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Spike tells students: 'Stay away from trains, stay safe'Tell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Sydnee Hansen shares the message with students from Chase County.

The Golden Spike Tower spreads awareness of train safety during school field trips.

Last fall, employees and volunteers of the Golden Spike Tower became certified trainers in Operation Lifesaver. This school field trip season, the training is put into action.

Field trips are about getting out of the classroom to learn something new and exciting about the world. The view from the eighth floor of the Spike shows how Union Pacific keeps the economy going. A stop on the seventh floor offers a historical glimpse of the North Platte Canteen. A walk through the flags features the Union Pacific route and then there's the train room, where life-saving education about safety is offered.

Over the course of two weeks, between May 2-17, 13 presentations are scheduled for nearly 650 grade school kids.

"Stay Off, Stay Away, Stay Alive" is the main message for every child.

“As each child leaves, we ask them what is one thing they learned from their field trip,” Executive Director Kirsten Parker said. “Many children say they learned to stay away from trains."

"Trains are fun to watch -- from a distance. If we can do our part to help spread the message and stop even one tragedy from happening, then we are doing our job well and will continue to advocate for train safety" Parker said.


Some facts from Nebraska Operation Lifesaver

January-December, 2015

• Most collisions occur with trains traveling under 30 mph.

• Approximately 64% of all collisions occur in daylight hours.

• Most collisions occur within 25 miles of the driver's home.

• Approximately every 3 hours (some place in the United States) a collision occurs between a train and a vehicle or a train and a pedestrian.

• You are 20 times more likely to die in a collision with a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.

• At 55 mph, it may take a train up to a mile or more to stop.

• Nearly 50% of all collisions occur at crossings equipped with active warning devices.

• Nearly 25% of all collisions occur when the vehicle runs into the side of the train.


National crossing collisions, 2016

• Collisions: 1,297

• Injuries: 500

• Fatalities: 192


National trespasser incidents, 2016

• Injuries: 328

• Fatalities: 351

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/11/2017
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