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Light Rail Safety

September 14, 2012

There’s some thing new in the neighborhood, minnestota’s first Light-Rail transit line.The hiawatha line is a new,fast and quiet way to get around. Light-Rail is safe but also very different from other trains and tracks we’re accustomed to be alert, aware, and safe while living and working around Light-Rail. A Light-Rail car weighs about 50 tons. That’s less than a freight train but many times heavier than cars and trucks. Sometimes two rail cars will be hooked together as one train. Light-Rail cars are identical on each end.

There’s no front or back so the cars travel in either direction on side-by-side tracks. The train is coming toward you if you see white headlights, and red taillights mean the train is moving away. Light-Rail trains are much quieter than other trains, and they move faster, sometimes up to 55 miles per hour. At these freeway speeds, trains need a distance of two football fields to stop.

Light-Rail trains move by a powerful electic current running through overhead wires about 16 to 18 feet off the ground. Touching these wires by any means will result in an instant and deadly electric shock. The most important key to safety around the Light-Railline is to obey all safety signs and barriers, always! Crossing Light-Rail tracks in unmarked areas or trespassing on rail bridges or in tunnels is not only dangerous, it’s against the law. Motorists, pedestrains, and bicyclists must cross the tracks only at marked crosswalks. Kids should never walk on or play anywhere near Light-Rail tracks. Tracks are slippery.

In some areas switches shift tracks without warning allowing trains to move between different tracks. Being caught by a switch could cause serious injury or death. Driving or walking around safety barriers is the number one cause of fatal accidents. Obey all warnings and gates. Always step carefully over the tracks at marked crosswalks. It’s possible to catch a heel or a bike tire in the tracks so walk bikes, scooters, and skateboards across, stepping over the tracks, even though the tracks are level with the street at these crossings.

Light-Rail trains travel more frequently than other trains, sometimes just minutes apart, and they can come at any time from either direction on either set of tracks. Remember that Light-Rail Trains are both fast and quiet. Take special care not to cross until you can see both tracks. One train may block your view of another approaching train. No one should ever try to beat a train at a crossintg. Light-Rail trains take only seconds to pass, and motorist must always stoop for the warning signals.Except for pedestrain crosswalks and special passenger areas, all Light-Rail tracks and operating areas are simply off limits- no exceptions. Never throw thing on the tracks. Light-Rail is safest when all safety signs, warning, and rules are observed. Light-Rail is new and fast and quiet, and the hiawatha line is a great commuting choice for travelers.Simply follow the rules. Obey all sign restrictions and warning signals and stay alert, aware, and safe.


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