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First Published - 04/05/2021 - 5:27PM

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Last Updated - 04/05/2021 - 5:30PM

Contest Rules

Participant Eligibility:

  • Both the poster and essay contests are open to all students in grades K-12 attending schools or residing in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.
  • Entries must be the student’s own work.
  • Student may submit one entry each to the poster contest and/or one entry each to the essay contest.

Poster Entry Criteria:

Participants are asked to illustrate why it is important to  “Obey the Signs" when near the railroad tracks.

Each entry must be:

  • Submitted at a size no smaller than 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches and no larger than 12” x 18”.
  • Submitted via the contest email address: or standard U.S. mail to: Sylvia Ortiz-Cooper, Metra Safety Poster Contest 547 W. Jackson Blvd. - Suite 1400 Chicago, Illinois 60661
  • Files no larger than 2 megabytes in size if submitted electronically.
  • Submitted with a Metra Safety Contest entry form attached.
  • The participant's original work.

Please note: 

All work must be the creation of a single student. A single entry created by a group of students  will not be accepted.

Entries using photography and/or trademarked or copyrighted characters will be disqualified.

Please note that all winning entries will be scanned and converted to electronic images. Therefore, Metra cannot accept three-dimensional artwork. We also advise that entrants refrain from folding their artwork for mailing.

Essay Entry Criteria:

Participants are asked to explain in 300 words or less why it is important to "Obey the Signs” when near trains and railroad tracks.

Each entry must:

Please note: 

Essays containing fictionalized information will be disqualified.

Judging Criteria:

Winning entries will be selected on the basis of:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Fulfillment of contest guidelines
  • Expression of the contest theme, "Obey the Signs."

Winner Notification:

Winners will be notified by the end of May 2020 so be sure to provide contact information including school and home addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.



For the poster contest, first place, second place and third place winner will be selected from each participating grade level, K-12.

  • First place winners will receive an iPad.
  • Second place winners will receive a $250 Gift Card.
  • Third place winners will receive a $100 Gift Card.

Winning entries will be printed as next year's weekend tickets and featured in the Metra Safety Calendar.


One winner will be selected from each of the following groups, Elementary School (grades K-4), Middle School (grades 5-8) and High School (grades 9-12). The winner of each group will receive an iPad.

Winning entries will be featured on the Metra Contest website and in the 2021 Safety Calendar.


All entries must be received electronically or postmarked by Jan. 31, 2020

Entries can be submitted via email address or via standard U.S. mail to:  Sylvia Ortiz-Cooper, Metra Safety Poster Contest 547 W. Jackson Blvd. - Suite 1400 Chicago, Illinois 60661


Please contact Metra at or at (312) 322-6776, if you have any questions.

Entry Form for Mail Submissions


Please contact Metra at or at (312) 322-6776, if you have any questions regarding participation and contest rules.

Metra is not responsible for lost or incomplete entries. Metra cannot return completed entries submitted as part of the contest. Once submitted, Metra becomes the owner of all essays and related materials.

By submitting materials for Metra's 2019-2020 Safety Poster and Essay Contest, you are agreeing that all participants have parental consent to submit materials to Metra. Additionally, you are giving Metra permission to use the name, hometown and school of each participant. Pictures of winners also may be taken for and used in Metra promotional activities related to the essay contest.

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