TORONTO – Rail safety has been on the minds of many. Often the images are of freight train derailments, or leaks from those derailed cars. However one of the important issues to deal with is rail crossings at the many highways, roadways and people near trains.
This year, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) is participating in Operation Lifesaver’s PUBLIC-RAIL Safety Week, taking place from April 28 to May 4, 2014. Throughout the week, Operation Lifesaver volunteers are hosting many local events and activities across Canada to remind the public about the importance of acting with extreme caution around railways.
“VIA Rail’s involvement in Operation Lifesaver helps educate Canadians about the dangers of trespassing on or around railways,” explains Jean Tierney, Senior Director, Safety and Security at VIA Rail, “At VIA, security is in our DNA. It is a primary concern and is at the core of every decision we make. I am proud to work with a highly qualified team of experts at VIA Rail, who take safety and security to heart every day, and who help maintain our excellent safety track record.”
VIA Rail operates some 500 trains weekly on 12,500 kilometers of track, and strictly adheres to its safety procedures to ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations safely.
According to Operation Lifesaver, there are approximately 300 collisions and trespassing incidents at railway crossings and along railway tracks in Canada each year. “That’s 300 incidents too many,” according to Tierney, “which is why VIA Rail continues to collaborate closely with Operation Lifesaver, the Railway Association of Canada, Transport Canada, CN, CP, Go Transit and other industry partners to improve safety and help spread the word about railway safety every day.”
About Operation Lifesaver
Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and trespassing on railway property.