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Keeping Communities Safe: Rail Safety Week


The number of people killed or injured in railway crossing or trespassing accidents is too high. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has reported 34 fatalities in 2019 alone, and 120 recorded rail incidents spanning British Columbia to New Brunswick. 

Each year, our team at NBM Railways partners with Operation Lifesaver and local schools to educate our communities about rail safety, leveraging the latest statistics and industry knowledge to stop track tragedies. With over 500 miles of track across Southern New Brunswick and Maine, we encourage people to be safe and vigilant when approaching train tracks. 

  • Respect lowered gates and flashing lights at crossings – it’s illegal to drive around them and doing so puts you at risk. 
  • Never race a train to get across the track.
  • Don’t believe your eyes. Many experience an optical illusion while watching a locomotive approach. The train is closer and moving faster than you think!
  • Pay special attention when crossing more than one set of tracks. Trains could be coming from either direction. 


“We're working hard to ensure people to stay off the tracks, adhere to signs and signals, and stay alert.  We live and work here and want to ensure our neighbours are safe,” says Ian Simpson, General Manager of NBM Railways. “We have a strong relationship with Operation Lifesaver, and through them, with other major railways across Canada. I speak for the entire industry in saying we care deeply about the safety of our communities and the environments in which we operate.” 

In addition to public education, the railway also partners with local schools through both Operation Lifesaver and the PALS Program, conducting classroom visits, demonstrations and providing train rides to students. 

“Whether we’re working with adults, or youth, it’s rewarding to take our safety message to the public and know we’re doing good work,” says Lorrie Johnston, Senior Health and Safety Administrator with NBM Railways. “Almost all rail incidents are preventable, yet it’s shocking how much work has to be done to raise awareness.”



“It’s important [for us] to engage with the community,” says Johnston, “We can’t be the only solution to rail safety, but we can and should be part of it.” For more information on rail safety, visit:

Leading by Example

Across its three divisions – NB Southern Railway, Eastern Maine Railway and Maine Northern Railway – NBM Railways employs over 300 people. Its workforce is vastly diverse, comprising rail, maintenance and mechanical crews; train crews; planners, and office staff.

“It's our responsibility to work with the community so we can all be safe,” says Rob Eagar, Director of Health and Safety at NBM Railways. “Ultimately, safe choices start from within. Our top priority is ensuring that our employees make it home safely at the end of the day. It's who we are." 

For more on NBM Railways, visit