21 educational initiatives planned ahead of and throughout
the week to educate public
BOSTON – September 22, 2017 – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (KCS), the transit agency’s partner that operates the commuter rail, announced today a series of educational initiatives to take place during the nation’s first Rail Safety Week. Organized by Operation Lifesaver, a public safety non-profit dedicated to rail safety education, Rail Safety Week is September 24 – 30.
“Across the United States, the tragic reality is that every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train,” said Dana Nye, MBTA Transit Police Officer and State Coordinator for Operation Lifesaver. “The goal of Operation Lifesaver is to raise awareness with the general public to ensure that when they see tracks they always think train, and our activity is increased during Rail Safety Week.”
“See tracks? Think train” is a part of Operation Lifesaver’s educational campaign that aims to inform the public about the severe risks associated with trespassing on railroad tracks. Too often, individuals walk along tracks or cut across a right of way to save time without realizing the life-threatening risks they are taking by trespassing on a railroad’s property.
“Last year alone, the United States saw more than 900 injuries or fatalities to people walking, playing, or taking photos on railroad rights-of-way. These incidents are devastating to both affected families and railway employees – and they are often preventable,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “Through Rail Safety Week, we hope to raise awareness of the potential dangers surrounding railroad tracks and trains while sharing important safety tips with customers and residents in the communities we serve to help keep them safe. We also want to recognize our employees who work every day with the safety of our customers as their top priority.”
Due to the train’s speed, often times an individual on the tracks cannot hear a train approaching until it is too late, and train schedules vary from day to day. Even when a commuter rail train is not scheduled, there are also freight trains and other services that operate on the commuter rail network around the Greater Boston area.
“Many people who trespass on the tracks think they will hear a train or that a train does not typically pass at a particular time,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager, KCS. “This could not be further from the truth. It is never safe for the public to walk along a train track or cross at an unauthorized location. The educational initiatives led by the MBTA, Transit Police and Keolis during Rail Safety Week and throughout the year play a critical role in helping to inform the public and ultimately save lives.”
Ahead of and during Rail Safety Week, teams will be deployed to communities around Massachusetts to educate students, area residents and other people on these safety tips beginning Saturday, September 23.
Keolis team members are hosting youth groups Saturday from Concord and Fitchburg for a rail safety presentation that includes a ride on the commuter rail. This mid-day event is in partnership with local libraries and the Massachusetts Center for the Book, which helped with registration and promotion. Approximately 100 children and family members are expected for this event. Registration is closed at this time.
Next week Operation Lifesaver events will be held during the morning commute (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and the evening commute (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) at a variety of commuter rail stations. Operation Lifesaver events provide information on rail safety to passengers, residents and others in the community.
Each event listed below will feature a vehicle wrapped in Operation Lifesaver messaging to help raise awareness, as well as team members engaging with the public. These include:
|Attleboro – Monday morning
Fitchburg – Wednesday morning
Mansfield – Monday morning
Bridgewater – Wednesday morning
Franklin – Monday evening
Brockton – Wednesday evening
Norfolk – Monday evening
S. Weymouth – Wednesday evening
Lowell – Tuesday morning
Worcester – Thursday morning
In addition, on Monday there will be a media press conference kick-off at South Station at 10 a.m., as well as Operation Lifesaver events at South Station from 11:30 to noon and North Station from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
To learn more about Operation Lifesaver, visit www.oli.org. Schools or other organizations that would like to schedule an Operation Lifesaver event should contact Officer Nye at the MBTA Transit Police at 617-222-1212.