Final rule requires railroads to post emergency numbers at rail crossings

Washington – Railroads will be required to install Emergency Notification Systems with signs displaying toll-free emergency phone numbers at highway-rail grade and pathway rail crossings, according to a Federal Railroad Administration final rule (.pdf file) published June 12.

The public can call the number to report unsafe rail conditions such as malfunctioning warning signals or stalled vehicles. The number will connect with 24-hour call centers or an automated answering system depending on the size of the railroad, the final rule states.

The final rule is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 13. Railroads without signs have until September 2015 to install them.

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