At Metrolink, we are committed to making sure that everyone who interacts with our trains does so safely. This includes our passengers, motorists at rail crossings and pedestrians such as kids walking to and from school. Please, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following safety tips. Safety always matters.
Train Facts You Should Know:
- Trains are twice as wide as the tracks.
- Trains travel up to 90 mph (132 feet per second).
- A train weighs 450 tons. It takes over one-half of a mile for a passenger train traveling 90 mph to stop.
- Trains are either pushed or pulled by locomotives.
- If you don’t see an engine, the train could still be coming toward you.
- There are often two or more sets of tracks at the same crossing. If you see one train stopped you often can’t see another train approaching.
- Never run on or toward the station platform
- Look out for trains. Not all trains routinely sound warning horns.
- Be aware at all times. Not all trains stop at every station.
Rules to Keep You Safe:
On the Passenger Platform:
- Never run on or toward the station platform..
- Always wait behind the line while standing on the platform. Do not cross the line until the train is stopped and the doors open.
- Train stops are brief; board immediately.
- Passengers in wheel chairs or who need boarding assistance should wait to board on the disabled access ramp at the end of the platform.
On Board the Train:
- Always use the handrail when boarding and leaving the train. Please watch your step.
- Always hold the handrail when climbing or descending the stairs on board the train or at the station.
- Always use the set handholds when standing or moving with the train car.
- Always store your belongings under your seat or on your lap, not in the aisles.
- Once onboard the train familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and emergency procedures poster.
- Always strap your bicycle in the bicycle storage area. Only two bicycles may be stored at each location. If space is not available, please move your bike to the adjacent cars.
- Always collect all of your belongings and move toward the exit as soon as your station stop is announced.
- Never lean on the doors or hold them open.
- Never put your hands or any objects between closing doors.
At Crossings and Tracks:
- Always cross tracks at a designated crossing.
- Always look both ways before crossing train tracks.
- Always expect a train, on any track, at any time and from any direction.
- Never cross the tracks when the signal indicates that a train is coming. Flashing lights and ringing bells mean STOP and wait for the train to pass. NEVER walk under or around pedestrian gates.
- If your car stalls or stops on the crossing for any reason, get yourself and any passengers out and away quickly.
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Increasing the awareness of the potential dangers that exist at highway-rail grade crossings is an integral component of our safety education program. Therefore, we utilize the following programs to maximize our impact on preventing highway rail grade crossing collision and trespass prevention.
Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety.
Operation Lifesaver regularly provides speakers on railroad safety to visit with community groups, motorists, emergency responders, schools and professional drivers. To request a speaker contact Metrolink (metrolinktrains.com) or visit California Operation Lifesaver (http://www.caol.us/)
Southern California Rail Safety Team
The Southern California Rail Safety Team is comprised of multiple railroads and governmental agencies, including Metrolink, BNSF, Amtrak, Union Pacific, Federal Railroad Administration, California Public Utilities Commission, OCTA and law enforcement agencies coming together to work toward the same cause - grade crossing safety.
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Rail Safety Education/Operation Lifesaver
As part of our mission to reduce deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and around tracks and trains, Operation Lifesaver offers safety tips for drivers, pedestrians, and other audiences.
Click on the links below for safety tips of interest to you.
Metrolink Policy for Photography and Video Recording
At Metrolink, we are committed to making sure that everyone who interacts with our trains and property does so safely. This includes our passengers, motorists at rail crossings and community members. Taking pictures or video near Metrolink trains or right of way property can be hazardous, so we have implemented the following policy to ensure safety.
Safety Resources for Professional Drivers
Professional truck drivers are one of our target audiences because of the consequences of a train hitting an 18-wheeled vehicle are devastating—often leading to fatalities and injuries, endangering communities, and tying up traffic around crossings for hours.
The information below is intended for your company's professional drivers or any contracted drivers transporting your materials. Feel free to contact us if you would like any further information or to have a speaker visit your group.
Kids Safety Information
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In response to security activities, what safety measures has Metrolink taken to assure the safety of the operator of the train and passengers?
Immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, incidents, the SCRRA initiated a threat assessment of all of our major facilities, including L.A. Union Station and other maintenance and operation locations. Since that time, Metrolink has undertaken a number of additional steps to increase our security efforts, including:
- Coordinating efforts with local police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to recognize threats against our service before they happen;
- Working with local police agencies, the freight railroads, and the federal and state regulatory agencies on railroad security measures;
- Working with local police and fire departments on responding to any type of rail emergency; and
- Providing threat awareness training for staff members, conductors, engineers and other contractor employees.
In addition, Metrolink has implemented some additional measures since the attacks on trains in Spain on March 11, 2004.
What are some of the "additional security measures" we can expect?
Metrolink is working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and others within the railroad industry to determine what the best practices with regard to safety and security are, and how best to implement them. Some of the additional physical security measures Metrolink is considering include capital investments, i.e. lighting, fencing and redirection of access to our facilities. You may have already noticed a heightened presence of law enforcement personnel at L.A. Union Station and onboard Metrolink trains.
How often are Metrolink railroad tracks checked for tampering, bombs and things that could cause a derailment? How often are the trains inspected?
Metrolink regularly performs inspections on all its tracks. These inspections are conducted on a random basis rather than any sort of regular, predictable schedule.
Metrolink trains are brought to our Central Maintenance Facility every weekday for service. Our maintenance personnel inspect trains while they are there for any damage that has the potential to interrupt service.
Why doesn’t Metrolink have guards at all its stations? Does Metrolink work with cities to ensure safety at its stations?
