This post is a short list of Do’s and Don’ts that we have discovered while train chasing. If you have any more that you think we should, just comment on the post or email us and we will added to the list, if appropriate. Emergency Contacts for railroads are at bottom of page.
Always obey all traffic laws.
Have a list of emergency contact for the railroads you are chasing, in case you need to contact them about a crossing malfunction or such.
Have a cell phone that works.
It is a good idea to take snacks along; snacks and drinks are much more expensive at gas stations.
Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, especially if you plan to get out of your car at train parks or walk a lot. I have the scars to prove how important proper shoes are, lol.
Respect property laws, railroads and other people.
Let someone know where you are going and about how long you plan to be gone.
Have an idea of where you are going and how the track is laid out.
Have an idea of how densely packed the trains are on a line; it is very upsetting to chase a track and later find out it is an old siding used about once a week.
Watch out for nature, especially at night.
Have a navigator with you if possible.
Do wear protection if planing to stop somewhere to get some action especially at night. Not condoms all you perverts but knives or mace or something. I personally have a 3 1/3 in. blade knife in my pocket at all times when train chasing, while Emily has a 3 in. blade and mace on her at all times. Better to be safe then sorry.
Never run the lights or crossings.
Don’t take a car or vehicle in bad shape.
Never rely solely on a map or GPS, use your eyes and ears.
Don’t go alone is possible, take someone along.
Don’t walk too much on the tracks, the railroad police are out there.
Don’t bad mouth or be mean to other rail fans.
Don’t go chasing when you have consumed alcohol or drugs. Trains and impaired people do not get along.
Never, ever play chicken with the trains. You will lose in a bad way.
What do the railroads consider to be emergencies?
Crossings blocked for a long time by a train
Theft or vandalism
Unsafe operation of crew on train
Damaged bridges or such
(These are a list of emergencies listed on CSX and CFE sites)
BNSF – 1-800-832-5452 option 1 or option 3 for criminal activity or trespassing
CFE – 1- 800-342-1131 option 3, then option 2
CSX - 1-800-232-0144
I&O – 1-800-342-1131
NS - 1-800-453-2530
UP – 1-888-877-7267 – environmental or injuries, 1-800-848-8715, crossing problems