Keeping Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M) safe and secure with over 140 miles of mainline track can be challenging. Vandalism to signal equipment and crossings, thefts of tools and materials, and trespassing represent the most common threats to a safe and secure railroad. The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Police relies upon its employees to be mindful and watchful of potential safety and security threats and to report any suspicious activity immediately.
To further secure our operations, The A&M Police utilizes a network of local and state police to protect against trespass, theft and vandalism.
Regarding trespassers, The A&M has a very strict “No Trespassing” policy for its property, especially in the switching and yard areas. Due to the complex nature of railroad operations, the movement of large equipment and machinery, as well as the volume of work being performed, railroad operations can be dangerous for the untrained. Unauthorized climbing on or access to trains and track equipment is a serious security and safety violation.
While providing essential service to our customers, the AM takes no shortcuts in keeping the its line, shipments and employees safe and secure.
Railfans are always welcome to enjoy our vintage equipment and new acquisitions as well, from public vantage points. However, we do not allow anyone on our property or equipment.
Railfans are encouraged to check in with our Railroad Police when they arrive.
Chief Ron Sparks
Track Facts and Tips
- Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property. Walking or playing on them is not only dangerous—it’s illegal. Trespassers can be arrested and fined - the ultimate penalty is death.
- The ONLY legal, safe place to cross tracks is at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
- Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) on railroad tracks, rights-of-way or through tunnels.
- There are approximately 160,000 miles of track operated in the United States (source: Association of American Railroads, 2010).
- Do not walk, jog, hunt, fish or bungee jump on railroad trestles. They are not designed to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges; there is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass.
- Do not attempt to jump aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb, or your life.
- Remember - rails and recreation do NOT mix!
- The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
- Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine. If you are in a rail yard uninvited by a railroad official, you are trespassing and subject to criminal prosecution. You could be injured or killed in a busy rail yard.
- It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Railroad property is private property. For your safety, it is illegal to be there unless you are at a designated public crossing.
- Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.
- Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
- Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it's safe to do so.
- Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad trestles. There is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass. Trestles are not meant to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges! Never walk, run, cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) on railroad tracks, rights-of-way or through tunnels.
- Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.
- Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!
SAFETY IS GOOD BUSINESS.
At Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M), the safety of our people, passengers, cargo and the public is our number one priority. We are committed to the belief that, if something cannot be done safely, it shouldn't be done.
Everyone here at A&M is empowered to make safety the most important aspect of every day, above all else. We strive to make our company accident and injury free by developing a strong safety "culture" within our organization that generates recognition, control and elimination of potential hazards, as well as facilitating an environment where each person within our company shares in safety success.
Dedicated to Safety – Everyday – All day
The Safety Team at A&M has a dedicated staff of management and hourly employees that devote their time to training and developing our people. Employees are thoroughly trained and tested on safety and operating rules, regulations, and laws that govern our company and the entire rail industry. Additional training is conducted regularly on many topics, including hazardous materials, hearing conservation and track safety standards. The staff at A&M is also charged with monitoring statistical information from our railroad and others around the country.
We use this information to track trends that cover a broad spectrum of safety related data, and then use those trends to develop safety action plans for further improvement of our safety record.
We are constantly searching for ways to better understand all aspects of safety in our industry and what steps must be taken to achieve our ultimate goal: Zero accidents, zero injuries!