Ensure your loved ones are rail-safe this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is often a chance to stuff ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie. But it’s also a time to be with the people we love—and to give thanks for what we have.
But for Shannon McGlynn, Thanksgiving is a heartbreaking reminder of what—or more specifically who—is missing from her life.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2010, she lost her 22-year-old son Chris in a railway trespassing incident. He was killed when he took a shortcut across the tracks on his way home. It was a tragic decision that Chris’ family have to live with every day—and one that has made every Thanksgiving since a bittersweet celebration for Shannon and her family.

“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.

Have a rail safety conversation with your loved ones this holiday weekend

Unfortunately, the McGlynn family’s story isn’t an isolated one. Our #STOPTrackTragedies campaign features more than a dozen other stories of Canadians that have been killed or seriously injured because they engaged in unsafe behaviour around railway tracks and trains. The most tragic part is that every one of these incidents could have been prevented.
Please help us to stop these tragedies. Spend the time this holiday weekend to ensure that your loved ones know how to stay rail-safe by following these simple rules:
  • Stay Off the Tracks: Never walk, cycle, or drive along railway tracks—and never use them as a shortcut.
  • Put Your Phone Down:  Whether you’re driving or walking near railway tracks, being distracted can prevent you from noticing an oncoming train.
  • 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 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.
  • Keep a Safe Distance from Tracks: Trains can overhang the tracks by as much as 1 metre on each side. So, stay clear.
It only takes a few minutes to share these rail safety rules—but it could prevent a lifetime of heartache.