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Rail Safety

The rail safety inspection program is directed toward the enforcement of state and federal rail safety standards for track, locomotives, freight cars, signal and train controls, operating practices of employees, and the transportation of hazardous materials.

The rail safety program is conducted in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration.

Rail Safety and Security Program

TxDOT rail safety inspectors conduct safety inspections of railroad facilities and equipment. They also monitor compliance with both state and federally-mandated safety regulations in the areas of hazardous materials, operating practices, motive power and equipment, signal and train control, and track.

Texas is currently participating in the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Rail State Safety Participation Program under 49 CFR Part 212 which allows states to enter into an agreement with FRA for the delegation of specified authority. This includes investigative and surveillance authority regarding all or any part of Federal railroad safety laws.

State Safety Oversight

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) created the State Safety Oversight (SSO) Program to improve rail transit safety and security.

Rail Fixed-Guideway Systems (RFGS) affected by this program include any light, heavy, or rapid rail system, monorail, inclined plane, funicular, trolley or automated guideway operating within the state's jurisdiction that:

  • is not regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration
  • is included in FTA's calculation of fixed-guideway route miles or receives funding under FTA's formula program for urbanized areas (49 U.S.C. 5336) or
  • has submitted documentation to FTA indicating its intent to be included in FTA's calculation of fixed-guideway route miles to receive funding under FTA's formula program for urbanized areas (49 U.S.C. 5336)

Detailed information about the program can be found in the State Safety and Security Oversight Program Standard.

Rail Transit Agencies

There are currently two RFGS's subject to the provisions of the SSO program:

Name Address
Dallas Area Rapid Transit 1401 Pacific Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202
Metropolitan Transit Authority
of Harris County
1900 Main St.,
Houston, TX 77208