- Approach with care. Warn others that you are slowing down. Turn on 4-way flashers. Use pull-out lane if available.
- Prepare to stop. Turn off fans and radio and roll down windows. Locate your cell phone for use in emergency. Stop at least 15 feet, but not more than 50 feet, from nearest rail.
- Look and listen both ways, carefully. Bend forward to see around mirrors and A-pillars.
- If it won't fit, don't commit. Trains extend beyond the width of the rails at least 3 feet on each side. Remember your vehicle – and cargo – overhang.
- Look again. Before you move, look again in both directions.
- Cross tracks with care. Signal, watch for a safe gap and pull back onto the road if you used a pull-out lane. Use highest gear that will let you cross without shifting.
- Keep going once you start, even if lights start to flash or gates come down.
What to do if your vehicle stalls or hangs up on the tracks
- Get out immediately. Evacuate your vehicle. (Trains traveling at 60 mph may take a mile or more to stop.)
- Move away. Walk toward the oncoming train, and away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle. (If your vehicle is hit, debris will spread out from the tracks in the same direction the train is moving.)
- Locate the emergency phone number. When you are safely away from the tracks, find the railroad’s emergency phone number and the DOT crossing identification number posted near the crossing. (See sample locations below.)
- Call for help! Call the railroad’s emergency phone number, the local police or 911. Tell them a vehicle is on the tracks. Provide the location, crossing number (if posted) and the name of the road or highway that crosses the tracks.
Railroad emergency telephone numbers
Belpre Industrial Railroad
Cincinnati Eastern Railroad (Cincinnati East Terminal Railway)
Champ Chase Railway/Youngtown & Southeastern Railroad
G&W Companies (Columbus & Ohio River Railroad, Ohio Central Railroad, Warren Trumbull Railroad, Ohio Southern Railroad, Indiana & Ohio Railway, Mahoning Valley Railway, Youngtown Belt Railroad, Youngstown & Austintown Railroad, Chicago Ft. Wayne & Eastern, Central Railroad of Indiana)
Kanawha River Railroad
Michigan Southern Railway (Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railway)
Northern Ohio & Western Railway
R.J. Corman Railroads
Wheeling & Lake Erie (Akron Barberton Cluster Railway)
Call the local police or 911 if you cannot locate the railroad emergency phone number at the site.
Information provided by:
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Highway Administration