Face the facts: trains can kill if you’re not careful

Rail safety is important to all of us. Knowing how to be safe around the tracks can be the difference between life and death. The danger is real and these facts prove it. 

FACT: Canadians have many opportunities to interact with railway property

  • There are approximately 73,000 km of railway tracks in Canada.
  • There are approximately 37,000 public, private and pedestrian highway-railway crossings in Canada.

FACT: Trains are big and can cause tremendous damage

  • The average locomotive engine weighs 110 tonnes. Compare that to the average automobile, which weighs less than two tonnes
  • A train hitting a car is like a car running over a pop can.
  • A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.

FACT: Trains can’t stop quickly.

  • An average freight train travelling at 100 km/h requires about 2 km to stop. That’s the length of 18 football fields.
  • A passenger train travelling at 160 km/h requires about the same distance to stop.
  • Compare that to an automobile travelling at 90 km/h, which requires about 60 metres to stop.
  • If you are on the train tracks, the train can’t stop in time and you can be injured – or worse!

FACT: No matter how many times you encounter a level crossing, the danger never goes away

  • Most collisions occur within 40 kms of the motorist’s home.

FACT: Railway property is private property

  • Railway tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property. Walking or playing on them is illegal. Trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Too often the penalty is death.

FACT: Every year Canadians are killed or injured in crossing or trespassing incidents

  • In 2011, there were 169 crossing collisions across Canada, 25 fatalities and 21 serious injuries. There were also 67 trespasser incidents, including 46 fatalities and 21 serious injuries

FACT: You have the power to prevent these incidents from happening