BRUNSWICK

Next week is national Rail Safety Week, and Brunswick police will be participating to educate residents to keep them safe.

Brunswick Police Cmdr. Tom Garrepy said his department will be reaching out through social media to kick off the week and then will participate in Operation Clear Track on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Brunswick and Amtrak police will be at crossings where they will address rail safety issues — for example, making sure vehicles know where to stop and when it is safe to proceed at train crossings.

Some officers on bicycles may patrol the tracks looking for trespassers, campsites and anything else in unsafe proximity to the railroad.

In his 20 years with the police department, Garrepy said the town has had maybe two collisions involving trains, and none were serious, he said. However, the town is seeing more train activity now than in the past.

“Our ultimate goal is to prevent fatalities whether in vehicles or of pedestrians through education and enforcement,” he said.

An Amtrak train can be traveling up to 55 miles per hour, covering 80 feet per second. New rails can make it hard to hear the train coming. If you’re on the track, don’t hear the train approaching and it takes you 20 seconds to get off the track, “it may be too late,” Garrepy said.

Garrepy also hopes to get on a train sometime next week to talk to passengers about rail safety. Police may also be doing some education in the schools through the school resource officers. The department is covering the cost, because they feel it is important.

“If it saves one life, it’s all worth it,” he said.

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