Trespassing along railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Nationally, more than 430 trespass fatalities and nearly as many injuries occur each year. The vast majority of these are preventable. Most railroad trespassers are pedestrians who use railroad tracks as a shortcut.
People who access railroad property without permission are not only trespassing on private property but also are susceptible to life-threatening injuries or death. The typical trespasser is a pedestrian who either fails to use designated crossing locations such as highway-rail grade crossings and dedicated pedestrian access paths or walks on or alongside the tracks. Other types of trespassing activities include fishing from railroad trestles and riding ATVs or snowmobiles on the railroad’s right-of-way.
FRA works in partnership with railroad industry and labor, state and local governments, and other organizations to sponsor, plan and conduct educational outreach efforts at schools, workplaces, and other venues, in order to raise awareness about the inherent dangers and consequences of trespassing.