October 12, 2016

Harvest Season – Operation Lifesaver

See Tracks? Think Train!
Did you know the railroad plays an important part in agriculture especially at harvest? More than 3,400 miles of railroad tracks run through Nebraska transporting grain, fertilizer and ethanol for global distribution.

Those same tracks may crisscross your farmland or run parallel to your local co-op and elevator. You probably cross railroad tracks every day without a second thought. Nebraska Operation Lifesaver wants to remind you to avoid complacency at railroad crossings this harvest season.

Pat Leahy, Union Pacific track inspector and Operation Lifesaver presenter, is visiting co-ops in central Nebraska reminding farm crews about the importance of railroad crossing safety.

“Be observant when you approach the tracks,” Leahy said. “It’s a busy time of year, but trying to beat a train or take shortcuts is not worth the risk.”

Leahy urges all farmers, ranchers and their employees who must use farm-rail crossing to remember – Always expect a train! Trains can run on any track, at any time, in either direction.

Never attempt to cross railroad tracks unless you’re certain you can get completely across them, and without risking becoming high-centered. Trains extend at least three feet beyond the width of the rails on each side, so remember your cargo overhang as well.

Remember to pay extra attention where field and farmstead access roads cross the tracks. Be especially cautious at private access farm-rail crossings which are not equipped with warning signs, lights, bells or gates.

If you have an issue or emergency at a railroad crossing looking the blue Emergency Notification System sign on the crossing. Call the 800 number and report the crossing number to notification the dispatcher of your location. Keep emergency information handy for frequently used farm-rail crossings.

Download these useful tools provided by Operation Lifesaver and Union Pacific to keep you safe this harvest season:

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Nebraska Operation Lifesaver, which is led by State Coordinator Carol Daley, focuses on public education throughout the state. Learn more at www.nebraskaol.org or follow Nebraska OL on Facebook and Twitter. 

This guest blog was written by Megan Grimes. Megan is the public relations coordinator with the Nebraska Ethanol Board and also serves on the board of directors for Nebraska Operation Lifesaver.

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