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Metrolinx Helps Kick Off Rail Safety Week 2017

TORONTO: April 21, 2017 - On Monday, April 24, Metrolinx is helping kick off Operation Lifesaver’s annual Rail Safety Week to promote safety around our railways. This annual event provides an opportunity for rail industry leaders, safety organizations, law enforcement agencies, and all levels of government to work together to promote rail safety awareness and reduce preventable accidents along Canada’s railways.

In support of Rail Safety Week, Metrolinx is reminding customers and community members to stay safe when they are near or crossing our tracks. GO Transit Safety Officers will be out in the community throughout the week to reinforce safety as a top priority and build awareness about the following tips that can prevent injury and save lives:

Only cross tracks at designated crossings. When you cross anywhere else, you’re breaking the law and you’re placing yourself in great danger. Never cross tracks at stations, and always stay behind the yellow platform lines. Even at a level crossing, take the time to look both ways and then cross.

Always obey the warning devices that are in place at a crossing. Never get in the way of a train or try to beat the train through an intersection. Do not go around gates that are activated, and wait until the gates are up to cross, even if you don’t see a train coming. Trains can come along in either direction at any given time, and one could be coming in the opposite direction if there are multiple tracks.

At the same time, Metrolinx has also introduced the following safety improvements to help keep customers and communities safe:

• Following a Transportation Safety Board recommendation, GO Transit recently became the first railway in Canada to install cameras in locomotives and cab cars. If there is a safety incident, footage from these cameras can provide a better understanding of any improvements that may be needed going forward.

• Metrolinx has also developed a Level Crossings and Safety Framework to ensure all level crossings are safe for customers, drivers and communities. The framework includes a plan for maintaining all level crossings and for building awareness about how to stay safe around them. A Community Advisory Committee with representatives from across the region will also be created as part of the framework.

“Rail safety matters to all of us. Whether riding a bicycle, on foot or in a vehicle - always be careful and alert at all railroad crossings,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. “We are committed to raising awareness and encouraging safe behavior around train tracks and we will continue to introduce rail safety improvements as the GO network expands throughout the region.”

“Safety is always our first priority. We work all throughout the year to keep people out of harm’s way, and we will continue to make more improvements and spread more awareness as we grow our service,” said John Jensen, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “Rail Safety Week gives us an opportunity to work with our partners to boost safety awareness and make more of a difference.”

Metrolinx will be participating in the following events next week:

• Monday, April 24: Rail safety information display and virtual reality simulation at Union Station presented by Operation Lifesaver and Metrolinx.

• Tuesday, April 25: Rail safety simulation at a level crossing in Bradford West Gwillimbury to underscore the importance of obeying railway crossing signs and signals.

• Wednesday, April 26: Rail safety display outside of Union Station, 97 Front Street West entrance.

For more information on Rail Safety Week, visit www.operationlifesaver.ca.

Media Contact:
Vanessa Barrasa 416-230-3732