If there are rails on the railroad ties, assume that the track is in use regardless of weeds or rust.
Train schedules are always subject to change. Expect a train at every railroad crossing.
Modern trains are quieter than ever, with no telltale "clackety-clack" and some areas (including Normal) banning use of train horns within city limits.
All train tracks are private property. Trains have the right of way 100% of the time — over ambulances, fire engines, police vehicles, passenger vehicles, and pedestrians.
A typical locomotive weighs approximately 200 tons. When 100 railcars are added to the locomotive, the train can weigh approximately 6,000 tons. The weight ratio of an automobile to a train is proportional to a soda can and an automobile.
Trains cannot stop quickly. That same 100-car, 6,000-ton freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour will need more than a mile to stop, even with the emergency brake applied.
A train may extend three feet or more outside the steel rail, which makes the safety zone well beyond the rails themselves.
Trains are sometimes pushed by locomotives instead of pulled, so they can move in either direction at any time. Remember to look both ways before crossing.
Cross tracks only at designated crossings. Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
Never step on the rails when crossing the tracks. They are slippery, especially when wet.
Stay clear of any switch or apparatus on the tracks. These are controlled from a centralized system many miles away and can move quickly without warning, and trap or injure hands and feet.
Stay at least 15 feet away from all train equipment.
Never climb under or between train cars as there may not be a warning before the train moves again.