As you celebrate summertime don’t forget: any time is train time

Summer officially kick-offed on June 21! While you plan your summer holidays take the time to make sure your rail safety is top notch. This time of year there are more holiday trailers on the highways carrying excited families on route to their vacation destinations. Maybe yours is one of those families getting that packing list ready before you go. As you check summertime staple items like sunscreen and swimsuits off your list, don’t forget to run through the rail safety tips that will see you to and from your trip alive. You can start here: have you ever considered the extra precautions you should take when towing a 10-30 foot trailer? Here are some tips to remember:

Rail safety tips for holiday trailers

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="389"] Photo credit: Vogel Talks RVing[/caption] Did you know? By staying alert at places where the road crosses railway tracks, the number of needless tragedies can be greatly reduced this summer. The key is to follow these recommended procedures at highway-railway crossings as they pertain to towing holiday trailers:
  • Stop no closer than five metres from the nearest rail.
  • To better hear the train, roll down the window, turn off audio equipment and fans.
  • Before resuming, make sure there is enough room on the other side of the track for your whole truck and trailer unit to clear the tracks.
  • Remember, the train will be a metre wider than the rails on both sides.
  • Check the crossing signals one final time before proceeding.
  • If the crossing lights begin to flash after starting over the tracks, KEEP GOING, it is safer to continue forward than to reverse.

Always know the size and clearance of your vehicle and trailer

Remember, you’re not as nimble towing a trailer as you are in your regular car or van. Keep in mind: If it won’t fit, don’t commit! Know the length of your truck and trailer and the amount of space available on the other side of the highway-railway crossings on your route. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="302"] Photo credit: Olds Albertan[/caption]

Packing your bikes for the trip?

Summer fun and cycling adventures go hand in hand. Be sure to squeeze in some time to go over these bicycle rail safety tips with your family members, young and old, whether in your car or around the campfire.
  • When you see a railway crossing, always expect a train—on any track, in any direction, at any time!
  • Watch for warning signs and pavement markings as you approach the crossing.
  • On metal, as with wet leaves or oil—coast and steer straight. Putting force on the pedal or steering away from a straight line can cause the wheels to skid.
  • Some railway crossings can be rough. Slow down and be careful—a bumpy crossing may cause you to lose control of your bike. You can fall crossing tracks even if you are an experienced cyclist.

Back pocket rail safety reminder

When you’re out and about covering ground on your bike or in your vehicle this summer, remember: an authorized railway crossing is the only place where it’s legal for cyclists, pedestrians or vehicle drivers to cross railway tracks. It’s illegal—and dangerous—to trespass on railway property! By making rail safety part of your summer vacation checklist, you’re doing your part to ensure you’re being rail safe and spreading the lifesaving message of rail safety to your family and friends. Have a rail safe summer!