Reminders during Rail Safety Week

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Joe Holmstrom is police officer for CN for this region, covering 700 track miles. “Every day is different,” he told us on Tuesday.

He looks for trespassers, checks signs to make sure they’re all in order, and does enforcement at crossings.

This is Rail Safety Week. So CN gave us a chance to ask him about his role, and advice on staying safe.

“Statistically, in the United States, someone is hit by a train every three hours. It’s a pretty shocking statistic,” Holmstrom said.

At active crossings, with the red flashing lights and stop arms, you are required to stop when you see the arms coming down.

Some people try to get through before they’re all the way down. In fact, on Tuesday, we saw two drivers do that in Superior.

Holmstrom said you should stop and check at other crossings. Especially if you’ve got earbuds in or wearing headphones. Even with their loud horns, trains have gotten quieter, with changes in technology and equipment.

As for walkers or photographers who like the tracks, he warns against that. “Railroad is private property, and you’re trespassing.”