Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Rail Safety

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

See our latest video on rail crossing safety and help us spread the word: your life is worth the wait! Don't get impatient. Stand back at the crossing and wait until the gates, lights or bells are deactivated and you receive the green light or walk signal.

Feel free to download and print these crossing safety posters and tips:

Acting as an agent for the Federal Railroad Administration, or FRA, we inspect track, railroad equipment and cars, hazardous materials, signals and train control, crossing and trespasser outreach and operating practices.​  

Learn more about the five rail safety disciplines and the work of our inspectors at the FRA Safety website.
Questions? Contact our Rail Compliance Inspector at 503-383-6611.

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 Crossing Safety Regulations
See our Railroad-Highway Crossing Rules Summary for OAR Chapter 741, Division 100-200 and ORS Chapters 267 and 824. The full rule text is available on our Rail Safety and Compliance Rules web page. 
Learn more about the process to request a new crossing, modify an existing crossing or close a crossing.
Questions? Email the CCD Rail Crossing Unit or call 541-250-6788.

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 673 and 49 CFR 674. Learn more at the State Safety Oversight Program website.

Questions? Contact our Rail Regulatory Program Branch Manager at 503-476-6863.

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.
  • Regulate minimum clearance and walkway standards along railroad tracks.
  • Required signage, water quality standards and first aid kits on locomotives and cabooses.
See our ODOT Railroad Employee Safety Book for a summary of Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 741, Divisions 300 through 335. For full rule text, see Rail Safety and Compliance Rules.
Contact our Employee Safety Specialists
South of Salem — 503-551-0488
North of Salem — 503-475-7840

​​On December 1, 2016, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) received a letter from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), specifying that the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Section 11401, requires the FRA to issue regulations requiring states to develop a State Grade Crossing Action Plan. The letter was ODOT Rail and Public Transit Division's (RPTD) notification of the requirement to develop a State Grade Crossing Action Plan.

A partnership effort between the RPTD and the Transportation Development Division, Planning Unit, has been initiated to help develop the State Grade Crossing Action Plan. The State Grade Crossing Action Plan is intended to identify how Oregon is to assess rail crossing incident locations, identify, prioritize and develop strategies to address rail crossing safety issues and provide a framework to identify locations for improvements.
Questions? Contact our Rail Regulatory Program Branch Manager at 503-476-6863.

Contact Us

Oregon Department of Transportation
Commerce and Compliance Division
Rail Regulatory Programs Branch
455 Airport Road SE, Building A
Salem, OR 97301

Rail Regulatory Program Branch Manager 503-476-6863

Hours of Operation (Pacific Time)
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday