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News Release
January 31, 2013



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MnDOT reminds public to use caution around railroad tracks
Winter road conditions create additional hazards 
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds snowmobilers and motorists to always use caution and observe the law when near or crossing railroad tracks.


Preliminary 2012 data shows 12 fatalities involving pedestrians trespassing on railroad property and four fatalities at rail crossings. No fatalities on railroad property or crossings have been reported in 2013.  


"A freight train moving at 50 mph may need more than a mile to stop,” said Bill Gardner, MnDOT’s freight, rail and waterways director. “Once train engineers see a vehicle or pedestrian in a crossing or on the tracks, they can apply the emergency brakes; however, it’s often too late for them to stop in time.”


Most collisions with trains are preventable. Inattention and impatience are cited as the most common factors contributing to motor vehicle/train crashes.


One recent incident is a prime example of why it is important to contact authorities if your vehicle or snowmobile stalls on the tracks. In December 2012, a snowmobile got stuck on railroad tracks. The owner left to get assistance and while he was gone the snowmobile was struck by a freight train.
MnDOT urges the public to be aware of the following rail safety tips:


Snowmobilers and motorists should:


Snowmobilers should:


Motorists should:








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