Inside Track


UP Talks Safety to Oil & Gas Industry

Posted July 24, 2013 02:54 PM CDT

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Union Pacific recently reached out to oil and gas industry leaders of LaSalle County, Texas, to garner support of new public safety initiatives aimed at educating truck drivers about the dangers of an approaching train.

UP's Buck Russel, manager-Public Safety, and Ivan Jaime, director-Border Policy and Public Affairs, met with the LaSalle County Commissioners Court, where Russel delivered a rail safety presentation. Among those on hand were representatives from Chesapeake Energy, BHP Energy and Marathon Oil.

The key message: Drivers should always know their truck's clearance – not only in the back, but underneath as well. Truck drivers should never attempt to cross railroad tracks unless they're certain they can get completely across them, and without risking becoming high-centered. Since trains extend at least three feet beyond the width of the rails on each side, drivers need to remember their cargo overhang as well. Russel discussed UP's Response Management Communication Center (RMCC), and the process to follow if a truck becomes stuck at a railroad crossing.

In addition, Russel asked energy companies to help facilitate Operation Lifesaver presentations for their drivers. "People don't think about something bad happening until it happens or it's too late," Russel said. "We're working together – the San Antonio Service Unit, Public Safety, Special Agents, Public Projects, Claims and Transportation – to educate oil and gas industry professionals on how they can prevent rail accidents."

To learn more about crossing safety, visit