Grade Crossing Safety a Win-Win for Arkansas Community and Union Pacific

Bearden UP CARES Main | MR

UP CARES volunteers Brakeperson James Neal, left, and Locomotive Engineer John Varnell share grade crossing safety information with truckers in their community.

To be the best at safety, Union Pacific employees regularly volunteer their time and talent to bring all community stakeholders to the table – from schoolchildren and teen drivers to transportation industry professionals. Their goal: We all go home safe.

Union Pacific’s Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety program, known as UP CARES, shares targeted messaging with truck drivers and other community partners to educate them on safe behavior around rail crossings.

“It’s important to get everyone in a safety mindset,” said John Varnell, locomotive engineer.

UP CARES volunteers stress the importance of actively looking for approaching trains when driving near crossings. They remind drivers to observe warning signs and signals; stop, look and listen; and avoid distractions, such as cell phones or the radio, when stopped at a crossing.

Bearden UP CARES AR | M

A UP CARES event reinforces safety measures and promotes awareness among lumber truck drivers in Arkansas.

An excellent example can be found in Arkansas – every day, roughly 400 logging trucks cross Union Pacific’s main line in Bearden en route to a local lumber mill.

Union Pacific employees saw an opportunity to enhance community safety by partnering with the mill to share safety tips and flyers directly with truck drivers. UP team members Senior Managers-Train Operations Gideon Banks and Nicholas Grauf, Superintendent-Train Operations Fabian Cano, Brakeperson James Neal, and Varnell connected with more than 250 truck drivers to discuss crossing safety at a mill event.

“It’s a win-win for Union Pacific and the community,” Banks said. “By emphasizing the importance of following traffic laws, being alert and attentive at railroad crossings, and understanding how to properly interact with trains, we can help create a safer environment for all Bearden drivers.”

For more information, visit to download rail safety public service announcements and find additional rail safety information and links to Union Pacific’s rail safety partners.

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