Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Rail Safety

Report a Railroad Problem

Railroad Emergencies

Picture of blue and white railroad Emergency Notification System sign
Emergency Notification System signs like these are posted at
highway-rail grade crossings to provide the public with critical
emergency contact information.

In the event of a railroad emergency (such as a vehicle stalled on the railroad tracks, a railroad crossing signal malfunction, other obstruction or track damage), the appropriate railroad should be contacted as soon as possible.

  • Locate the blue and white Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign at the nearest grade crossing.
  • Call for help! Call the railroad’s emergency contact number on the blue ENS sign.
  • Communicate your location by providing the seven-character USDOT crossing identifier and the nature of the emergency to the dispatcher.
  • Call 911 if you need emergency police/fire/medical assistance or are unaware of your location.

Blocked Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings

Report a blocked railroad crossing

Trains are not to block public roads or streets in Minnesota longer than 10 minutes. See Minnesota Statutes 219.383 subd. 3. This statute does not apply to cities of the first class (Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester and St. Paul) who may enact their own ordinances regulating street obstructions.

Blocked crossings should be reported to the railroads at the contact number listed on the blue and white Emergency Notification System sign at the crossing, as train dispatchers may be able to resolve the problem. Provide the dispatcher with the USDOT crossing identifier located on the sign.

The local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the crossing area may also be notified about non-compliance with the blocked crossing statute or ordinance.

Other Railroad Issues

Submit an inquiry on other railroad issues