Railroads are active in North Carolina! With both passenger and freight trains running day and night throughout the state, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) wants you to stay safe as you drive and while walking or biking.
BeRailSafe, our statewide rail safety program, provides information and programming to educate adults, kids and sportsmen. There is never a good reason for anyone to be injured or killed on railroad tracks, and it is our goal to put an end to these tragic events in North Carolina.
Whether the focus is crossing safely, walking safely, NCDOT wants you to always be safe around railroad tracks and trains… BeRailSafe! Respect the Crossing. Respect the Track.
Rail Safety Facts
- Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection. Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule, and passenger train schedules frequently change.
- Trains ALWAYS have the right of way over ambulances, fire engines, cars, the police and pedestrians.
- Trains cannot stop quickly. It is a simple saw of physics: the huge weight and size of the train, and its speed, dictate how quickly it can stop under ideal conditions. Once the train is set into emergency braking, a 100-car freight train traveling at 55 mph will need more than a mile to stop - that's about 18 football fields.
- Always stop your vehicle when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing. Wait for the crossing gates to rise and lights to stop flashing - never try to drive around the gate. Look both ways, listen and proceed with caution.
- Never stop your car on railroad tracks. When approaching an intersection at railroad tracks, keep your car safely behind the white lines.
- Never race a train to a crossing.
- Never walk or ride a bike on or near the railroad tracks. The tracks are not a trail, a shortcut or a resting place.
- Remember: lights first, gates second. Stop when the warning lights begin blinking - before the gates go down - and avoid getting trapped on the tracks between the gates.
Click here to download a printable version of these Rail Safety Facts (English and Spanish).