Did you know walking on railroad tracks can be illegal? The Tuscaloosa Police Department, University of Alabama Police Department and Norfolk Southern Railway Police are teaming up and making sure residents are informed and safe.

Many pedestrians don’t know they’re doing something wrong by walking along train tracks or crossing them in undesignated areas.

According to the Norfolk Southern Railway Police, there were eight trespassing incidents in Alabama in 2016. Five of those ended in fatalities. Nationwide, there were 923 incidents. Of those, 480 ended in fatalities.


Officers like Hugh McCormack spend time at railroad crossings today handing out safety literature for drivers near and pedestrians crossing the tracks.

“The common citizen really doesn’t understand how quickly a train can move and how long it takes to stop,” he said. “They can’t get out of the way as easy as they think they can.”

Droves of University of Alabama students who live off campus cross the tracks on foot while they’re getting to class and heading home.

UA student Carter Tomlinson, who was driving, said it’s important that students know the law and pay attention.

A 20-year-old woman visiting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was killed Jan. 10 after she tried beating an oncoming train.

Norfolk Southern Police ask that trespassing reports be made by calling 800-453-2530.


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