Living Near Railroad Tracks

​Can the state or city require a railroad to stop blowing the train whistle in my area?

No. The Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) rules, 49 C.F.R. 222 and 49 C.F.R. 229​, require the railroad to sound the train whistle as a warning to highway users at public highway rail-crossings. Local municipalities have an opportunity to cease the train whistle either partially or fully by establishing a federally regulated "quiet zone". For more information, please visit the FRA web site or call the FRA at ​1-872-242-6964 (Canadian Pacific or Canadian National), 1-800-724-5995 (BNSF), or 1-800-724-5996 (Union Pacific).​

Can the state or city require a railroad to operate at a certain speed or during certain times?

No. The Federal Railroad Administration's regulations preempt any state or local restrictions on train movements (Section 20106 of Title 49, United States Code.) 

Can pedestrians walk on or along the tracks?

No. Railroads are privately owned property. People who access railroad property without permission are violating the law and could be issued a citation. Trespassing along railroad right-of-way is highly dangerous and the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. B​y the time a locomotive engineer sees a trespasser or vehicle on the tracks it's too late. It can take a mile or more to stop a train.

Cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing.​

Where can I get a copy of railroad train schedules?​

Freight trains do not operate on schedules. ​Always expect a train. Railroads operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.​ The number of trains per day is available in the Federal Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory​, Report 8.08.