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Ask A Cop: Can dogs be walked along railroad tracks?

PECORARO(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers’ questions every week in this space. Send your questions to staff reporter Cliff Newell at cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com or call 503-636-1281 ext. 105)

Is it okay to walk my dog on or along the railroad tracks?


No. Not only is it unsafe, it is also illegal.

Criminal Trespass I is a Class A Misdemeanor. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 164.255 states: (c) Enters or remains unlawfully upon railroad yards, tracks, bridges or rights of way.

There is also a requirement under Chapter 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 214 — Railroad Workplace Safety — that requires all persons who remain within a 25-foot distance from the center of a track to be trained and obtain proper authority from the train dispatcher, regardless of the right-of-way boundary. Additional safety information can be obtained through the national program Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (www.oli.org).

Public safety is one of Portland & Western Railroad’s biggest concerns, and they will prosecute trespassers. The railroad continually seeks police assistance in enforcing this issue.

Please, use caution, only cross at a designated crossing and stay off the tracks!

— Officer Dawn Pecoraro


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