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Union Pacific safety train comes to Tyler!

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 6:59pm

Some East Texans got an exclusive ride from Union Pacific.

Passengers boarded at the Cotton Belt Depot museum.

East Texans were excited to board the safety train for a free ride from Tyler to Big Sandy.

The Union Pacific public safety team made a stop in Tyler to promote safety on the rail.

"We see kids playing around here. We see people taking pictures around here. You can't assume a train is not coming. It takes a train 5,000 feet to stop so if your on the rail and he wants to stop he can't," said President of Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society Paul Royal. 

KETK got an exclusive ride in the locomotive.

Engineer Zach Greenwood showed how dangerous it is for them to make emergency stops.

"We can derail, and can cause serious harm to ourselves and the public and the things around or the people around the crossing or the people who pulled out in front of us," said Greenwood.

The Union Public safety team travels around the state about once a year to raise awareness.

"Approach the crossings expecting a train might be there and don't cross until you know no train is approaching. Treat it like an intersection," said Steve Lazzari, manager of Public Safety for Union Pacific.

Lazzari said this also gives the community an opportunity to get a different perspective from the rails.

And for some passengers, this train ride took them back to their childhood.

"My daddy was with the railroad and we rode the train to visit our relatives," said Gail White.

"Its a step back in time," said John White.

And they were happy they could share this experience with their grandkids.

"My great great grandfather worked at the Cotton Belt Depot if anyone was in trouble he would save them," said passenger Katherine Ashworth.

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