Bookmark and Share

Two Chicago Middle School Students Produce Top Video Rail Safety Public Service Announcement in Union Pacific Railroad Sponsored Contest

“Track Guard” reminds pedestrians to use their brain around a train

Omaha, Neb., June 07, 2012 – Kamron Southhall and Jordan Watts, students at South Loop Middle School in Chicago, took home $500 each for their creative effort in producing a video public service announcement that focuses on pedestrian safety around railroad tracks. Union Pacific Railroad sponsored the contest open to Chicago area middle and high school media clubs.

The winning PSA features "Track Guard," a superhero character that swoops down out of the sky and lands between three students and a lowered pedestrian gate at a railroad crossing just as a commuter train passes. The students are discussing going around the lowered gates. Track Guard reminds the students that a train can take up to a mile to stop and that everyone should use their brain around the train.

"At a very young age, Jordan and Kamron have demonstrated they understand the risks associated with putting yourself in harm's way of moving trains. I applaud their efforts and expect that their work will help others understand that risk as well," said Arnold Robinson, Union Pacific Railroad's superintendent of commuter operations in Chicago. 

"The faculty, staff and students at South Loop Middle School are so proud of Kamron and Jordan for the hard work they put into their public service announcement. They both have learned a valuable lesson, that hard work does have its satisfaction and rewards," said Tara Shelton, Principal – South Loop Middle School.   

The one-minute and the thirty-second "Track Guard" PSAs can be viewed on YouTube.

In an effort to educate the public about grade crossing and pedestrian safety, UP established the Union Pacific's Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety (UP CARES) program. Union Pacific is committed to public safety through various outreach channels such as community events, media, Union Pacific Railroad police, employee resource groups and Operation Lifesaver.  The UP CARES public safety initiative brings together communities in a collaborative and caring effort to promote railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety.

UP CARES activities include:

  • Grade crossing enforcement with local, county and state law enforcement agencies;
  • Safety trains that provide local officials a firsthand look at what locomotive engineers see daily while they operate trains through a community and
  • Communication blitzes that educate the community at events or media outreach.

About Union Pacific

It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

Media contact: Mark Davis, 402-544-5459 or

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.