Being thankful for our loved ones

We all have our Thanksgiving traditions: whether it’s eating turkey, going on a family hike or giving thanks for the family and friends in our lives.

But Thanksgiving can be bittersweet for those who have lost someone they love. It’s another reminder that a beloved family member or friend is missing—a fact Shannon McGlynn is all too familiar with.

On Thanksgiving weekend nine years ago, she lost her 22-year-old son in a railway incident. On Oct 9, 2010, Chris McGlynn was killed when he took a shortcut across the tracks on his way home. It was a tragic decision that his family is forced to live with every day.

“I really miss him when there is a family holiday. There’s always that empty chair at the table, and always that empty spot in my heart,” says Shannon McGlynn. “There is not a day that goes by that we don’t miss him and wish that he was here.”

Shannon shared her family’s tragic story as part of Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies campaign. In the video she talks about Chris’ death and the pain it has caused her family.

Unfortunately, the McGlynn family’s story isn’t an isolated one. Over the last 10 years, close to 1,200 Canadians have been killed or seriously injured because they engaged in unsafe behaviour around railway tracks and trains.
Keep your family safe this Thanksgiving—and all year round.

Make sure your loved ones practice rail safety by following these simple rules:

  • Stay Off the Tracks: Never walk, cycle or drive along railway tracks—and never use them as a shortcut.

  • Keep Off All Railway Property: Railway yards, tunnels and bridges are all private property. If you’re caught trespassing on them, you could be fined up to $50,000.

  • Put Your Phone Down:  Whether you’re driving or walking near railway tracks, being distracted can keep you from seeing a train from coming. 

  • 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.

  • Use Only Designated Railway Crossings: Trying to cross tracks anywhere else could be deadly. 

  • Obey All Railway Signs and Signals:  Warning signals and signs are there for a reason: to save lives. So, obey them!

  • Keep a Safe Distance from Tracks: Trains can overhang the tracks by as much as 1 metre on each side. So, stay clear. 

Please follow these simple rules. Share them with the people you love—and have a happy, healthy and rail-safe Thanksgiving!