The Idaho State Police (ISP) announced Friday a free train ride for 150 people to raise railroad safety awareness. The ride will be provided at no cost to ISP by Union Pacific Railroad in north Idaho. Tickets for the ride will be given out Tuesday on a first come, first served basis and will be available at ISP's north Idaho office, located at 650 Wilbur Ave. in Coeur d'Alene.
According to the announcement issued by the department Friday, more than 2,391 collisions took place between cars are trains in 2008. Those collisions resulted in 935 serious injuries to occupants, and 286 fatalities. Additionally in the same year 878 pedestrians were hit by trains, which left 453 people dead and 425 people injured.
The event is part of a statewide effort, known as Operation Lifesaver, which is an attempt to put an end to what the department calls "senseless collisions, injuries, and deaths at highway rail intersections.” The project enjoys a broad coalition of support, including law enforcement of all levels, cities, counties, and the railroad companies themselves.
The free rides are set to take place on June 22. Those with tickets should go to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on Greensferry Road, in between Hayden Avenue and Prairie Avenue, just north of Post Falls. Rides will last a little less than an hour, and the train will depart three times, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon. There are no age limits for this event. For more information on the rides or Operation Lifesaver, call 208-236-5626 or visit the project's website here.