Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Rail safety and education in Minnesota

Railroads operating in Minnesota.

Safe driving, biking and walking spares lives!

  • At 50 m.p.h., it takes a fully-loaded freight train 1.5 miles to come to a full stop. By the time the train engineer sees a vehicle or pedestrian on the tracks, it is often too late.
  • Driver ignorance and impatience are the most common factors contributing to motor vehicle/train crashes.
  • The chance of death or serious injury from a motor vehicle/train crash is 11 times greater than for other highway collisions.
  • Because of their size, approaching trains appear to be traveling at a slower speed.

Follow these safety tips:

  1. Yield the right-of-way to trains at highway-rail crossings. It's the law.
  2. Never drive around lowering gates -- it's illegal and deadly.
  3. Only cross tracks where they are marked with pedestrian crossing markings.
  4. Never race a train to the crossing -- even if it is a tie, you lose.
  5. Expect a train on the track at any time-trains do not follow set schedules.
  6. Look out for the second train when crossing multiple tracks.
  7. Immediately get out of your vehicle if it stalls on the crossing, get clear of the tracks and call 911.