What should you do when there is an emergency at a railroad crossing?
“Call the 800 number on the blue emergency notification sign posted on the crossbuck or signal mast,” said Union Pacific Project Coordinator of Engineering, Industry and Public Projects Randall Schreck.
The sign displays two important numbers. The first is a phone number connecting callers directly to a railroad’s toll-free reporting service. The second is a Department of Transportation railroad crossing number used as a location identifier.
For Union Pacific crossings, callers are connected to Union Pacific's Response Management Communication Center (RMCC). The RMCC can be in immediate contact with train dispatch when necessary.
The 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act requires emergency notification signs and crossing inventory numbers at every at-grade railroad crossing.
Along with the emergency notification signs, all railroads are required to submit crossing inventory numbers to a National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory database. This information must be updated for each crossing at least once every three years. To date, Union Pacific's Industry and Public Projects team submitted over 2 million updates to the Federal Railroad Administration's national inventory database.
“It’s every everyone’s responsibility to promote railroad safety,” Schreck said. “Reminding friends and family to check the 800 number helps in this mission.”