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May 11 kicks off Track Wise: Summer Safety Campaign

Operation Lifesaver and Alaska Railroad team up to promote public safety

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) will help to kick off a premier summer safety campaign to enhance the Operation Lifesaver rail safety program in Alaska.  Long supported by ARRC, the Operation Lifesaver Alaska (OL-AK) chapter is part of a national/international civic organization (Operation Lifesaver Inc.; or OLI), that promotes education, enforcement and engineering efforts to keep people safe around railroad tracks and crossings within our communities.

In concert with OL-AK, ARRC coordinators and volunteers have a number of events and promotional efforts planned May through September, when passenger and freight train traffic is at its busiest in Alaska. Dubbed “Track Wise: Alaska Railroad Summer Safety Campaign” the initiative includes two tiers, with the level of activity dependent upon funding.  OL-AK has applied for an OLI grant program that will announce recipients by June 30. 

CAMPAIGN TIER ONE:

OL-AK and ARRC are committed to underwriting and supporting the first tier of the campaign, with organizers and volunteers participating in the planned activities noted below.

  • KICK-OFF (MAY 11):May 11 is National Train Day. It is also the Alaska Railroad’s “Railroad Days” free community open house in Fairbanks, where the participating public can visit a manned OL table with rail safety presentations, information and giveaways.
  • BIKE-RAIL SAFETY (MAY 17):  Promote bike-rail safety by supplying informational flyers to bicyclists participating in the official Anchorage Municipality Bike To Work Day (May 17) and Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (BCA) summer Bike, Walk and Bus campaign (May 27 – August 16).
  • KIDS SAFETY (MAY 18):Celebrate “National Safe Kids Day” with a “Rail Safety: Picture It” contest. Children in three age categories (pre-school through kindergarten; first through sixth grade; and junior-senior high school) are encouraged to submit artwork that illustrates rail safety tips. Entries are due by July 5, with winners announced by mid-July.  Contest rules are posted on the ARRC web site – www.AlaskaRailroad.com > Corporation > Safety & Security  > Operation Lifesaver.  Prizes will be awarded in each of the three age categories. Prizes include free rail travel for groups of 4 and 2 people. 
  • PUBLIC BUS SIGNS (LATE MAY): Signs with a rail safety message will be posted on a People Mover bus for at least one bus for a week in late May.
  • RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (MAY-AUGUST):  OL-AK/ARRC will work with radio stations to promote rail safety with public service announcement (PSA) messages, to include paid advertising and in-kind PSA support.
  • STATE RECOGNITION (JULY/AUGUST):Work with the Governor’s office to officially recognize the importance of safety around the railroad tracks.  Coordinate timing for mid- to late-summer.
  • GOVERNOR’S PICNICS JULY 19-21: Participate in the governor’s picnic events scheduled in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau in mid-July.   OL-AK/ARRC volunteers will man a table with OL rail safety presentations, information and giveaways.
  • SUMMER EVENTS:Throughout the summer, OL-AK/ARRC volunteers will provide OL-AK informational materials/giveaways while participating in youth and family activities.

CAMPAIGN TIER TWO:

If OLI approves Alaska’s request for grant funding, OL-AK/ARRC will pursue tier two campaign activities, as noted below: 

  • PUBLIC BUS SIGNS (JULY-AUGUST):  Beyond the week in May, bus signs will be posted throughout the remaining summer months on various People Mover bus routes.
  • LOCOMOTIVE DECAL (JULY):Install a graphic vinyl shrink-wrapped sign on at least one Alaska Railroad locomotive that will promote track safety.  Messages on both sides of the locomotive will be visible to the public at crossings and other areas where a moving train is easily seen.
  • TRAIL SAFETY:Several biking and walking trails are located near the Alaska Railroad tracks in Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley and Fairbanks. Design and manufacture signs that can be posted at trail entrances to remind trail users to stay away from the tracks.
  • ADDITIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCEMENTS:Expand broadcast of rail safety messages on radio stations with additional paid advertising and in-kind PSA support.

For more information about the Summer Rail Safety Campaign, contact ARRC Corporate Communications Officer Stephenie Wheeler at (907) 265-2671 or External Affairs Manager Tim Sullivan at (907) 265-2357.  Local Alaska rail safety campaign information is also available on the Alaska Railroad web site www.AlaskaRailroad.com and more rail safety information is available on the Operation Lifesaver web site at www.oli.org.

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