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Sonoma County Gazette
SMART Train at Road crossing

SMART Train begins testing the Service Schedule systemwide

May 11, 2017


Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will begin testing its service schedule beginning this Friday as part of its next phase of systemwide testing. SMART’s service schedule testing involves running about 30 train trips per day on weekdays, and 10 on the weekends. Testing will continue for the next few weeks.

Safety is a top priority for SMART and as we move closer to the opening of passenger service, we encourage the public to be cautious near all railroad crossings and tracks. As jurisdictions begin establishingQuiet Zones, please be aware that you may not hear train horns at railroad crossings.

For your safety, please:

  • Don’t be distracted: Always be alert and aware around all railroad tracks and crossings.
  • Drivers should never stop on the railroad tracks, and never cross the tracks until you are sure you have enough room to make it safely through to the other side.
  • Do not walk on the railroad tracks. Walking on the tracks is unsafe, and illegal.

For more information on rail safety, visit the SMART safety web pageat:

In preparation for beginning service later this year, SMART has started systemwide testing along the initial 43-mile route, from the northern part of Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael. SMART’s testing includes running trains, operating railroad crossing gates at intersections and verifying that our train control and communications systems are accurate and working effectively.

RAIL CAR TESTING SMART is testing its fleet of rail cars to prepare for passenger service. The trains go through rigorous testing at various speeds to ensure that they are functioning safely and properly. For your safety, federal regulations require trains use their safety horns when approaching crossings and anytime train operators see a safety hazard on or near the railroad tracks. Train safety horns are part of the testing process. 

CROSSING GATE TESTING SMART is testing all of its crossing gates. That means bells will sound, lights will flash and the crossing gates will come down. Be alert at all railroad crossings, even when there are no trains visible. Crossing gates are being tested both with and without trains. For your safety, motorists should always be prepared to stop at crossing gates and must wait until the warning signals stop and the gates are raised completely before proceeding.

TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEMS TESTING Modern passenger trains are equipped with computerized signal systems that help crossing gates and trains function safely and efficiently. SMART is testing its train control and communications systems. Be aware of workers on or near railroad tracks and at railroad crossings. Thank you for your patience during SMART’s testing process. For more information about SMART please visit our website


• Never walk on railroad tracks. SMART operates an active railroad and walking on the tracks is illegal.

• Use designated railroad crossings only. Wait for the bells and flashing lights to stop and for the gate to rise completely before crossing railroad tracks.

• Be prepared to stop at railroad crossings. Slow down, look both ways and listen for warning signals.

• When driving, never stop on the tracks and never race a train.


In the event of a railroad emergency or if the railroad crossing gates are not working properly, please contactSMART’s Rail Operation Center:1-888-412-3330. This number can also be found on the blue Emergency Notification Signs located at all crossing gates.


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