Is it illegal to walk on train tracks

Walking On Train Tracks

What is a train track, are train tracks the same as railroads? Can you walk on train tracks? These are questions mostly asked by people who are keenly interested in knowing much about the railway industry.

Luckily, we shall be answering all the questions and other frequently asked questions about the railway in today’s article. So, let’s get started without wasting more time.


What Is Railway?Is it illegal to walk on train tracks

Railways or train tracks are structurally constructed pathways for trains. They consist of switch, fastening system, fish plate and fish bolt, and sleeper.

They are commissioned by the government as part of their quest to provide a smooth and working transportation sector across the country.

Is it illegal to walk on train tracks

Can humans walk on train tracks that are meant for smooth and effective transportation? No. Walking on train tracks is prohibited, and you would be punished if found on them.

As much as it is Illegal to walk on train tracks, the only exception is if you are found at the level crossing spot. In this case, you won’t be charged for any wrongdoing.

What Is level crossing? A level crossing is a spot where a railway track intersects the road meant for cars, passengers, and pedestrians. Level Crossing is also known as Railway crossing, railroad crossing, or train crossing.

Being on the path near a level crossing spot isn’t illegal; however, it isn’t advisable to explore such roads if there are alternative routes.

Is it legal to walk next to railroad tracks?

Just as walking on railroad tracks, it is illegal to walk next to the train tracks. American and Canadian policymakers considered railway tracks as private properties thereby prohibiting the public from staying on/close to them.

Is it safe to walk on train tracks

Apart from its illegality, walking on train tracks is highly risky. Trains explore both to-and-fro directions, thereby making it very dangerous for pedestrians, vehicle drivers, etc.

Trains aren’t built like cars or busses that stop once the brake is applied; They require a few minutes to halt their speed. Hence, accidents are seemingly unavoidable should you cross the railway tracks when the train is close to you.

Is it true that if you are on the railroad track, you can’t hear a train coming?

The answer is yes and no, depending on your action and behavior. You can hear a train coming while walking on the railroad if you are cautious and attentive.

A train horn has a very high sound intensity, and you can hear it from a very long distance if you are not carried away by something else.

However, it can be very difficult to hear a train coming in your direction if your attention is divided. Wearing earbuds or headphones can equally prevent you from hearing a train coming no matter how loud and hard it horns.

Knowing the risk and danger attached to walking on train tracks, you are expected to be cautious to know if a train is heading in your direction.

Will I be arrested if I walk on train tracks?

As a result of the high railway trespassing fatalities recorded in previous years, the U.S. Federal Railway Administration came up with a law to prevent vehicle owners and passengers from walking on train tracks.

They ensured every offender is arrested and fined for their inability to obey rules and regulations. Hence, police and railway staffs are readily available to arrest anyone engaged in prohibited activities.

You might equally be jailed should you fail to pay the fine within the stipulated period.

What is the fine for walking on railroad tracks

As mentioned above, you will be fined for trespassing on train tracks either as a vehicle driver or pedestrian. Each state has a unique statement for every offender.

For instance, a first-time offender in Virginia will pay close to $250 in court while you are to pay $2500 if caught on multiple occasions.

In the state, you might be sentenced to a one-year jail term if you keep breaking the railway track trespassing code.

In some American states, trespassing on railroad tracks attracts a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000. This is because the offense it is seen as a misdemeanor, except it leads to death or massive damage to government properties.

Do train tracks have cameras?

Yes. Train tracks across America feature surveillance cameras as part of FSA’s desire to monitor everything happening in the railway sector.

The wireless security cameras function effectively in a location where there is no access to electricity as they are powered by solar.

The cloud-based cameras ensure that images and recordings are transferred to cloud servers via the cellular data network.

This means the Railway staff can view live feeds at any time. With the cameras, the concerned agencies or officers can easily detect vehicles crossing the train tracks.

Apart from the United States, other European countries also have surveillance cameras across all train tracks.

What are the reasons for installing cameras on railways?

The reasons for installing cameras on railways are discussed below:

• To spot and identify offenders: Here is inarguably the greatest reason why cameras are installed on train tracks. The railway staff can easily identify anyone walking on train tracks with the help of effective cameras.

To Prevent Theft: Knowing that everything is recorded, thieves will surely reduce their level of operation to avoid being caught.

• To prevent vandalism and terrorism: Cameras allow operators to keep close tabs on the railway tracks and passengers, thereby preventing perpetrators’ free hand to carry out their evil acts.

Do train tracks carry electricity?

Some train tracks carry electricity while others don’t as there are diesel-powered trains and electric-powered trains.

The Diesel-powered trains don’t need tracks that carry electricity to function because their locomotive strength is derived from energy generated from combustion.

Electric-powered trains, on the other hand, work effectively on tracks that carry electricity as they derive their moving power through overhead lines or a conductor rail which boasts over 25,000 volts.

Can subway tracks electrocute you?

Though electric-powered trains are faster, more efficient, and cost-effective than their diesel-powered counterparts, it’s unfortunate that passengers could be electrocuted on their tracks.

Subway is an electric-powered train that travels on a track that supplies at least 625 volts via the overhead line, which is also known as the third rail.

Subway’s ventilation system is equally controlled by electric power, meaning the train is completely designed to function with electricity alone.

According to network rail’s report, over 60 people were electrocuted in the past 10 years. This simply means there are very high chances of being electrocuted on electric railroads, including Subway’s track.

You will be electrocuted immediately you contact the 3rd rail which provides current (volt) that moves the electric train. Ensure you don’t go close to the third rail or the overhead line except you are a trained staff.

How dangerous is it to walk on train tracks?

Walking on train tracks is very dangerous as you can be electrocuted in the case of electric railroads. Aside from being electrocuted, you might be hit by a speedy train or being arrested by the authorities.

Why you shouldn’t walk on train tracks?

You shouldn’t walk on train tracks because it’s risky. Walking on train tracks jeopardizes your safety as you can be hit by a speedy train. In the same vein, walking on train tracks is illegal and could land you in jail if caught.

What happens if you step on train tracks?

Death is seemingly inevitable for anyone who steps on electric train tracks. The overhead line will electrocute you if you touch it.

Though stepping on other types of train tracks doesn’t lead to instant death, you would be arrested and charged to court if caught by the authorities.

What parts of train tracks are dangerous

The ‘third rail’ is inarguably the most dangerous part of train tracks as it is constantly electrified. Also known as, overhead line, it supplies the volts needed to move the train. Touching the third rail might lead to instant death or fatal injury because you are prone to electric shock.

According to a BBC report in 2010, over 50 people died after stepping on the electrified part of the train tracks.

It was revealed that the victims got “stuck” to the rail immediately after they touched it. Though the emergency service got to the scene, they couldn’t save them because power must be off before anything else.


No need to walk on train tracks. Train tracks aren’t the best background for images, they aren’t photoshoot studios;

they aren’t designed for hangouts or dinner nights. Stay off all train tracks to avoid being sanctioned for not complying with the rules and regulations.


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