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For Winona Wednesday, we’ll have rail crossing safety information along with a tasty treat and other goodies, such as flying discs, at:

  • 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Kwik Trip at Sarnia and Huff streets
  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Winona State University outside east entrance to Kryzsko Commons
  • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Kwik Trip at Broadway and Mankato
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Outside west entrance to Winona Walmart.

The Rail Safety Week national focus today is grade crossing safety, so please share these tips with family, friends and neighbors:

Always expect a train: Trains can operate in either direction at any time of day or night.

Never try to beat a train: It’s never worth risking your life — and impacting the lives of others — to save a few minutes.

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Never go around lowered gates: If on foot, bicycle or skateboard, it isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail when the gates are lowered.

Never stop your vehicle on railroad tracks: Pay close attention to traffic in front of you so you do not proceed onto a grade crossing — only to have to stop on the tracks because the vehicle in front of you stops.

Put down the cell phone: It can take a mile or more for a train to come to a complete stop, so never text or talk on a cell phone when crossing tracks.

Music can be a deadly distraction: Turn music down or off — or remove earbuds — as you approach a grade crossing.

We also invite you to play “I spy” and locate the blue ENS (Emergency Notification System) signs posted at or near grade crossings. Along with the U.S. DOT identification number for the crossing, they list a telephone number to notify the railroad of an emergency (e.g., vehicle stuck on tracks) or to report a warning device malfunction.

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Sheryl Cummings of Minneapolis is state coordinator of Minnesota Operation Lifesaver. Jeanine Black of Winona is an Minnesota Operation Lifesaver authorized volunteer.

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