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Crossing Treatment Procedures

State Laws and Regulations

  • 2702. Construction, relocation, suspension and abolition of crossings

(a) General rule.–No public utility, engaged in the transportation of passengers or property, shall, without prior order of the commission, construct its facilities across the facilities of any other such public utility or across any highway at grade or above or below grade, or at the same or different levels; and no highway, without like order, shall be so constructed across the facilities of any such public utility, and, without like order, no such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed shall be altered, relocated, suspended or abolished.

(b) Acquisition of property and regulation of crossing.–The commission is hereby vested with exclusive power to appropriate property for any such crossing, except as to such property as has been or may hereafter be condemned by the Department of Transportation for projects financed entirely by the Commonwealth and for Federal Aid Projects under section 1004 of the act of June 1, 1945 (P.L. 1242, No. 428),1 known as the “State Highway Law,” in which case the provisions of that statute shall be in effect, and to determine and prescribe, by regulation or order, the points at which, and the manner in which, such crossing may be constructed, altered, relocated, suspended or abolished, and the manner and conditions in or under which such crossings shall be maintained, operated, and protected to effectuate the prevention of accidents and the promotion of the safety of the public. The commission shall require every railroad the right-of-way of which crosses a public highway at grade to cut or otherwise control the growth of brush and weeds upon property owned by the railroad within 200 feet of such crossing on both sides and in both directions so as to insure proper visibility by motorists.

(c) Mandatory relocation, alteration, suspension or abolition.–Upon its own motion or upon complaint, the commission shall have exclusive power after hearing, upon notice to all parties in interest, including the owners of adjacent property, to order any such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed to be relocated or altered, or to be suspended or abolished upon such reasonable terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the commission. In determining the plans and specifications for any such crossing, the commission may lay out, establish, and open such new highways as, in its opinion, may be necessary to connect such crossing with any existing highway, or make such crossing more available to public use; and may abandon or vacate such highways or portions of highways as, in the opinion of the commission, may be rendered unnecessary for public use by the construction, relocation, or abandonment of any of such crossings. The commission may order the work of construction, relocation, alteration, protection, suspension or abolition of any crossing aforesaid to be performed in whole or in part by any public utility or municipal corporation concerned or by the Commonwealth or an established nonprofit organization with a recreational or conservation purpose.

66 Pa. Code § 2702

  • 2111. Proceedings to vacate grade crossings

Wherever any railroad is or shall be crossed at grade by a public road, street, or highway, and the railroad company shall have constructed or shall construct, or there shall have been or shall be constructed by others, with such company’s consent, an undergrade subway or an overgrade bridge or crossing, sufficiently near said public crossing to reasonably accommodate the traveling public, the court of quarter sessions of the county in which the said crossing exists, upon petition of said railroad company or other persons, may, if satisfied that said undergrade subway or overgrade bridge or crossing reasonably accommodates the traveling public, after notice to any corporation using or occupying or authorized to use or occupy the street, proposed to be vacated, with tracks, wires, pipes or conduits, and, by rule to show cause, to the supervisors if the said crossing is in a township, or to the burgess or mayor if said crossing is in a borough or city, and after testimony, taken either in open court or by deposition, as the court may direct, order that said road, street, or highway where it crosses said railroad at grade, and its approaches on both sides, shall be vacated, and that the said undergrade crossing or subway or the overgrade bridge or crossing and its approaches on both sides, substituted therefor, shall be a public highway, and be maintained by the proper authorities; and any company which had rights in or upon the street so vacated shall have, and be permitted to exercise, the same rights upon said streets, highways, bridges, and subways so opened, and to connect the same with its system without obtaining further authority or consent.

36 Pa. Code § 2111

Blocked Crossings

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

  • 6907. Obstructing public crossings

It shall be a summary offense for any railroad to obstruct or block up the passage of any crossings of a highway, or obstruct such crossings, with its rolling stock. If any engineer, or any member of the train crew, or other agent of any such railroad, shall obstruct or block up such crossings, he shall be guilty of a summary offense.

18 Pa. Code § 6907

  • 6908. Obstructing private crossings

It shall be a summary offense for any railroad to continue to obstruct or block up the passage of any private crossing, wherever any private road or crossing-place may be necessary to enable the occupant or occupants of land or farms to pass over the railroad with livestock, wagons and implements of husbandry, after the railroad shall have received at least 15 minutes verbal notice to remove its rolling stock, or other obstructions from any such private road or crossing-place.

18 Pa. Code § 6908

Warning Devices-Passive

State Laws and Regulations

No applicable statute related to this topic.

Warning Devices- Train Borne

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

No applicable statute relating to this topic.

Warning Devices- Active

State Laws and Regulations

  • 33.21. General.

(a) A light shall be displayed on the head end of drafts of railroad cars being pushed or dropped over a public highway crossing, at grade, during hours of darkness, whether or not the tracks constitute a part of a railroad yard, except at times when such crossing is protected either by gates, watchmen, or train service employes.

(b) No carrier shall, without Commission approval, remove the protection afforded by interlocking signals, crossing gates, watchmen, automatic crossing signals, or any other protection against accidents, or reduce the number of hours that manual protection is maintained, or substitute or alter any existing form of protection at crossings, at grade, of the tracks of a carrier across a public highway, or the tracks of another carrier.

(c) Prior to installing automatic crossing signals at any unprotected crossing of a public highway, at grade, across its track or tracks, or at such a crossing, which is protected by fixed signs only, a carrier shall submit to the Commission plans of such proposed installation and receive approval of such plans.

(d) This section and §§ 33.21–33.23 and 33.31 (relating to State aid for protective devices; aid from the Commission; and regulation and procedure) may not prevent the placing of watchmen or gates at any public highway crossing, at grade, or an increase by a carrier of the number of hours, daily, during which any public highway crossing, at grade, shall be protected, nor prevent the temporary use of watchmen or increased protection during emergencies, nor limit the trial installation of experimental protection devices. However, the Commission shall be notified promptly of such experimental signal installations or temporary manual protection. Commission approval of such additional temporary or experimental protection will not be required nor will such approval be required for removal of such additional temporary or experimental protection.

52 Pa. Code § 33.21

  • 33.23. Aid from the Commission.

Commonwealth aid in connection with the use of funds allocated to the Commission for aid in the installation of protection at grade crossings will be made by order of the Commission appropriating funds for specified installations. Application for such aid shall be submitted to the Bureau for recommendation to the Commission.

52 Pa. Code § 33.23

  • 33.31. Regulations and procedure.

Each carrier shall comply with 66 Pa.C.S. § 2702 (relating to construction, relocation, suspension and abolition of crossings) and obtain Commission approval of the construction, alteration or relocation of every public highway and railroad crossing at grade, above grade or below grade, unless the Commission has given its prior unconditional consent to an abandonment of service or facilities of the line of railroad upon which such crossing or crossings are located.

52 Pa. Code § 33.31

Private Crossings

State Laws and Regulations

No applicable statute relating to this topic.

Vegetation Clearance

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

No applicable statute related to this topic.