PSC participates in Rail Safety Week

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The Public Service Commission is encouraging all West Virginians to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way.

“They are an important part of our history and they are an important part of our current economy,” says Public Service Commission Chairman Charlotte Lane. ‘We just want people to be very safe and be aware of how important the railroad industry is to West Virginia and just be careful around the railroads.”

The PSC encourages all West Virginians to understand and follow these tips:

  • Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
  • It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile to stop.  Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
  • The average train weighs about 400,000 pounds or 200 tons, and can weigh up to 6,000 tons.  This makes the weight ratio of a car to a train proportional to that of a soda can to a car.
  • All train tracks are private property.  Never walk on the tracks; it is illegal and highly dangerous.
  • Cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.  Obey all warning signs, gates and signals posted there.
  • Stay alert around railroad tracks.  Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.

“Every three hours, a person or vehicle in the United States is hit by a train,” says Lane. “By participating in Rail Safety Week, we are working to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and keep the general public safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of way.”

For more information about railroad safety visit:

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