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Amtrak unveils Operation Lifesaver locomotive

By | January 12, 2022

P42DC wears special paint scheme to mark organization’s 50th Anniversary

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Alt text yellow and black locomotive on tracks near station
Alt text yellow and black locomotive on tracks near station
Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver, and Federal Railroad Administration held a ceremony today at Washington Union Station to unveil the new 50th Anniversary Operation Lifesaver Locomotive. Amtrak P42 #203 was selected for the honor and was designed by Blair Slaughter and his team at Amtrak. The locomotive was painted at Beech Grove shops and will be appearing this year on various Amtrak trains as an important rolling safety billboard. (Jeff Schultz)

WASHINGTON – Amtrak today unveiled a specially painted P42DC to mark the 50th Anniversary of Operation Lifesaver. P4DC No. 203, repainted with the message, “See Tracks? Think Train!” was released into service today during a ceremony at Washington Union Station. The black-and-yellow locomotive commemorates the 50th anniversary of Operation Lifesaver, the nonprofit organization dedicated to providing nationwide railroad safety education and awareness.

Operation Lifesaver was founded in 1972 with the goal to reduce railroad-related collisions, deaths, and injuries across the United States, utilizing the “3 Es” – education, engineering, and enforcement. “See Tracks? Think Train!” is one of several major campaigns the organization conducts to c

Man at podium in front of yellow and black locomotive parked at station platform
Amtrak President Stephen Gardner addresses crowd today at the unveiling of Amtrak’s new Operation Lifesaver 50th Anniversary locomotive. The locomotive was painted at Beech Grove shops and will work different Amtrak trains across the country. (Michael S. Murray)

onnect with the public to increase visibility and awareness around railroads.

Operation Lifesaver has programs in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Trained volunteers provide free safety presentations to law enforcement, first responders, school-aged children, school bus operators, truck drivers, student drivers, and others.

“Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver have been partners for many years with the goal of educating the community on the importance of avoiding high-risk behavior on or near railroad crossings and tracks,” Amtrak President Stephen Gardner said in a news release. “We are proud to celebrate Operation Lifesaver in reaching a critical milestone.”

“Over the past five decades, Operation Lifesaver and its safety partners have helped reduce railroad-crossing incidents by 84%, from 12,000 in 1972, the year Operation Lifesaver started, to 1,900 in 2020. But there is still work to be done. Every 3 hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train,” OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh says.

Amtrak 203, constructed in October 2001 by General Electric, was repainted in Operation Lifesaver’s rail-safety scheme at Amtrak’s shop in Beech Grove, Ind. The locomotive will remain in revenue service throughout Amtrak’s national network.

8 thoughts on “Amtrak unveils Operation Lifesaver locomotive

  1. It’s the standard advance warning RXR sign. Now, anyone want to start a pool on when this thing is involved in a grade crossing or trespasser incident?

  2. Produced by GE Transportation, the strong and reliable diesel-electric old lads -P42DCs- are used primarily on most of Amtrak’s long-haul and higher-speed rail service outside the Northeast and lower Empire Corridors.
    They will be replaced on long-distance service by the recent Siemens ALC-42 Charger locomotives between 2021 and 2024 but will remain in service on corridor trains.

    Thanks to the meaningful “Operation Lifesaver” (the largest rail safety organization in the United States) awareness activities, Amtrak’s historic and legendary P42DC family has become hugely popular one more time!

    Regarding “Amtrak P42 #203”, roll treasured black & yellow giant friend roll on the national network!

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  3. Nice looking engine glad it’s a paint scheme and not a lousy ad wrap. Although I wish they added the Slogan “I pack a punch” to the side of the unit as well. The P42s are better then the unreliable Chargers that are slowly coming out.

  4. I hope they spent the money to give it a complete mechanical overhaul at the same time of painting so it stays in service for a long while.

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