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Railroad overview

A major rail center, Ohio has the fifth highest rail traffic in the country. This traffic must coexist with more than seven million licensed drivers and 11 million registered motor vehicles.

Since 1991, a partnership between the PUCO, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), and the Operation Lifesaver Program has improved grade crossing engineering, public awareness and traffic law enforcement in order to lower the number of highway-rail incidents.

The PUCO is constantly looking for additional initiatives to enhance highway-rail grade crossing safety. For example, the PUCO and the ORDC work with local communities to eliminate duplicate crossings throughout the state. In this way, we can help to reduce Ohio’s losses from grade crossing crashes even further. The following summarizes some important functions performed by the PUCO regarding railroad safety in Ohio:

  • Annually conduct safety inspections of railroad bridges, railroad crossings, track and railroad cars throughout the state.
  • Administer programs for improving the safety of railroad crossings (flashing lights, roadway gate, etc.) at more than 90 crossings annually, costing nearly $10 million in federal and state funds.

The Ohio Rail Hotline, maintained jointly by the PUCO, the ORDC, and the Ohio Department of Transportation, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource answering all their railroad crossing questions. Ohioans calling the Ohio Rail Hotline may obtain information and ask questions regarding a specific railroad crossing, funding for railroad crossing safety devices, railroad development opportunities, rail corridor improvements and the closure of grade crossings.