Every year throughout the United States, thousands of avoidable incidents occur at highway-rail grade crossings and along the railroad.
CSX rigorously pursues safety improvements in all aspects of operations and has enhanced efforts to educate communities on rail-related hazards. The Play it Safe public outreach campaign stresses the importance of staying safe around trains and tracks.
In 2008, CSX partnered with NASCAR to give the Play it Safe initiative national exposure from racing’s passionate fans and its strong media presence. Working with NASCAR also helped CSX better reach the target audience of 18- to 34-year-old males, who represent a large portion of NASCAR’s fan base, and are also the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a train collision. In 2016, CSX joined forces for a fourth consecutive season with the No. 34 “Play it Safe” Ford Fusion. CSX also uses the NASCAR partnership to host safety events around races for communities and employees to enjoy and spread the message.
More recently, CSX expanded Play it Safe with a new, additional partnership with Toyota Racing Development, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. This partnership has been particularly impactful at the grassroots level, allowing CSX to engage local communities about the importance of making good decisions when on or around railroad tracks and equipment. Fans are exposed to CSX safety messaging first-hand through interactive booths, trackside signage, and personal conversations with members of CSX’s Community Affairs and Safety Team.
Tips For Staying Safe Around The Rails
- Always look out for warning signs and signals. Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching. Do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it is safe to do so.
- Always assume a train is coming. Look carefully in each direction before crossing the tracks. Trains can run on any track, in either direction, at any time.
- If it won’t fit, don’t commit! Be sure there is enough space to clear the crossing without stopping. For your safety, leave at least 15 feet between the rear of your vehicle and the tracks.
- If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, get everyone out immediately. Move far away from the tracks even if you don’t see a train approaching. Call the emergency notification number posted on or near the crossing, or call local law enforcement.
- Trains cannot stop quickly. The average freight train traveling 55 miles per hour may take a mile or more to stop.
- Watch for vehicles such as school buses and trucks carrying hazardous materials that are required to come to a full stop at railroad crossings.
- Make sure you cross the tracks only at designated crossings and never try to beat a train through a crossing.
- Any issue or incident on or near CSX tracks that risks the safety of any person should be reported immediately to our Public Safety Coordination Center at 800-232-0144.
Always use caution and remember to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks.