Metrolinx looks to build momentum as Rail Safety Week 2019 takes off

Metrolinx joins Operation Lifesaver to launch Rail Safety Week 2019. 

No one wants to ever deliver tragic, life-altering news to families.

So this week, Sept. 23 to 30, Metrolinx will once again join rail safety partners across North America to launch Operation Lifesaver’s Rail Safety Week to raise awareness on how to reduce preventable incidents along Canada’s railways.

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Safety is central to everything we do at Metrolinx and it’s a passion reinforced by our CEO Phil Verster with our company-wide Safety Charter. As we increase service and ridership year over year, we continuously introduce safety improvements as we build more rail infrastructure throughout the region.

Everyone home safe. Every day.

Promises

“Our Safety Charter outlines three simple promises to help us build a stronger safety culture inside and outside of the organization,” said George Bell, Vice President of Safety and Security.

And these safety efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Just this month, Metrolinx was recognized by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) with a 2019 Safety Award for our commitment to safety.

“Metrolinx is delighted to win an RAC safety award for our Safety Charter. We are committed to keeping everyone safe and our employees work hard to achieve this very important objective each and every day,” said Bell.

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Rail Safety Week is a great time to remind customers and community members to stay safe when they are near or crossing our tracks. Within the GTA, there are more than 200 level rail crossings, 122 of which are Metrolinx-owned. In 2019 so far, crossing incidents have resulted in 10 deaths and two serious injuries in Ontario.

Rail safety is also a shared responsibility — we cannot do this alone. GO Transit has transported over a billion customers in our 52-year history and we have an excellent safety record – but we know we owe it to our customers, our communities and ourselves to always strive for better.

Throughout Rail Safety Week, Metrolinx will be hosting and participating in outreach events in communities across the region in partnership with rail industry partners, safety organizations, law enforcement and emergency services to promote safety and reduce preventable accidents.

Monday September 23rd (6 a.m. to 12 p.m.) at Union Station: A team of Transit Safety Officers will be in the York Concourse at Union Station reminding customers of the dangers of trespassing on train tracks, the importance of obeying railway signs and signals, and to be alert of their surroundings near train tracks.

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Tuesday September 24th (9:30 a.m.) at Rutherford GO Station: New this year, Canadian law enforcement agencies will be participating in Operation Clear Track – the single-largest rail-safety law enforcement initiative in North America. Twenty Canadian police departments have signed up for the initiative and will be working to enforce rail crossing and trespassing laws, and to distribute rail safety tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

As part of Operation Clear Track, Metrolinx will be hosting displays along the Barrie line in collaboration with Toronto Police Services, Peel Regional Police, Halton Police, York Regional Police, South Simcoe Police, County of Simcoe Paramedics, and the Barrie Police Service along the Barrie corridor with a larger display scheduled at Rutherford GO for 9:30 a.m.

Safety is critical to our success at Metrolinx, and our commitment to safety doesn’t end after Rail Safety Week. We work every day, all throughout the year, to increase awareness and keep people safe. GO Transit Safety Officers are out in communities year round conducting community rail safety outreach, often partnering with local police and fire services and other community safety groups.

Keep up with the social media campaign during Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Week by using the hashtags #RSW2019 #STOPTrackTragedies. Keep the conversations about rail safety going with your friends, family and in your community and remind them to #GOsafely.