Illinois Compiled Statutes
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625 ILCS 5/18c-7401
(625 ILCS 5/18c-7401)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7401)
Safety requirements for track, facilities, and
(1) General Requirements. Each rail carrier shall, consistent with rules,
orders, and regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration, construct,
maintain, and operate all of its equipment, track, and other property in this
State in such a manner as to pose no undue risk to its employees or the person
or property of any member of the public.
(2) Adoption of Federal Standards. The track safety standards and
accident/incident standards promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration
shall be safety standards of the Commission. The Commission may, in addition,
adopt by reference in its regulations other federal railroad safety standards,
whether contained in federal statutes or in regulations adopted pursuant to
(3) Railroad Crossings. No public road, highway, or street shall hereafter
be constructed across the track of any rail carrier at grade, nor shall the
track of any rail carrier be constructed across a public road, highway or
street at grade, without having first secured the permission of the Commission;
provided, that this Section shall not apply to the replacement of lawfully
existing roads, highways, and tracks.
No public pedestrian bridge or subway shall be constructed across the track
of any rail carrier without having first secured the permission of the
The Commission shall have the right to
refuse its permission or to grant it upon such terms and conditions as it may
The Commission shall have power to determine and prescribe the
manner, including the particular point of crossing, and the terms of
installation, operation, maintenance, use, and protection of each such crossing.
The Commission shall also have power, after a hearing, to
require major alteration of or to abolish any crossing,
heretofore or hereafter established, when in its opinion, the
public safety requires such alteration or abolition, and,
except in cities, villages, and incorporated towns of
1,000,000 or more inhabitants, to vacate and close that part
of the highway on such crossing altered or abolished and
cause barricades to be erected across such highway in such
manner as to prevent the use of such crossing as a highway,
when, in the opinion of the Commission, the public
convenience served by the crossing in question is not such as
to justify the further retention thereof; or to require a
separation of grades, at railroad-highway grade crossings; or to
separation of grades at any proposed crossing where a
proposed public highway may cross the tracks of any rail
carrier or carriers; and to prescribe, after a hearing of the parties,
the terms upon which such separations shall be made and the
proportion in which the expense of the alteration or
abolition of such crossings or the separation of such grades, having regard
to the benefits, if any, accruing to the rail carrier or any party in
shall be divided between the rail carrier or carriers affected, or
between such carrier or carriers and the State, county, municipality
or other public authority in interest.
However, a public hearing by the Commission to abolish a crossing shall not
when the public highway authority in interest vacates the highway. In such
the rail carrier, following notification to the Commission and the highway
authority, shall remove any grade crossing warning devices and the grade
The Commission shall also have power by its order to require
the reconstruction, minor alteration, minor relocation, or
improvement of any crossing (including the necessary highway
approaches thereto) of any railroad across any highway or
public road, pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway, whether such crossing
be at grade
or by overhead
structure or by subway, whenever the Commission finds after a
hearing or without a hearing as otherwise provided in this
paragraph that such reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or
improvement is necessary to preserve or promote the safety or
convenience of the public or of the employees or passengers
of such rail carrier or carriers. By its original order or
supplemental orders in such case, the Commission may direct such
reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement to be
made in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may
be reasonable and necessary
and may apportion the cost of
such reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement
and the subsequent maintenance thereof, having regard to the benefits, if
to the railroad or any party in interest,
between the rail
carrier or carriers and public utilities affected, or between such
carrier or carriers and public utilities and the State, county,
municipality or other public authority in interest. The cost
to be so apportioned shall include the cost of changes or
alterations in the equipment of public utilities affected as
well as the cost of the relocation, diversion or
establishment of any public highway, made necessary by such
reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement of said
crossing. A hearing shall not be required in those instances
when the Commission enters an order confirming a written
stipulation in which the Commission, the public highway
authority or other public authority in interest, the rail carrier or
affected, and in
instances involving the use of the Grade Crossing Protection
Fund, the Illinois Department of Transportation, agree on the
reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement and
the subsequent maintenance thereof and the division of costs
of such changes of any grade crossing (including the
necessary highway approaches thereto) of any railroad across
any highway, pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway.
The Commission shall also have power to enter into stipulated agreements with a rail carrier or rail carriers or public authorities to fund, provide, install, and maintain safety treatments to deter trespassing on railroad property in accordance with paragraph (1) of Section 18c-7503 at locations approved by such rail carrier or rail carriers following a diagnostic evaluation between the Commission and the rail carrier or rail carriers, including any public authority in interest or the Federal Railroad Administration, and to order the allocation of the cost of those treatments and their installation and maintenance from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund. Safety treatments approved under this paragraph by the Commission shall be deemed adequate and appropriate.
