Stay active—and safe—during the pandemic

With gyms closed in many parts of the country, Canadians are looking for other ways to stay in shape. A recent study published by Run Repeat found that exercise rates have skyrocketed across the globe since the pandemic started—especially when it comes to running. In fact, those who only normally run once or twice a week have increased their activity by 117%, and people previously running up to three times a week have more than doubled their runs.
Running is definitely a great way to stay active—and sane—during the pandemic. But if you’re lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement, make sure you’re also staying safe by keeping clear of railway tracks and trains.

Running and train tracks can be a dangerous combination

Not only is it illegal, running on tracks can be downright dangerous—especially if you’re wearing headphones. In February 2018, a man was killed by a train in Windsor, Ont., after he ran around a lowered safety arm at a rail crossing while out jogging. It is believed that he was wearing headphones and may not have heard the approaching train. In July 2013, a 42-year-old woman from Whiterock, B.C .was out jogging with her husband when she was hit and killed by a train while crossing the tracks.

So next time you head out for a run, make sure your route is a safe one. Never use train tracks as a running path, and follow these rail safety rules:
  • Stay off railway tracks. Remember, railway tracks are private property. You’re trespassing if you’re using them as a running trail. Only cross tracks at designated crossings and obey all railway warning signs and signals.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned. Even if train tracks look like they’re not in use, it doesn’t mean they’re inactive. Often, tracks that have been deactivated can also be reactivated without warning.
  • Don’t run next to tracks. Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; straps or other equipment may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit.
  • Keep one ear out. You can’t avoid getting hit by a train if you can’t hear it coming. When wearing headphones, keep one ear out near railway crossings.
For other tips on how to keep safe around railway crossings, tracks and trains, check out our resource page