LYNCHBURG, Va. – A new Amtrak locomotive is getting people’s attention.
The ‘See Tracks, Think Train’ design celebrates Operation Lifesaver’s 50th anniversary.
“I think if everyone knew that every three hours in the United States a person or vehicle is hit by a train, we’d all pay more attention when we’re near railroad tracks and trains,” said Director of Communications Jennifer DeAngelis.
That’s the message from those like DeAngelis with Operation Lifesaver. Amtrak is helping them get it across with a one-of-a-kind locomotive.
“We want to eliminate all railroad-related deaths and injuries,” said Amtrak Spokesperson Kimberly Woods. “We see this locomotive that has the message ‘See Tracks, Think Train’ as an important reminder.”
The locomotive made its first trip Wednesday, passing through Lynchburg and Roanoke to remind people to make safe choices.
“Sometimes we get complacent. We drive the same route every day, we’ve maybe never seen a train there before,” DeAngelis added. “That does not mean you’re not going to see a train there.”
A train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes about a mile to stop. That’s the length of 18 football fields combined. DeAngelis said by the time a train conductor sees something on the tracks, it’s too late.
Operation Lifesaver said drivers should stay 15 feet back from the tracks and if the vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out then call for help.
In addition, they said you should not walk or take photos near the tracks. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also trespassing. The organization encourages people to share the message and help save lives.