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Rail Safety Programs

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 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 or call 503-986-4094. 
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 Naomi Zwerdling​, Crossing Safety Manager or call 503-986-3885​.
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 Lynda Horst, Rail Transit Compliance or call 971-600-7178.
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 John Johnson, Rail Safety Manager or call 503-586-8758.
​​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 John Johnson, Rail Safety Manager or call 503-586-8758.

 

Contact Us

Oregon Department of Transportation
Commerce and Compliance Division
Rail Safety Section 
3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem OR 97302-1166

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

Resources

Rail Safety and Compliance Rules
Rail Forms and Publications
State Rail System Maps
Whistle Noise and Crossing Blockages


 

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