The Point: California Leads Nation in Fatalities or Injuries on Railroad Tracks

When can you expect a train? Any time, on any track, in either direction. Trains have the right of way 100% of the time. For that reason, staying alert near railroad tracks is crucial to reducing deaths and injuries. In Riverside County, we have a growing number of freight trains and passenger trains, making rail safety more important than ever.

RCTC is committed to educating students, parents, and community members about rail dangers during Rail Safety Month in September and throughout the year. Through our partnership with California Operation Lifesaver, RCTC continues to use the “See Tracks? Think Train” campaign to spread the word.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, RCTC has not stopped its rail safety efforts. Although in-person presentations and events were paused, virtual presentations were scheduled instead. Working with California Operation Lifesaver, we also expanded our community outreach with rail safety videos targeted to motorists, train passengers, and pedestrians and used social media to reach a broad cross-section of Riverside County.

Why is rail safety so important to us? RCTC owns and operates nine Metrolink stations that serve three active Metrolink lines in western Riverside County – the 91/Perris Valley Line, the Inland Empire/Orange County Line, and the Riverside Line. Riverside County is also crisscrossed by numerous freight lines, many on the same grade as local streets. Based on 2021 data from the Federal Railroad Administration, California once again led the nation in railroad-related incidents. The FRA recorded 253 pedestrian/rail trespassing casualties – fatalities or injuries – in our state last year, even during the pandemic. With schools reopening, rail safety education is essential in Riverside County and beyond.

Join us in keeping people off the tracks with three crucial safety facts included in this video and please share these messages with family, friends, and coworkers.