Pedestrian and driver safety around railroad tracks and driver behavior at grade crossings — where rail tracks and roads intersect — are a top safety concern for freight railroads.
With more than 200,000 grade crossings in the U.S., railroads work daily with state, local and federal officials and the public to help prevent accidents and injuries on the tracks.
States, not railroads, are responsible for evaluating grade crossing risks and prioritizing grade crossings for improvement. The state highway authority decides to install warning devices at public grade crossings —not railroads. The Federal Highway Administration approves this decision.
However, railroads invest heavily in grade crossing safety, spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to maintain crossings and many millions more on programs and initiatives related to grade crossing safety. With a nearly 140,000-mile network that runs through towns and cities of all sizes, railroads also work closely with local communities to eliminate risky behavior near railroad tracks.