PECORARO(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers’ questions every week in this space. Send your questions to staff reporter Cliff Newell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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. (

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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