Thursday, September 18, 2014

OPP Warns Trespassers to Stay Off Rail Property

Dufferin County, ON (OPP - Dufferin Detachment) Trespassing on railway property is both dangerous and against the law. While railway property may appear to present convenient routes to view sites, trespassing on railway property is very dangerous and is illegal. It’s simple, trains cannot stop quickly.


Each year in Ontario about 30 people are killed and another 10 are seriously injured in railway trespassing incidents. Entering onto railway property (including; tracks, rights-of- way, bridges or other railway structures) is an offence under the Railway Safety Act (a federal statute). A person convicted of trespassing under this Act is liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 and or imprisonment for up to 1 year. Entering onto railway property is also an offence under the Trespass to Property Act of Ontario, which could result in a person being fined up to $2,000.00 on conviction.

Freight trains travel at speeds of up to 90 km/h and passenger trains can travel at speeds as high as 160 km/h. It takes an average freight train, travelling at 90 km/h approximately 1600 metres to come to a stop in an emergency. Trains cannot swerve to avoid hitting someone on the tracks. By the time a locomotive engineer sees someone on the tracks it is already too late to stop the train.

The only place people or vehicles are allowed to cross railway tracks is at an authorized crossing. This may be in the form of an overpass, underpass or marked railway crossing. At a railway crossing, watch for and obey all railway crossing warning signs and signals. If a train is approaching, wait for the train to pass and do not start to cross until the crossing’s warning lights have stopped flashing. At all crossings, yield the right-of-way to approaching trains and make sure that there are no other trains coming in the same or opposite direction before you start to cross. Remember–where there is more than one set of tracks; there could be more than one train.