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Teach Your Children Rail Safety: 10 Important Tips from CN Railway

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An image of a modular train with the "Canadian National Railway Company" Branding on its side.

As parents, we all want to ensure the safety of our children in every aspect of their lives. One area that requires special attention in our community is railway safety. Trains are an integral part of our transportation system, but they can also pose significant risks if proper precautions are not taken. In collaboration with CN Railway, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival brings you this educational blog post to equip parents with essential safety tips to teach your children about rail safety. By instilling these habits early on, we can help protect our children and prevent accidents. 

Let’s explore the top ten safety tips provided by CN Railway.

Speed Misperception

Trains may seem farther away and slower due to their size. Teach your children that this is an optical illusion and that trains can approach swiftly. Emphasise the importance of never underestimating the speed of an oncoming train.

Trains can’t stop QUICKLY

It’s crucial for children to understand that trains require a significant distance to come to a complete stop. Share with them that the average train needs at least 2 kilometres to stop, emphasising the need for caution and the importance of never attempting to outrun or cross the tracks when a train is approaching.


Help your children understand that trespassing on railway property is illegal and extremely dangerous. Teach them to always use designated crossings and avoid taking shortcuts across the tracks. Emphasise the potential consequences of trespassing, such as serious injury or even death.


Illustrate the vast difference in size and weight between a train and a car. Explain that when a train weighing over 5,500 tonnes hits a car, it crushes it like a pop can. This visual comparison will help children grasp the immense force and potential danger involved.


Teach your children that stopped railway cars can start moving at any time. Warn them about the dangers of climbing on or playing near stationary railway cars, as sudden movements could result in severe injuries or worse.


Help your children understand that tunnels, bridges, and trestles are specifically designed for trains and not for pedestrian use. Educate them about the risks of trespassing on these structures, as such actions can lead to life-threatening accidents.


Explain to your children that trains may carry loads wider than the railroad cars themselves. These loads may extend beyond the cars, posing a risk to those standing close by. Teach them to maintain a safe distance from trains and never touch or play near them.


Highlight the fact that trains do not always follow a fixed schedule. Trains can run on any track, in any direction and at any time. Teach your children to stay alert and cautious around railway tracks, regardless of the expected train schedule.


Empower your children by providing them with the CN Police emergency number, 1–800-465‑9239. Teach them to contact the authorities if they witness any unsafe situation near a railway. Reinforce the importance of reporting any potential danger to prevent accidents and save lives.


Encourage your children to take an active role in rail safety by visiting mysafetypledge.com. By taking the safety pledge, they commit to following the guidelines discussed above and promoting rail safety among their peers. This simple act can help create a culture of safety and awareness.

By teaching children these ten safety tips from CN Railway, we can empower our kids to make safe choices around railways. When it comes to railway safety, it’s never too early to start having the conversation with your family members! 

Visit CN Railway’s website to take their safety pledge, or for more information on train safety near you.