The Railroad Department:
- Monitors the operations of twenty-four Oklahoma railroads for compliance with state railroad crossing safety regulations for more than 3,475 public, at-grade crossings in the state. This includes ensuring that the railroads maintain their crossings and clear the sight triangle of rank weeds, noxious plants, thickets, trees, debris, trash or other obstructions.
- Conducts routine reviews of public at-grade crossings for safety compliance and investigates public complaints.
- Investigates and makes recommendations concerning railroad crossing openings, closings, and crossing signal upgrades.
- Mediates between the public and the railroad industry in areas encompassing the state regulation of rail safety and enforcement of the Railroad Rules through the Corporation Commission’s Administrative process.
- Ensures that the railroads construct, maintain and replace as needed, fences that separate the railroad right-of-way from the private property of landowners raising livestock, either for commercial or private purposes.
Blocked Railroad Crossing Enforcement
“The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ruled that Title 66 O.S. §190, the Oklahoma blocked crossing statute, is preempted by federal law and is therefore null and void. The Court has enjoined (prevented) the Oklahoma Corporation Commission from enforcing Title 66 O.S. 190. As a result, the Commission is unable to process any complaints filed under that statute.
If you encounter a public crossing that is blocked by a non-moving train for a period of more than 20 minutes, or if there is an emergency, call the toll-free emergency number displayed on the blue Emergency Notification Sign (ENS) posted at the crossing. The ENS sign also displays the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) railroad crossing number. If you can read that number, provide it to the railroad when you call.
Here are some on-line examples of railroad signs.
You may also report blocked crossings to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) using their online Blocked Crossing Incident Report Form.”
If you own property adjacent to a railroad track and have livestock on the property, please see OAC Rule 165:32-1-10 for criteria to obtain a lawful fence. You must first notify the appropriate railroad of the need for a lawful fence before applying with the Commission for assistance. The Application for Lawful Fence is available on this site.
Railroad crossing rules can be found in Chapter 32 of the Commission’s Rules.
Final Report of the Oklahoma Railroad Grade Crossing Safety Task Force
More information is available in the final report of the Oklahoma Railroad Grade Crossing Safety Task Force (1998). The task force was charged with reviewing and developing recommendations for improving highway rail crossing safety.