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  1. Hi i
    I am a bike commuter who crosses train tracks at least three times in each direction as I ride. The other day I encountered a situation like the one you described: gate arm up but lights blinking (no bells). I could discern no sign of approaching train in either direction. I tried calling the 800-number posted, twice, but got no answer.
    What else should I have done? This was on a bike path, not the road. I didn’t think to call 911.

  2. As a volunteer for Operation Lifesaver, I am not allowed to answer the type of questions you pose.

    • I know this is 3 years plus since your good post. We don’t have to answer as an OLAV, but as a private citizen, but it is obvious that it is not worth your or my time to answer any questions. Some of the questions are bait, like “David, when did you stop beating your dog?” Other questions are just taking numbers at random as fact. If he was serious, it would be worth the time. OLI is filling its objective. The problem is that updates are happening often while OLI tries to be generic, each state has their own rules. On a FRA Video, if you get stalled on a track and a train is coming, get out of your vehicle and everyone else out, run away from tracks and towards the train and CALL 911, not the ENS number. If no train is coming, call the ENS number first, then call 911 since some of the dispatching centers may be in a different state and you can get to the 911 operator for help faster.

  3. Great article, Adrienne. I have known David for years as a customer and train enthusiast. His explanation was perfect and I now have the knowledge I was too lazy to bother with in the past. I will now also notify authorities of the RR and 911 the next time I encounter such incident. Thank you.

  4. Things a REAL railroad Operation Lifesaver (OL) group would ask!!!

    1. Why are all OL directors handpuppets of the railroad or government only giving lip service safety messages?
    2. Why nothing is ever mentioned by OL that would cost the railroads a penny on the obviously missing safety equipment and track maintenance work?
    3. Where are the crossing safety signals for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering at 1,000s of crossings?
    4. Where are the track video monitors for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering to get the train stopped IN TIME?
    5. Why aren’t railroads paying at least half for crossing signals because it’s their trains going too fast with no brakes or steering while paying the so-called RR directors millions a year.
    6. Why the crossing humps trapping big trucks aren’t required to be removed?
    7. Why the crossing surfaces aren’t wider where if a vehicle fish tails on slick road and is trapped at the edge of the crossing surface trap?
    8. Why the train cabs aren’t required to be lit up like a Christmas tree with emergency vehicle light bars? LOOK AND SEE!!
    9. Why the front of trains aren’t required to have air bags or something to soften impacts?
    10. Why trains don’t have better braking systems? OLIs message now shows train brakes obviously suck.
    11. Why there are no bidding invitations on the obviously overcharged crossing projects the tax-payers pay the railroads for. $10,000 just to get the equipment to the sight. TRUCKED IN.
    12. Why trains are allowed to run in the fog?
    13. Why the crossings aren’t lit up so drivers can see the black rail cars across the tracks at night?
    14. Why railroads remove and steal signals we paid for on closed re-worked crossings?
    15. Why $$$millions$$$ of the rail safety budget we pay in is wasted on needless reworks at crossings preventing signals where needed?
    16. Why the railroad isn’t required to de-ice crossings before they roll the trains?
    17. Why the railroad isn’t required to raise their overpasses so big trucks can get under them? The railroad wants to double stack and our road overpasses are too low—no problem WE PAY MILLIONS.
    18. Why drug/alcohol tests aren’t done on rail crews at crossing/pedestrian collisions?
    19. Why railroads are allowed to get off with the train black box , signal black box (if crossing signals are present), and cab video at crossing/pedestrian collisions?
    20. Why the fact is hidden that trains kill a few thousand people in 100 million train miles when regular drivers have like ONE death?
    21.Why Amtrak passengers aren’t required to look at the despicable shape of the crossings before they board the trains?
    22.Why train horns aren’t blown at private crossings till the last second freezing drivers?
    23.Why the railroads track lights can’t be at a crossing?
    24 .Why railroads need track lights and civilians don’t?
    WAITING FOR OLI/OLI.CA response.

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