Maintaining Railroad Crossings

Under Federal Railroad Administration guidelines, the railroad is responsible for certain monthly and annual inspections and the general maintenance of active warning devices. By state law, unless otherwise agreed upon, the cost of active warning device maintenance is split 50/50 between the railroad and the agency with jurisdiction over the road.

Any highway traffic signals that may be connected to the railroad warning system are the responsibility of the road agency, along with passive warning signs (not mounted on active warning devices) and pavement markings. When replacing a sign at a crossing, road authorities should transfer any USDOT national inventory identification tag to the new post.
 


When replacing a sign at a crossing, road authorities should transfer any USDOT national inventory identification tag to the new post.


Rail Safety monitors the warning device inventories and reviews the physical conditions of public at-grade crossings approximately every two years. Rail Safety never tests automatic warning devices to assure they are functioning properly - that is the responsibility of the railroad and/or road authority, based on the type of device.


Annual Maintenance Costs to Road Authorities

Type of Device Single Track   Multiple Tracks    
Flashing signals $1271 $1269
Flashing signals & gates $1978 $2257
Flashing signals w/ cantilevers $1481 $1375
Flashing signals w/ cantilevers & gates    $2389 $2398

1993 PA 354: Railroad Code of 1993, as amended   
   

 

 


Maintaining Crossing Surfaces
Crossing surface conditions should be comparable to the condition of the adjacent roadway. Safety concerns regarding crossing surfaces can be addressed through the DSTR process. MDOT provides limited funding for grade-crossing surface work on state and local roadways.

 

  • Railroads are responsible for maintaining surfaces from the middle of the rails to one foot beyond the end of the ties. Road authorities are responsible for the remainder.
  • Most crossing surfaces should extend to the curb lines or two feet beyond each shoulder.
  • Crossings should not be raised more than one inch without mutual agreement between the railroad and road authority.