Metrolink stations are generally owned and operated by the cities in which they are located; the Riverside County Transportation Commission operates the Riverside stations. The station operators, not Metrolink, fund the guards and/or security personnel passengers see at various stations. In most cases, the station operators either hire private security guards or have their police department patrol the station on a regular basis. Metrolink is working closely with all of our station cities to make sure that they are aware of the security concerns expressed by our passengers.
How do I report a problem when I’m on a train? What else can I do to help?
Passengers who see any unusual or unsafe activity onboard our trains should contact the conductor immediately. Metrolink conductors are equipped to handle a variety of emergency situations. Additionally, our conductors can communicate directly with the Metrolink Operations Center to get assistance from law enforcement officials and emergency response teams during an emergency.
Will Metrolink start using metal detectors or any other security equipment at stations or on the trains?
In June 2008, Metrolink Sheriffs began deploying their Transit Passenger Random Baggage Search Program to further strengthen rail security and discourage or deter violent criminals from carrying weapons, explosives or other dangerous items in or onto the Metrolink transit system. According to the Transportation Security Administration, random baggage inspections are an effective security tool for deterring individuals who may pose a threat to passengers’ onboard commuter trains. Since predictable security can be exploited, the screening program will be unpredictable and occur at variable times and randomly determined stations. These measures were not adopted in response to a new or particular threat and are being implemented in full coordination with the California Department of Homeland Security.
Metrolink Deputy Personnel and canine teams will conduct random searches of any article of baggage that a passenger is carrying or transporting via the Metrolink transit system prior to the passenger entering the train. Baggage is defined as any bag/briefcase, suitcase, shopping bag, handbag, fanny pack, or similar personal container, or any paper or opaque plastic bag, or package, parcel or other object that is being carried by or in the possession of any passenger that is being transported or is intended to be transported in or on the Metrolink transit system. The procedures will not affect published train schedules. Random passenger baggage inspection is a quick process and will typically take less than a minute. The randomly selected passengers can expect the inspection process to occur swiftly and in a minimally intrusive manner to ensure the passenger’s travel is not affected.
Any passenger may refuse to permit an inspection of their baggage. The individual shall be advised that their entry into the Metrolink system will subject them to a search of their baggage. A refusal to permit inspection will result in the individual not being permitted to access the Metrolink system. Deputies will request that the passenger leave the facility.
I see a lot of Sheriffs riding the trains. Are they part of Metrolink?
Metrolink does have its own L.A. County Sheriff’s Department unit, but many of the uniformed Sheriffs and other law enforcement officers you see riding the trains are on their way to their regular duty stations. Metrolink provides free transportation for sworn law enforcement officers in uniform and these officers are prepared to assist in any emergency situation.
Does Metrolink have its own security force?
Yes. Metrolink has its own L.A. County Sheriff’s Department unit, which provides security on our trains and along our routes.
Security at Metrolink stations is the responsibility of the station cities, which own and operate the stations. Metrolink is working closely with all of our station cities to make sure that they are aware of the security concerns of our passengers.
Would it be possible to get access to one of the engineers operating the trains? Are their areas secured?
Access to the engineers in our locomotives is very restricted. They sit in a separate car with a secure door that is not opened while the train is in motion. When our engineers are riding in the cab car, they are in a separate area and the access door to their area is securable as well.
Are there security devices built into the trains so that they can’t be hijacked?
Metrolink trains are very sophisticated and next to impossible to run by anyone who is not trained and experienced with our operations. Our trains can only operate with proper wayside signals, and these signals are controlled from a central dispatch location. The engineers must acknowledge the wayside signals, and that acknowledgement varies by train.
What additional security measures are being taken at L.A. Union Station?
Metrolink has increased the number of uniformed L.A. County Sheriff’s officers on the platforms at L.A. Union Station. Since 72 percent of Metrolink’s passengers come through L.A. Union Station, we feel that the increased presence of uniformed officers will present a deterrent force.
Additional security measures at L.A. Union Station are the responsibility of each of the tenants of L.A. Union Station (Amtrak, MTA) and the building management company.
Amtrak police have increased their patrols at L.A. Union Station, and the LAPD has been requested to make more frequent visits to the station during routine patrols of the area. Announcements about unattended baggage are being made every 15 minutes, and parcel check has been restricted to ticketed passengers with photo IDs.
In addition, Amtrak now has ticketing security measures in place, private security guard presence at L.A. Union Station has been increased and safety teams are being briefed on security awareness by Safety Dept. & Police.
Is there anything I can do to help make the trains safer?
We are asking our passengers to join us in our efforts to keep Metrolink trains and passengers safe. Below are some recommendations for how you can help:
- Wherever you are, be aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning.
- Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave baggage or other personal items unattended. Unusual behavior, suspicious packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to your train conductor, security guard or local law enforcement.
- Be aware of the placement of packages or luggage in an out-of-the-way location on your train or at your station.
- Individuals in the act of abandoning an item will likely depart the area hastily. Immediately report any item that looks unusual or has batteries, wires, tanks, bottles or other exposed attachments that seem abnormal. Learn the location of the fire extinguishers and first aid kits on your train. They are located in a niche just above the drinking water dispenser on each passenger car.
- Learn where train emergency exits are located. Several windows on each level and on both sides of every passenger car are equipped with instructions and handles for quick removal in case of an emergency. Both sets of exit doors can be opened during an emergency by using the handle located near each door. Additional instructions are posted in each passenger car on the sloped ceiling in the stairwell between upper and lower levels.
- Learn first aid. Contact the local chapter of the American Red Cross for information and training.
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