Every rail carrier operating in the State of Illinois shall
construct and maintain every highway crossing over its tracks
within the State so that the roadway at the intersection
shall be as flush with the rails as superelevated curves will
allow, and, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, shall
construct and maintain the approaches thereto at a grade of
not more than 5% within the right of way for a distance of
not less the 6 feet on each side of the centerline of such
tracks; provided, that the grades at the approaches may be
maintained in excess of 5% only when authorized by the
Every rail carrier operating within this State shall remove
from its right of way at all railroad-highway grade crossings within the
State, such brush, shrubbery, and trees as is reasonably
practical for a distance of not less than 500 feet in either
direction from each grade crossing.
The Commission shall have power, upon its own motion, or upon
complaint, and after having made proper investigation, to
require the installation of adequate and appropriate luminous
reflective warning signs, luminous flashing
gates illuminated at night, or other protective devices
order to promote and safeguard the health and safety of the
Luminous flashing signal or crossing gate
devices installed at grade crossings, which have been approved
by the Commission, shall be deemed adequate and appropriate.
The Commission shall have authority to determine the number,
type, and location of such signs, signals, gates, or other
protective devices which, however, shall conform as near as
may be with generally recognized national standards, and the
Commission shall have authority to prescribe the division of
the cost of the installation and subsequent maintenance of
such signs, signals, gates, or other protective
devices between the rail carrier or carriers, the public highway
authority or other public authority in
interest, and in instances involving the use of the Grade
Crossing Protection Fund, the Illinois Department of
Except where train crews provide flagging of the crossing to road users, yield signs shall be installed at all highway intersections with every grade crossing in this State that is not equipped with automatic warning devices, such as luminous flashing signals or crossing gate devices. A stop sign may be used in lieu of the yield sign when an engineering study conducted in cooperation with the highway authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation has determined that a stop sign is warranted. If the Commission has ordered the installation of luminous flashing signal or
crossing gate devices at a grade crossing not equipped with active warning devices, the Commission shall order the
installation of temporary stop signs at the highway intersection with the grade
crossing unless an engineering study has determined that a stop sign is not appropriate. If a stop sign is not appropriate, the Commission may order the installation of other appropriate supplemental signing as determined by an engineering study. The temporary signs shall remain in place until the luminous
flashing signal or crossing gate devices have been installed.
The rail carrier is responsible for the installation and subsequent
maintenance of any required signs.
The permanent signs shall be in place by July 1, 2011.
No railroad may change or modify the warning device system at a
railroad-highway grade crossing, including warning systems interconnected with
highway traffic control signals, without having first received the approval of
the Commission. The Commission shall have the further power, upon application,
upon its own motion, or upon
complaint and after having made proper investigation, to require
the interconnection of grade crossing warning devices with traffic control
signals at highway intersections located at or near railroad crossings within
the distances described by the State Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
adopted pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code. In addition, State and local
authorities may not install, remove, modernize, or otherwise modify traffic
control signals at a highway intersection that is interconnected or proposed to
be interconnected with grade crossing warning devices when the change affects
the number, type, or location of traffic control devices on the track approach
leg or legs of the intersection or the timing of the railroad preemption
sequence of operation until the Commission has approved the installation,
removal, modernization, or modification.
Commission approval shall be limited to consideration of
issues directly affecting the public safety at the railroad-highway grade
crossing. The electrical circuit devices, alternate warning devices, and
preemption sequences shall conform as nearly as possible, considering the
particular characteristics of the crossing and
intersection area, to the State manual adopted by the Illinois Department of
Transportation pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code and such federal
standards as are made applicable by subsection (2) of this Section. In order
to carry out this authority, the Commission shall have the authority to
determine the number, type, and location of traffic control devices on the
track approach leg or legs of the intersection and the timing of the railroad
preemption sequence of operation.
The Commission shall prescribe the division of costs for installation and
maintenance of all devices required by this paragraph between the railroad or
railroads and the highway authority in interest and in instances involving the
use of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund or a State highway, the Illinois
Department of Transportation.
Any person who unlawfully or maliciously removes, throws
down, damages or defaces any sign, signal, gate, or other
protective device, located at or near any public grade
crossing, shall be guilty of a petty offense and fined not
less than $50 nor more than $200 for each offense. In
addition to fines levied under the provisions of this
Section a person adjudged guilty hereunder may also be
directed to make restitution for the costs of repair or
replacement, or both, necessitated by his misconduct.
