The Railroad Crossing Improvement Program (RCIP) is a federally funded program. Its purpose is to provide funding for the implementation of safety improvements where a public roadway intersects active railroad tracks. There are currently over 1,800 public at-grade intersections and 94 separation structures eligible for this financial assistance statewide. Funds are made available for this program with a match ratio of 90/10, where the government agency that is responsible for the road/street/highway typically provides the required 10% match. Approximately $2.0 million is allocated to the program each year. Depending on the cost of the improvements 14 to 20 projects can be programmed each year in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
RCIP projects can include the installation or upgrading of active highway-rail grade crossing signal systems, the installation of signs and pavement markings, crossing approach improvements, visibility improvements, roadway geometry improvements, and grade crossing elimination/consolidation. 100% funding may be available for an improvement at another crossing when crossings are consolidated or when a railroad provides a cash incentive payment to the entity for a closure a match of up to $7,500 can be provided. The entity should enquire further about this portion of the program.
Railroad crossing improvement needs for consideration, prioritization and programming in the RCIP should be requested by the government entity responsible for the matching funds and directed to Lance at the information below.
Emergency Notification System (ENS)
To improve highway-rail crossing safety, the FRA now requires each railroad to have an Emergency Notification System (ENS), allowing emergency response center staff to identify crossing locations and railroad contacts for reporting safety problems and emergency situations.
- Look for a blue-and-white emergency notification sign.
- The ENS sign should be posted near the crossing and clearly visible. It includes the name of the railroad, the railroad’s emergency contact number, and the USDOT National Crossing Inventory Number.
- Using the information on the ENS sign is the quickest way to notify the railroad.
A USDOT National Crossing Inventory Number is a unique number that is assigned to each grade crossing and can be used to obtain
valuable information. ENS Flyer source: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0894