Inside Track


Safety Campaign’s Message: Always Expect a Train

Posted July 1, 2014 08:50 AM CDT

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UP Senior Special Agent Jay Holman records a UP CARES public safety radio spot with DJ Joshua James at Q104 FM in Kansas City.

Union Pacific Railroad is launching a multi-media, bilingual public safety campaign aimed at encouraging pedestrians and drivers to safely use railroad crossings. Part of the Union Pacific Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety (UP CARES) initiative, the advertising campaign utilizes radio spots and billboards in English and Spanish to reach audiences in Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, Midland and Odessa, Texas; Plaquemine, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fresno, California; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; and Chicago.

Radio advertisements feature Union Pacific employees engaged in public safety. Their voices remind pedestrians and drivers of key railroad safety messages:

  • Drivers and pedestrians should only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings.
  • Never use railroad tracks as a shortcut.
  • If the railroad crossing gates are down, don’t go around.
  • When driving a commercial truck, know its vertical clearance to avoid getting high centered.
  • When approaching a railroad crossing, ensure there is enough space in front of your vehicle to completely clear the crossing.

"Whether you’re on foot or in your car, this campaign reminds the pedestrians and motorists to keep themselves safe by following railroad safety laws and only crossing at designated grade crossings," said Linda Pitchford, a 23-year Union Pacific employee and general director-Operating Services who voices several radio spots. "We want to raise public awareness that a train could be using the railroad tracks at any time, and emphasize the importance of making good decisions around railroad tracks by always approaching them with caution."

Other UP employees who lent their voices for the radio spots are Raquel Espinoza, director-Public Affairs; Mark Fagley, manager-Operating Practices; Jay Holman, senior special agent-UP Police; Alfredo Rogriguez, senior special agent-UP Police, and Harry Stewart, manager-Peer Support Services, who spent more than 30 years as a locomotive engineer.

The campaign also uses targeted signage and billboards to spread the rail safety message.

For more information about railroad safety, visit or