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Safety and Northstar
Northstar Commuter Rail has taken many steps to ensure passenger safety and comfort. In addition, the Northstar Corridor Development Authority, Metro Transit and other Northstar Project partners are working to develop additional safety measures and emergency procedures in time for Northstar service in late 2009. Check back here for more information in the coming months.
Below are answers to some key safety questions you may have about riding the Northstar Line.
How do Northstar stations provide safe waiting areas that are sheltered from the elements?
- Covered, glass-enclosed, warming shelters with on-demand heat will be located on all station platforms. Simply push a button for on-demand heat.
- Metro Transit Police and local police will monitor and patrol station locations.
How will Northstar make trains safe to ride?
- High-quality lighting will illuminate train cars.
- Emergency exits will be well marked.
- All Northstar trains must meet strict federal and state safety regulations, and will undergo extensive testing before Northstar service begins in late 2009. Once service begins, trains will undergo regular safety inspections.
- Each Northstar passenger car will be equipped with an emergency calling system to contact the engineer about on-board emergencies.
What safety features will be located in the park and ride lots at Northstar stations?
- High-quality lighting will illuminate all parking lots.
- Metro Transit Police and/or local police will patrol station park and ride lots.
- Additional safety measures are being developed.
Will I be alerted when my train is approaching?
- Signals, signs and train whistles will help warn you of an approaching train, but never assume you know when a train is approaching from either direction.
- Be aware that Northstar Commuter Rail trains can operate in both directions, sometimes with a passenger car on the front end. Just because you see a passenger car and no locomotive engine does not mean the train is moving away from you.
Will Northstar service be accessible for disabled riders?
- Northstar Commuter Rail is fully ADA compliant.
- All station platforms will be wheelchair accessible with gradual ramps at each end of the platform.
- All trains will be wheelchair accessible. All train doors will be level with the station platforms for easy boarding.
- The train doors will not close until everyone on the platform has had time to board the train safely.
- Special areas are designated for elderly customers and those with disabilities.
Will trains traveling on BNSF Railway tracks follow a designated schedule?
- Expect trains at all times on the BNSF Railway train tracks used by Northstar trains. While Northstar trains will travel on a specific schedule, freight trains may travel at any time — day or night — along the tracks.
Will Northstar service ever experience weather delays or cancellations?
- While Northstar Commuter Rail will provide very reliable travel, Northstar trains may experience occasional delays or cancellations.
- Procedures are being developed to notify passengers of emergencies, delays or cancellations of service for any reason. Watch here for more information in the coming months.