Alaska Railroad GP 40-2 No. 3010 - Photo by Alan SorumThe Alaska Railroad Operation Lifesaver educational program received a boost in the form of a grant from the national Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) organization. Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end injuries and deaths that occur along railroad right of ways and grade crossings.

In a press release, Operation Lifesaver President Joyce Rose says, “Our OLI state coordinators proposed some very exciting initiatives to help further Operation Lifesaver’s mission of eliminating collisions, injuries and deaths at crossings and along rail property. These projects will go a long way toward increasing the number of eyes and ears that receive our message.”

Grants were awarded through a competitive process that evaluated leveraging of funding, focused messaging and timeliness. The Alaska Railroad placed a summer safety campaign into motion that recognizes this busy season for freight and passenger traffic within the state. Labeled Track Wise: Alaska Railroad Summer Safety Campaign, the effort was designed into two phases, anticipating this grant from OLI. The initial efforts included signs being placed on Anchorage People Mover buses, public service advertisements, recognition of the issue by the Governor and outreach efforts made at public events in Alaska through the summer.

Alaska Railroad Bicycle Safety TipsNow that the Alaska Railroad has received their safety grant from OLI, they are planning to conduct these activities through the rest of 2013:

  • Continue sponsorship of Anchorage People Mover bus signs
  • Install a wrap around vinyl graphic on an Alaska Railroad locomotive that promotes trackside safety and will be visible to the public at crossings
  • Promote bike and walking trail safety in areas where these trails run alongside or cross tracks
  • Broadcast additional public service announcements on the radio

A number of brochures and additional safety information can be viewed online at the Alaska Railroad’s Operation Lifesaver webpage. The Alaska Railroad is an integral part of our state economy and intertwined with many other activities. Ensuring safe behavior occurs near railroad facilities benefits everyone.

Copyright © 2013 by Alan Sorum

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