Railroad Safety

Several roads and walkways on the University of Georgia campus intersect or border railroad tracks. The University of Georgia Police Department would like to inform you of simple safety tips that will make the train tracks on our campus safer for pedestrians and automobiles.

Train tracks are private property, no matter which railroad owns them. Trains have the right of way 100% of the time- over ambulances, fire engines, cars, the police and pedestrians. Any person found on train tracks that is not authorized to be there is subject to arrest for criminal trespass.

  • People found trespassing on parked or moving railcars are subject to arrest.
  • Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule; schedules for passenger trains change. Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection.
  • If there are rails on the railroad ties, assume that the tracks are in use, even if there are weeds or the tracks look “rusty.”
  • A train may extend three feet or more outside the steel rail, which makes the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the rails themselves.
  • Trains cannot stop quickly. A 100-car freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour will need more than a mile to stop once the train is set into emergency braking.
  • Trains can move in either direction at anytime. Trains are sometimes pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled.
  • Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
  • Never walk down a train track; it’s illegal and it’s dangerous. By the time a locomotive engineer can see a trespasser or a vehicle on the tracks, it is too late. The train cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision