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Railroad Police Urge Caution During Festival 

Tens of thousands of people are expected on the Bangor waterfront this weekend, for the American Folk Festival.Safety is, of course, a big concern.Railroad police are trying to get the word out that trains will be operating along the waterfront during the festivities.And as Amy Erickson tells us, that means festival-goers need to stay alert.<"any time is train time. Always expect a train. You just never know when a train is coming. Nobody knows except the railroad."Fred Hirsch hopes all American Folk Festival goers will bear that advice in mind this weekend as they enjoy themselves on the waterfront.Hirsch is the state coordinator for "operation Lifesaver," which educates the public about railroad safety.He joined Railroad Police Sergeant Tim Falvey Thursday, to advise folks to pay close attention while walking near the railroad crossings in the midst of the Folk Festival attractions.Trains will be running through the area all weekend."when you hear the train, most of the kids like to run up to the crossing as quickly as they can. Our best advice is to stay back 40 or 50 feet and enjoy it that way.""even though it's going as slow as 10 miles per hour, it's unable to stop quickly, so bear that in mind. Some kids see it coming and like to go for a little ride. But it can do just as much damage at 10 miles per hour as it will at 50."Hirsch says one of the biggest problems during the Festival is folks trying to put items on the tracks...coins are a big problem..."everything from a piece of wood to a coin to a rock...those things can shoot out and hit somebody, especially if you have a large crowd around."Falvey says the tracks can be especially dangerous to those who've had too much to drink...since they aren't as alert as they'd normally be. "we had one incident a few years ago where a girl had too much to drink and actually started walking into the train as it was going through the crossing. Luckily, we were able to pull her out of the way. But keep in mind there may be people around you who've had too much to drink and may not be as aware as you and I might be."Falvey's best advice?Stay back...and stay alert.Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>