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Illinois Officials Learn About Crossing and Pedestrian Safety Onboard Special Train

On Board The Operation Lifesaver Train, April 14, 2009 – A special passenger train is making stops this week in several Illinois communities over Union Pacific Railroad lines to promote highway-railroad crossing and pedestrian safety through a program called Operation Lifesaver.

"Operation Lifesaver" is the nationwide, non-profit public safety education and outreach program designed to eliminate collisions, deaths and injuries where streets and roads cross railroad tracks at grade and on railroad rights-of-way.

Hundreds of community leaders, law enforcement officers and education officials will be learning about highway-railroad grade crossing safety and the consequences of trespassing on railroad property.

"This special train is just one way we can work to educate and call attention to highway-railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety. We always look for unique ways to deliver our safety message to the general public and civic leaders," said Kevin Dawson, Union Pacific manager - operating practices.

During the train's tour in Southern Illinois April 14 - 16 stops are being made in: Marion, Benton, Mt. Vernon, Salem, Altamont and Shelbyville.

Guests are getting a rare opportunity to see what train crew members see because video cameras are mounted in the locomotive cabs broadcasting to television monitors in the passenger cars.

While civic and education leaders were learning about highway-railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety, law enforcement officers reviewed "Officer on the Train" activities.

"Officer on the Train," one part of the Operation Lifesaver program, provides police officers the opportunity to ride on trains and observe motorist behavior at highway/railroad grade crossings. If a motorist violates the grade crossing traffic laws, the police officer on the train radios to an officer near the crossing, who can issue the motorist a citation.

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad emphasizes excellent customer service and offers competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.

For further information, contact Mark Davis at (402) 544-5459.

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