For Immediate Release: June 10, 2020
Coos Bay, OR –
The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) owns and operates the Coos Bay Rail Line and wants to remind the public to observe all safety precautions when near a rail line. The Coos Bay Rail Line is a short line railroad that connects industries in Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties to the National Railway Network at the Union Pacific yard in Eugene. The Port asks that the public cooperate in the effort to keep everyone safe and secure while maintaining the movement of critical freight transportation services.
We are experiencing an increase in the number of cases where individuals are coming on to the rail line in areas that are not authorized for crossing. We have heard that some members of the community are not aware that ours is a working railroad with trains that move freight back and forth between Coquille and Eugene.
You might be riding an ATV and the rail tracks look like a convenient place to cross. You may be exercising your right to assemble, and the tracks present an open space to gather. Please be aware that by their very nature, rail lines are a dangerous place if you are not abiding by all safety rules and practices.
Trains do not follow a set schedule, meaning that they can be traversing the track in our region at various times of day. Due to their size and weight, it can take a locomotive a significant distance to come to a complete stop, decreasing their ability to avoid a collision. Locomotives and rail cars extend by three feet or more on either side of the tracks making it unsafe to be near the track.
The Port is committed to ensuring the safety of the community in its operation of the rail line. It is a criminal offense to trespass on railroad property anywhere other than a designated pedestrian or roadway crossing. These laws are in place to keep the public safe when living near an active rail line. It is highly dangerous to walk on railroad tracks. According to the Federal Rail Administration (FRA), in 2019 there were 1,122 injuries and fatalities related to pedestrian rail trespassing in the United States. In Oregon alone, there were 21 injuries and fatalities in 2019.
Stay alert around railroad tracks and avoid distractions including texting or listening to headphones. The safety of our community members is the Port’s top priority. Remember, when you see tracks, think train.
For additional information, please contact:
Margaret Barber, Director of External Affairs
email@example.com // 541-266-3713