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Historic Union Pacific Train Helping Warn Of Rail Dangers

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A distinctive train from the past will be running for a second consecutive day in the Chicago area Wednesday, in a drive to make motorists and pedestrians more aware around railroad tracks and crossings.

The Armour Yellow Union Pacific streamliner looks right out of the 1950s, but it has a message that is very 21st century: “Stop, Look, Listen and Live.”

“Operation Lifesaver” is a railroad industry-sponsored program that urges people to stay out of harm’s way by taking off their headphones and earbuds when crossing tracks, and never going around downed gates or trespassing on railroad tracks as a shortcut.

A Northwestern University analysis found that, between 2004 and 2010, someone walked or drove in front of a Metra train on the average of once every 10 days. Most of the resulting deaths were accidental, not suicides.

The train gives those on board — including elected officials and first responders — an engineer’s eye view of what is up ahead. Video screens in each car will show a closed-circuit feed from a camera mounted aboard the lead engine.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said the train operated Tuesday on the Union Pacific North Line between Ogilvie Transportation Center, in the West Loop, and Kenosha, Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, it is scheduled to operate on the UP Northwest Line, between Chicago and far northwest suburban Harvard.