News and Notices
MnDOT to field public complaints and concerns about railroads
MnDOT will begin fielding public complaints about railroads and rail safety. The agency’s Ombudsman office will work with rail officials in the agency to determine where public concerns should be referred and what education may be necessary to those expressing a concern. It will also develop methods to track complaints and monitor trends.
New rail safety rules now in effect
Laws designed to improve the safety of Minnesotans who live and work near railways carrying crude oil and other hazardous materials went into effect July 1. Learn more.
MnDOT, Minnesota Operation Lifesaver team up to reduce highway-rail grade crossing fatalities
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota Operation Lifesaver continue their efforts to reduce train-related crashes and fatalities in the state during June, which Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Rail Crossing Safety Awareness Month. Learn more.
Quiet zones: Have you heard?
A quiet zone is a railroad corridor section(s) where train crews do not routinely sound the horn at highway crossings. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) oversees the requirements to establish Quiet Zones; in Minnesota, local governments are responsible for all costs associated with these zones.
A railroad segment may qualify for an FRA Quiet Zone designation if supplemental or alternative crossing improvements are made to mitigate safety by the lost train horn. Improvements may be crossing closures, one-way conversions, quad gates, medians and signs and pavement markings. Learn more.
New USDOT emergency actions designed to keep oil shipments safe
All railroads that operate trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil — approximately 35 tank cars — are now required to notify State Emergency Response Commissions about these trains operating through the state, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Notifications must include estimated volumes of Bakken crude oil being transported, frequencies of anticipated train traffic and the route through which Bakken crude oil will be transported. Click here to view the Emergency Order, or here for the Safety Advisory.
Need to conduct work on MnDOT right-of-way?
If you are a railroad, contractor, or other group needing to work on or over the limits of a trunk highway, it's important to contact MnDOT before starting this work. Here's who to contact in each district.