The Whistle-Stop Safety Train of Norfolk Southern will made stops this week in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Bellevue, Cleveland and Alliance.
Pulling the train will be NS SD60E No. 9-1-1, which honors first responders across the railroad’s 22-state network.
The train consist has two restored Pullman passenger rail cars with television monitors showing a live video feed from a camera mounted on the lead locomotive. Passengers see firsthand what engineers see from the locomotive cab.
“Ohio had a 21 percent increase in the number of grade crossing collisions in 2014, which underscores why this train and its message are so important for Ohioans to hear,” said Cayela Wimberly, grade crossing safety director at NS. “We will be talking this week to motorists, parents, school officials, photographers, rail fans, public safety officers, and others about a common sense safety message – when you see tracks, think train.”
“This Ohio Whistle-Stop tour is about building partnerships in our communities with people who can become safety advocates,” said Gena Shelton, state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver Ohio. “Have a conversation with your neighbors, your friends, your children about why you should obey traffic signals at grade crossings and stay away from railroad property. It could save a life.”
With 86 grade crossing accident in 2014, Ohio had the eighth highest number of grade crossing collisions in the nation compared with 71 in 2013.
There were four fatalities in 2014 in Ohio. Trespassing on railroad property accounted for 13 people killed in 2014, a 38 percent drop compared with 21 fatalities in 2013.
“We will remain vigilant and promote safety until that number is zero,” Wimberly said. “Trespassing on railroad property is not only illegal, it puts your life at risk. It’s not worth it.”
The Whistle-Stop Safety Train Schedule is:
- Tuesday, Aug. 4: Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus
- Wednesday, Aug. 5: Columbus-Bellevue
- Thursday, Aug. 6: Bellevue-Cleveland-Alliance
Invited guests on the train will include county and municipal leaders, state and local transportation officials, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, school transportation directors, trucking officials, news media, and others who have a vested interest in public safety.