Growing up in Princeton, Indiana, the sound of trains rumbling through the town are something you kind of get used to. Well, most people do anyway. I developed a solid fear of not breaking railroad track laws at a very early age.

princeton train depot
princeton train depot

Train Safety 101

My aunt Lisa (Bless her heart) helped me develop my fear of railroad tracks by pretending to get me stuck on them while we walked to her house. I was convinced that my shoes would get stuck in the tracks, and I wouldn't be able to move. I'm even skittish on the tracks that go through the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World Resort Reopening
Walt Disney World Resort via Getty

Operation Lifesaver

I remember the Operation Lifesaver presentation that we had in elementary school. They did show some scary footage, and went over the rules of the railroad. I knew that you should never walk the tracks, try to beat a train or play around the train cars. Those all seem like pretty logical rules, but a lot of people just don't think about being safe around the tracks. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, we had way too many train accidents in Gibson County. One of my best friends lost her brother because he tried to beat a train. It's just not worth it.

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Princeton Train Depot Video October 4, 2022 7:30AM

This video is less than one minute long, and shows just how many people in vehicles DRIVE AROUND the cross arms. If that doesn't make you sick, keep watching to see a small passenger car narrowly miss the train.

princeton train depot
princeton train depot

You will also see the older woman that is walking her bike across the tracks. I've seen social media comments that suggest this is a regular walking route for her. I really hope that this was just a one-time instance of her not hearing or seeing the train. If you listen with the sound on, you can hear the train's whistle.

What Have We Learned?

  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly.
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and dangerous
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules 

CROSSING TRACKS ON A BICYCLE REQUIRES CAUTION AND EXTRA ATTENTION! Narrow wheels can get caught between the rails. If possible, walk - don't ride - across. Always cross at a 90-degree angle.

IF YOU SEE A TRAIN COMING, WAIT! Flashing lights or a lowering gate means a train is approaching. Do not proceed until the gates go completely up and the lights go off. It is illegal to go around lowered gates, whether on a bike, on foot or in a vehicle.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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