Actually, Size DOES Matter.

Yes, yes. We know what you are thinking! But when it comes to trains, size truly matters. And because their incredible size, your plans as Emergency Managers will have to reflect a train’s power and catastrophic magnitude. Let’s compare the vast size of trains, and why their size is so important.

Railroad Placards

Cargo trains are mighty and efficient, but their wrecks are nothing short of a nightmare.

Do you know what material the trains passing through your community are CARRYING? Your emergency response plans need to include trains. Did you know all locomotives carry between 2,500-5,000 gallons of diesel, 400-500 hot crude case oil, and 50-100 gallons battery acid? Not to mention the contents of each car.

For example, when full, a single train car may be holding over 30,000 gallons of possibly dangerous material. Multiply that by 120 cars. Most people would assume that an “empty” car is actually empty, when in reality it may still contain up to 150 gallons of HAZMAT material. Now imagine all of that crashing together at full speed. Seems like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? Well, when one of these massive train systems has a derailment or collision, the contents on the train can release toxic waste, cause a chemical reaction, and pose catastrophic danger to the local region.

Trains travel through all types of locations: rural, suburb, and well-populated city areas. With Clear Track Ahead’s custom GPS maps, Emergency Responders can be prepared. Each map has the railroad details you need, with precise locations, place names, and railroad mileposts, plus their relative location to community streets. This is especially important in desolate, hard to reach areas. We recommend that each county with railroads have a Clear Track Ahead map. Spread the word to your county neighbors, too. It is important for adjoining counties to also have these maps for their plans, because a rail catastrophe is often multi-jurisdictional.

PS. Wondering what’s inside that train that passes through your community? Stay tuned for our next article. We will explain about placards - the descriptive symbols labeling the contents within train cars.

Cargo Train by Highway

Clear Track Ahead is a mapping technology company that teams up with Emergency Managers to ensure that they have the GPS maps needed for their 911 Centers to locate the specific location of a rail emergency. For additional information on how to incorporate railroads into your county’s EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN, contact Clear Track Ahead at (910) 790-3511 or visit our website Let us give you a custom quote on this technology that can help save lives.

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