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Safety Programs

Rail Safety

The Oregon Department of Transportation Rail and Public Transit Division oversees Oregon rail operations to ensure the structural safety of railroad cars, equipment, track, crossings, and signals and to maintain a safe environment for railroad employees.  We also monitor the safety compliance of light rail, streetcar, and trolley service providers.

Acting as an agent for the Federal Railroad Administration, or FRA, we inspect track, railroad equipment and cars, hazardous materials and operating practices.  

Learn more about the five rail safety disciplines and the work of our inspectors at the FRA Safety website.
Questions? Contact John Johnson, Rail Safety Manager, at 503-986-4094 or

We have authority over Oregon's public highway-railroad grade crossings (where a railroad and a roadway cross at the same level).  Just like intersecting roads have stop signs or traffic signals, grade crossings have control devices such as warning signs, crossbucks, pavement markings, gates and flashing lights.

Grade crossings are regulated in Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 741, Division 100-200 and Oregon Revised Statutes Chapters 267 and 824. For rule text, see Rail Safety and Compliance Rules​.

Learn more about the process to request a new crossing, modify an existing crossing, or close a crossing:
Questions? Contact Richard Shankle, Crossing Safety Manager, at 503-986-4273 or

We oversee safety and security of transit agencies operating rail-fixed guideway systems, such as light rail, streetcars and trolleys.

These systems are regulated through the Federal Transit Administration's State Safety Oversight Program under 49 CFR 659 and 49 CFR 674. Learn more at the State Safety Oversight Program website.

Questions? Contact Lynda Horst, Rail Transit Compliance, at 503-986-4096 or

We work to ensure a safe work environment for railroad employees performing track-side duties.

Our Employee Safety Compliance Specialists perform on-site inspections of all railroads and rail facilities in Oregon. We regulate minimum clearance and walkway standards along railroad tracks, required signage, water quality standards and first aid kits on locomotives and cabooses.

These regulations are described in Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 741, Divisions 300 through 335. For rule text, see Rail Safety and Compliance Rules.
Questions? Contact Richard Shankle, Crossing Safety Manager, at 503-986-4273 or
Worker examining electrical components next to roadway

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