Graffiti artists: Don’t use railway property as your canvas

Graffiti and tags can be found all over Canadian cities these days. The bright colours are splattered everywhere from buildings to bridges to tunnels. And if you’ve driven past a railway yard recently, or taken a close look at a freight train as it passes by, you might have noticed that railway cars are also a popular “canvas” for graffiti artists.
The act of spray painting or tagging private property is illegal, no matter the location. But doing it on railway cars and property can also be deadly.
“Climbing on or over railway equipment, whether it’s stopped or moving, is extremely dangerous. Freight trains can begin moving at any time without warning,” says Al Sauve, CP Chief of Police. “We ask everyone to stay safe when near the railway and not engage in this type of dangerous and illegal activity.”
Your art isn’t worth your life
Under the Rail Safety Act, those who trespass on railway property to tag or paint graffiti can be fined as much as $10,000, depending on the province. But it could cost more than just a fine.
In October 2010, five teens climbed over a concrete wall in the middle of the night to spray paint graffiti under Montreal’s Turcot interchange. The teens, aged 17 to 19, hadn’t heard or seen a passenger train coming down the tracks, and weren’t able to get out of the way in time. Three of the teens were killed. The other two survived, but live with the trauma of that incident.
So, if you’re a graffiti artist, look for a safe outlet for your artistic talents. Tagging a railway car, bridge or tunnel could be your last act of creativity.
To learn more about how to stay safe around railway tracks and trains, check out our website.  And remember, today’s trains are fast and remarkably quiet!