Kansas Officials Learn About Crossing and Pedestrian Safety Onboard Special Train

A special passenger train is making stops this week in several Kansas communities over Union Pacific Railroad lines to promote highway-railroad crossing and pedestrian safety through a program called Operation Lifesaver.”Operation Lifesaver” is the nationwide, non-profit public safety education and outreach program designed to eliminate collisions, deaths and injuries where streets and roads cross railroad tracks at grade and on railroad rights-of-way.

Hundreds of community leaders, law enforcement officers and education officials are learning about highway-railroad grade crossing safety and the consequences of trespassing on railroad property.

“This special train is just one way we can work to educate and call attention to highway-railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety. We always look for unique ways to deliver our safety message to the general public and civic leaders,” said John Simpson, Union Pacific manager – public safety and the president of Kansas Operation Lifesaver.

During the train’s tour through Kansas March 23-27 stops are being made in:  Liberal, Pratt, Hutchinson, Herington, Topeka, Lawrence, Bonner Springs, Atchison, Sabetha and Seneca.

Guests are getting a rare opportunity to see what train crew members see as they travel down the track. Video cameras are mounted in the locomotive cabs broadcasting to television monitors in the passenger cars allowing the guests to observe what the train crew sees.

While civic and education leaders were learning about highway-railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety, law enforcement officers reviewed “Officer on the Train” activities.

“Officer on the Train,” one part of the Operation Lifesaver program, provides police officers the opportunity to ride on trains and observe motorist behavior at highway/railroad grade crossings.  If a motorist violates the grade crossing traffic laws, the police officer on the train radios to an officer near the crossing, who can issue the motorist a citation.