This winter, always stay on the right track!

There’s nothing like cutting a fresh trail in pristine and untouched powder with your snowmobile or cross-country skis. But at what cost?

Often winter enthusiasts mistake railway tracks as an easy go-to trail that they can use at their leisure. Many don’t know that it is actually illegal and trespassing on railway property can carry heavy fines and prosecution, and possibly even death.

Cross the tracks safely

Not only should you bookmark these helpful tips that will keep you alive when crossing the tracks, but also share them with the other members of your party, whether you’re on a snowmobile or skis. The more you know, the safer you will all be when you’re out enjoying winter activities this season. Here are a few general rail safety tips to remember:

  • STOP no closer than 5 metres from the nearest rail.
  • LOOK both ways and LISTEN for approaching trains. Remember that where there is more than one track, trains can travel on any track, in either direction at any time! Even if a train is already passing through the crossing, another train can approach unexpectedly from either direction on other tracks.
  • If you see a train approaching, or if the warning signals at the railway crossing are activated, STOP and wait in a safe place, away from all tracks. Once the train has passed and the warning lights have stopped flashing, ensure you have a clear view down the tracks and look both ways again for other approaching trains.
  • Cross the tracks only when you are certain it is safe

Snow rail safety tips

Whether you’re out with friends enjoying the day, burning some carbs on your skis or burning miles on your two-stroke sled, make sure, like the rules of the road, you know the rules of the tracks as it applies to your winter activity.

  • Always expect a train on any track, in either direction, at any time!
  • Ride/ski on approved trails only. Look for posted signs warning that you are approaching a railway crossing. These signs, sometimes posted by the local snowmobile club, may be in any shape, size or colour.
  • Be cautious, especially when riding/skiing in snowy or night time conditions. These conditions reduce visibility making it difficult to see obstacles, passing trains or railway crossings.

If you’re unsure of your rail safety knowledge, a rail safety refresher is always a  great place to start before heading out for the day. Check out our rail safety quiz to get the ball rolling.

Remember, always Look, Listen and Live!

Stay rail safe this winter!