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Union Pacific, Operation Lifesaver Campaign Urges Pedestrians to Use Common Sense Around Railroad Tracks

San Antonio, Texas, August 24, 2009 – Look both ways before crossing! Many of us heard this warning as children and common sense says to heed it when crossing streets.

That same warning applies when crossing railroad tracks, where not looking can have deadly consequences. Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver have joined forces in San Antonio to launch a bilingual awareness campaign aimed at promoting safety around railroad tracks.  The campaign, which runs through September, reminds Alamo City residents to use common sense when approaching railroad tracks. The Common Sense Campaign is specifically aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds, the group most likely to be involved in railroad-related pedestrian casualties, according to national statistics.

"It can take a mile or more for a train to stop, so it is critical that people look both ways before crossing railroad tracks in designated areas," said Brian Gorton, general superintendent for Union Pacific's San Antonio service unit.

The Common Sense Campaign combines radio commercials, internet advertisements, posters and an interactive Web site to explain that being on private railroad property not only is dangerous but considered trespassing. Radio ads will air in English and Spanish for five weeks on The Beat 98.5 FM and Estereo Latino 92.9 FM.

Advertisements emphasize that just as people wouldn't swim with sharks or stand on a busy airport runway, they shouldn't cross railroad tracks without looking. The scenarios are followed by rail safety tips such as:

  • Cross railroad tracks only at a public crossing-designated by lights, gates or x-shaped crossbucks.
  • Turn off cell phones and MP3 players when approaching train tracks.
  • Stop, look both ways and listen for trains before crossing train tracks.
  • Expect a train at all times.

"This targeted rail safety approach will educate the San Antonio community and hopefully help save lives," said Sally Tingle, executive director of Operation Lifesaver's Texas chapter.

As part of the Common Sense Campaign, Union Pacific employees are reaching out to young people at concerts featuring popular hip-hop and Spanish regional musical acts. Employees staff Operation Lifesaver awareness booths packed with promotional items such as t-shirts that read, "I brake for trains because they can't brake for me."
"The San Antonio Police Department strongly supports Union Pacific's campaign regarding rail-related safety. Accidents can be prevented by using caution and staying alert," said San Antonio Police Chief William P. McManus.

Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit safety education group, launched the Common Sense Campaign in Washington D.C. on June 24. Union Pacific's support brought the campaign to San Antonio. More information can be found at

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.

About Texas Operation Lifesaver

Texas Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit public safety organization committed to educating the public about safety at highway-rail grade crossings and trespassing on railroad property. Certified volunteer presenters will make free presentations to any group, including driver education classes, school bus drivers, law enforcement, emergency responders, professional drivers, civic organizations, schools and church groups.  To request a presentation or inquire about volunteering opportunities, please contact Sally Tingle at (800) 362-2210 or email  More information is available at

For further information, contact Raquel Espinoza-Williams at (281) 350-7771.

The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.