crossing gates. Do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it is safe to do so. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 telephone number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.

Modern Trains

Modern trains are wide and overhang the tracks by at least three feet on both sides. If you are standing near the rail, you can be hit by the train. Never attempt to hop aboard a train-a slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.

Stalling on Tracks

If your vehicle stalls on the tracks with a train coming, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks in the opposite direction the train is traveling. If you run in the same direction the train is traveling, when the train hits your car you could be injured by flying debris. Call 911 for emergency assistance.