It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to enhance public safety
by establishing safe grade crossings. In order to implement this policy, the
Illinois Commerce Commission is directed to conduct public hearings and to
adopt specific criteria by July 1, 1994, that shall be adhered to by the
Illinois Commerce Commission in determining if a grade crossing should be
opened or abolished. The following factors shall be considered by the
Illinois Commerce Commission in developing the specific criteria for opening
and abolishing grade crossings:
(a) timetable speed of passenger trains;
(b) distance to an alternate crossing;
(c) accident history for the last 5 years;
(d) number of vehicular traffic and posted speed
(e) number of freight trains and their timetable
(f) the type of warning device present at the grade
(g) alignments of the roadway and railroad, and the
angle of intersection of those alignments;
(h) use of the grade crossing by trucks carrying
hazardous materials, vehicles carrying passengers for hire, and school buses; and
(i) use of the grade crossing by emergency vehicles.
The Illinois Commerce Commission, upon petition to open or abolish a grade
crossing, shall enter an order opening or abolishing the crossing if it meets
the specific criteria adopted by the Commission.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (3), in no instance shall
a grade crossing be permanently closed
without public hearing first being held and notice of such
hearing being published in an area newspaper of local general
(4) Freight Trains; Radio Communications.
The Commission shall after hearing and order require that
every main line railroad freight train operating on main
tracks outside of yard limits within this State shall be
equipped with a radio communication system. The Commission
after notice and hearing may grant exemptions from the
requirements of this Section as to secondary and branch
(5) Railroad Bridges and Trestles; Walkway and Handrail.
In cases in which the Commission finds the same to be
practical and necessary for safety of railroad employees,
bridges and trestles, over and upon which railroad trains are
operated, shall include as a part thereof, a safe and
suitable walkway and handrail on one side only of such bridge
or trestle, and such handrail shall be located at the outer
edge of the walkway and shall provide a clearance of not less
than 8 feet, 6 inches, from the center line of the nearest
track, measured at right angles thereto.
(6) Packages Containing Articles for First Aid to Injured on Trains.
(a) All rail carriers shall provide a first aid kit
that contains, at a minimum, those articles prescribed by the Commission, on each train or engine, for first aid to persons who may be injured in the course of the operation of such trains.
(b) A vehicle, excluding a taxi cab used in an
emergency situation, operated by a contract carrier transporting railroad employees in the course of their employment shall be equipped with a readily available first aid kit that contains, as a minimum, the same articles that are required on each train or engine.
(7) Abandoned Bridges, Crossings, and Other Rail Plant.
The Commission shall have authority, after notice and hearing, to order:
(a) the removal of any abandoned railroad tracks from
roads, streets or other thoroughfares in this State; and
(b) the removal of abandoned overhead railroad
structures crossing highways, waterways, or railroads.
The Commission may equitably apportion the cost of such
actions between the rail carrier or carriers, public utilities, and
the State, county, municipality, township, road district, or
other public authority in interest.
(8) Railroad-Highway Bridge Clearance. A vertical clearance of not less
than 23 feet
above the top of rail shall be provided for all new or reconstructed highway
bridges constructed over a railroad track. The Commission may permit a lesser
clearance if it determines
that the 23-foot clearance standard cannot be justified based on
engineering, operational, and economic conditions.
(9) Right of Access To Railroad Property.
(a) A community antenna television company franchised
by a municipality or county pursuant to the Illinois Municipal Code or the Counties Code, respectively, shall not enter upon any real estate or rights-of-way in the possession or control of a railroad subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission unless the community antenna television company first complies with the applicable provisions of subparagraph (f) of Section 11-42-11.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code or subparagraph (f) of Section 5-1096 of the Counties Code.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the
contrary, this subsection (9) applies to all entries of railroad rights-of-way involving a railroad subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission by a community antenna television company and shall govern in the event of any conflict with any other provision of law.
(c) This subsection (9) applies to any entry upon any
real estate or right-of-way in the possession or control of a railroad subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission for the purpose of or in connection with the construction, or installation of a community antenna television company's system or facilities commenced or renewed on or after August 22, 2017 (the effective date of Public Act 100-251).
(d) Nothing in Public Act 100-251 shall be construed
to prevent a railroad from negotiating other terms and conditions or the resolution of any dispute in relation to an entry upon or right of access as set forth in this subsection (9).
(e) For purposes of this subsection (9):
"Broadband service", "cable operator", and "holder"
have the meanings given to those terms under Section 21-201 of the Public Utilities Act.
"Community antenna television company" includes, in
the case of real estate or rights-of-way in possession of or in control of a railroad, a holder, cable operator, or broadband service provider.
(f) Beginning on August 22, 2017 (the effective date
of Public Act 100-251), the Transportation Division of the Illinois Commerce Commission shall include in its annual Crossing Safety Improvement Program report a brief description of the number of cases decided by the Illinois Commerce Commission and the number of cases that remain pending before the Illinois Commerce Commission under this subsection (9) for the period covered by the report.
(Source: P.A. 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 102-16, eff. 6-17-21.)