Since Kalama’s humble beginnings, we’ve had a long, rich history with our friends who operate the railroads. The Port was born of its roots as a transportation hub—and the BNSF runs right through our riverfront property.
As you head out for long-awaited summertime festivities, please be aware of the railroad and train traffic. We want you and your family to be safe!
The following track safety tips are brought to you by our friends at BNSF and Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Education.
Now, enjoy the parks and have a fabulous summer!
Track Safety Basics
- Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection at any time.
- All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespass and highly dangerous.
- It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Trains have the right of way 100% of the timeover emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
- A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
- Trains can move in either direction at any time.Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
- Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.”Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
- Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
- Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.