Amtrak is America's Railroad — and as the transportation link that ties more than 500 hometowns together, we strive to be a neighbor, a partner and a member of the communities we serve and in which our employees work. Every day, across our system, more than 300 trains bring people to and from their destinations. Wherever an Amtrak train stops, there's a station, and where there's a station, there's a community — and that's someplace we're proud to serve. Through a variety of programs, Amtrak provides support to communities and its employees as they champion for railroad safety and for the advancement of passenger rail travel.
Operation Lifesaver is a nationwide railroad advocacy organization that promotes safety messaging through volunteer support. Approximately 100 Amtrak employee volunteers serve as OLAVs conducting Operation Lifesaver safety presentations at work sites, schools, churches as well as local fairs, cultural events and train related activities.
Several Amtrak Emergency Management and Corporate Security department regional managers are also OLAVs and include Operation Lifesaver messaging during their regular Passenger Train Emergency Response training (PTER) training to Police, Fire and Medical emergency personnel.
Amtrak Police routinely conduct positive enforcement activities to promote railroad safety at many grade crossings. During these operations, Amtrak Police Officers speak to motorists and distribute safety information to remind drivers to pay attention to the warning devices.
Many of those same police officers are also Operation Lifesaver authorized volunteers and give Operation Lifesaver presentations and speak about law enforcement at middle schools, high schools and driver's education classes. These officers also give presentations to civic organizations, teacher groups as well as at town hall meetings and other civic events.
Amtrak Police Department Community Resource Officers support Law Enforcement Career Exploring by hosting groups of cadets in New York City and Philadelphia. Law Enforcement Exploring is a hands-on program open to young men and women who have completed the 6th grade through 20 years old, interested in a career in law enforcement or a related field in the criminal justice system.
Amtrak Operations Safety started a program that contacts private driving schools and private truck driving schools nationwide to request that they include our grade crossing safety video "Cheating Death" as part of their school curriculum.
With the help of RCD1 employees, more than 3,000 videos have been distributed to nearly 1,000 schools offering regular drivers licenses and commercial (CDL) licenses. Driving schools continue to be contacted and the American Automobile Association (AAA) has agreed to include the video in its schools within three states.
Since 2014, Amtrak has partnered with Voices of Hope, a group consisting of 501c-3 organizations (legitimate charity/health groups) in the New York Capital region. The NY State DOT approved-program, offers a buy one-get one free discount for any person (adult or child) that is traveling anywhere in New York State for the purpose of receiving treatments for a life threatening illness. Visit the Voices of Hope website and register with one of the participating agencies. You'll then be automatically directed to Amtrak.com to book a reservation and receive the discount.
Municipalities, counties and state DOTs or highway authorities may order Trailblazer Signage kits from Amtrak at no cost. Each kit includes a Trailblazer sign with the Amtrak logo, directional arrow and hardware for mounting to a standard u-channel post, informing residents and visitors to the local Amtrak station. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) green station symbol panel is also available. Communities must provide the posts, oversee installation and provide Amtrak with a list of installation sites. Trailblazer Signage meets FHWA requirements for reflectivity.
Municipalities, counties and state DOTs or highway authorities may order community signage from Amtrak at no cost. It is designed to alert people to the fact that your town or city is one of more than 500 Amtrak-served communities in 46 states; therefore, it features the Amtrak logo and the phrase "An Amtrak-Served Community." The signage meets Federal Highway Administration requirements for reflectivity and comes with mounting hardware for a standard u-channel post.
Get information on Amtrak signage programs at www.GreatAmericanStations.com.
Railroad stations still figure prominently into journeys by train, as they are where travelers begin and end their trips, often creating first and last impressions, and serve as community gateways. Many communities have discovered that volunteers are a wonderful way to represent their cities, staff their train stations and provide travelers with a warm welcome and have organized a station host volunteer program. Some programs are coordinated at the city level while others address the needs of multiple communities along the same Amtrak route. A knowledgeable and informed volunteer can answer travelers' questions about the train and local attractions, assist people on and off the train, and foster a warm and engaging atmosphere within the station and for the city.
Many communities have even expanded the role of the station by incorporating a visitor's center, recreation facility or cultural event space to generate extra income and are supported by a station host volunteer program. Communities interested in creating a station host volunteer program should first reach out to their regional Amtrak Government Affairs contact to discuss next steps, including coordination with station and track owners. The safety of volunteers and passengers on and around railroad property is paramount.
Get information at www.GreatAmericanStations.com/StationHostVolunteerPrograms.