Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

June 20, 2018

MnDOT urges motorists to use emergency notification system signs at railroad crossings

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists to use railroad emergency notification system signs when there is a safety issue or emergency situation at a rail grade crossing.

The blue and white signs are posted near the crossing on both sides of the road and should be clearly visible to the road user. The emergency notification system sign includes the railroad’s emergency contact number and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s national crossing number, which identifies the exact location of the crossing to the railroads.

“The seven number and letter crossing code and the railroad phone number are the only two things a motorist needs to know when reporting an issue,” said Jim Weatherhead, state rail program coordinator. “Motorists don’t need to know the name of the street or railroad.”

He said motorists can call the phone number listed on the sign to report emergency or dangerous situations such a signal malfunction, if someone or something is on the tracks or if the crossing is blocked for more than 10 minutes.

“The railroad can dispatch their own people or law enforcement. There might be times the railroad isn’t aware that a signal is malfunctioning or that an emergency or dangerous situation exists, so calling the number on the blue and white sign is the quickest way to contact the railroad or to reach emergency responders,” Weatherhead said.

The Federal Railroad Administration requires each railroad to have emergency notification system signs at all public crossings.

For more information, go to the Federal Railroad Administration’s website at fra.dot.gov.

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