Metra is joining an international effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe behavior near railroad tracks, as the United States, Canada and Mexico observe Rail Safety Week in North America, Sept. 19-23.
Members of Metra’s Safety Department will perform safety blitzes at the downtown stations – Chicago Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, LaSalle Street Station, Van Buren Street Station, and Millennium Station – to highlight the importance of rail safety and bring this message to as many of our riders as possible.
“Metra’s top priority has always been safety, and we see it as our responsibility to educate the public through our participation in Operation Lifesaver events like this, as well as the dozens of safety presentations we conduct annually across the region,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “Our goal is to communicate the importance of safety near trains and tracks. Together, we can reduce and eliminate injuries and fatalities that occur at highway-rail grade crossings and along the railroad rights-of-way.”
In 2021 alone, 666 people were injured and 236 people lost their lives in collisions at railroad crossings in the United States, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In Illinois in 2021, 20 people died when they were struck by trains while trespassing on railroad property, and 21 people died when they were struck by trains at a highway-rail grade crossing.
For more information on Rail Safety Week in North America, please visit: https://oli.org/.