There are only so many ways programs can spread the word about safety, which is why it’s sometimes a breath of fresh air to see a safety campaign being conducted in a unique way.
And when I say conducted, I mean it in the truest sense of the word, as Union Pacific Railroad is currently taking one of its train across the state of Iowa in order to spread awareness about being safe along train tracks. It’s part of a program known as the Union Pacific Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety campaign, or UP CARES. This week will see the train ferrying various community leaders from such cities as Eagle Grove, Emmetsburg, and West Bend on short trips so they can see what engineers see.
These quick train rides are designed to allow emergency responders and elected officials to view firsthand the problems that can compromise safety along the tracks. A spokesperson for the program stressed the need for people besides those conducting trains to be safe when approaching a locomotive.
A typical train ride might see people crossing the tracks on foot despite an incoming train or drivers piloting their vehicles through crossing arms in order to beat the train through a crossing. By showing these kinds of occurrences to city officials, the hope is that such individuals will begin to learn about the danger and be able to do something about it.