Illinois Rail Safety Week

Illinois Rail Safety Week

MACOMB, IL  —  This is Illinois Rail Safety Week.  Emmet – Chalmers Firefighters want to promote safety for both motorists and pedestrians around railroad tracks. Did you know that Illinois has one of the biggest rail systems in the United States? According to the Illinois Commerce Commission:

  • Illinois has more than 7,400 miles of railroad track, the second largest rail system of any state in the nation.
  • Over 500 million tons of freight moves on rails within Illinois each year which is the most of any state in the nation.
  • Chicago is the largest rail hub in the United States and third largest intermodal container/trailer port in the world, following only Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • There are over 50 railroad companies that operate their trains in and through Illinois, which is the third highest in the United States.
  • About 20 million tons of chemicals, many of which are hazardous, are transported on the rail system within Illinois each year.
  • There are 10,249 public highway rail grade crossings located within Illinois.


Please be proactive to keep a tragedy from occurring either on or around railroad tracks. To remain safe please follow the ten tips, offered by Operation Lifesaver, when crossing railroad tracks:

  • Walking or playing on train tracks is dangerous and illegal.
  • Be prepared to stop at crossings.
  • Cross train tracks at designated highway/railroad crossings.
  • Look for the crossbuck sign, lights or gates at crossings.
  • Listen for warning bells and whistles.
  • Obey the signals.
  • If one train passes, make sure a second train is not approaching on another track in the same or opposite direction.
  • Obey the directions of a police officer or member of a train crew directing traffic at a crossing.
  • Cross the tracks in low gear; do not change gears while crossing.
  • If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out quickly and move away from the vehicle and tracks; call the emergency number posted at or near the crossing, and call 911.


For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit