HB1573 EngrossedLRB097 07833 HEP 47947 b

1    AN ACT concerning transportation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing
5Section 18c-7401 as follows:
6    (625 ILCS 5/18c-7401)  (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7401)
7    Sec. 18c-7401. Safety Requirements for Track, Facilities,
8and Equipment.
9    (1) General Requirements. Each rail carrier shall,
10consistent with rules, orders, and regulations of the Federal
11Railroad Administration, construct, maintain, and operate all
12of its equipment, track, and other property in this State in
13such a manner as to pose no undue risk to its employees or the
14person or property of any member of the public.
15    (2) Adoption of Federal Standards. The track safety
16standards and accident/incident standards promulgated by the
17Federal Railroad Administration shall be safety standards of
18the Commission. The Commission may, in addition, adopt by
19reference in its regulations other federal railroad safety
20standards, whether contained in federal statutes or in
21regulations adopted pursuant to such statutes.
22    (3) Railroad Crossings. No public road, highway, or street
23shall hereafter be constructed across the track of any rail



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1carrier at grade, nor shall the track of any rail carrier be
2constructed across a public road, highway or street at grade,
3without having first secured the permission of the Commission;
4provided, that this Section shall not apply to the replacement
5of lawfully existing roads, highways and tracks. No public
6pedestrian bridge or subway shall be constructed across the
7track of any rail carrier without having first secured the
8permission of the Commission. The Commission shall have the
9right to refuse its permission or to grant it upon such terms
10and conditions as it may prescribe. The Commission shall have
11power to determine and prescribe the manner, including the
12particular point of crossing, and the terms of installation,
13operation, maintenance, use and protection of each such
15    The Commission shall also have power, after a hearing, to
16require major alteration of or to abolish any crossing,
17heretofore or hereafter established, when in its opinion, the
18public safety requires such alteration or abolition, and,
19except in cities, villages and incorporated towns of 1,000,000
20or more inhabitants, to vacate and close that part of the
21highway on such crossing altered or abolished and cause
22barricades to be erected across such highway in such manner as
23to prevent the use of such crossing as a highway, when, in the
24opinion of the Commission, the public convenience served by the
25crossing in question is not such as to justify the further
26retention thereof; or to require a separation of grades, at



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1railroad-highway grade crossings; or to require a separation of
2grades at any proposed crossing where a proposed public highway
3may cross the tracks of any rail carrier or carriers; and to
4prescribe, after a hearing of the parties, the terms upon which
5such separations shall be made and the proportion in which the
6expense of the alteration or abolition of such crossings or the
7separation of such grades, having regard to the benefits, if
8any, accruing to the rail carrier or any party in interest,
9shall be divided between the rail carrier or carriers affected,
10or between such carrier or carriers and the State, county,
11municipality or other public authority in interest. However, a
12public hearing by the Commission to abolish a crossing shall
13not be required when the public highway authority in interest
14vacates the highway. In such instance the rail carrier,
15following notification to the Commission and the highway
16authority, shall remove any grade crossing warning devices and
17the grade crossing surface.
18    The Commission shall also have power by its order to
19require the reconstruction, minor alteration, minor relocation
20or improvement of any crossing (including the necessary highway
21approaches thereto) of any railroad across any highway or
22public road, pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway, whether
23such crossing be at grade or by overhead structure or by
24subway, whenever the Commission finds after a hearing or
25without a hearing as otherwise provided in this paragraph that
26such reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement is



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1necessary to preserve or promote the safety or convenience of
2the public or of the employees or passengers of such rail
3carrier or carriers. By its original order or supplemental
4orders in such case, the Commission may direct such
5reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement to be
6made in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may
7be reasonable and necessary and may apportion the cost of such
8reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement and the
9subsequent maintenance thereof, having regard to the benefits,
10if any, accruing to the railroad or any party in interest,
11between the rail carrier or carriers and public utilities
12affected, or between such carrier or carriers and public
13utilities and the State, county, municipality or other public
14authority in interest. The cost to be so apportioned shall
15include the cost of changes or alterations in the equipment of
16public utilities affected as well as the cost of the
17relocation, diversion or establishment of any public highway,
18made necessary by such reconstruction, alteration, relocation
19or improvement of said crossing. A hearing shall not be
20required in those instances when the Commission enters an order
21confirming a written stipulation in which the Commission, the
22public highway authority or other public authority in interest,
23the rail carrier or carriers affected, and in instances
24involving the use of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, the
25Illinois Department of Transportation, agree on the
26reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement and the



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1subsequent maintenance thereof and the division of costs of
2such changes of any grade crossing (including the necessary
3highway approaches thereto) of any railroad across any highway,
4pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway.
5    Every rail carrier operating in the State of Illinois shall
6construct and maintain every highway crossing over its tracks
7within the State so that the roadway at the intersection shall
8be as flush with the rails as superelevated curves will allow,
9and, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, shall
10construct and maintain the approaches thereto at a grade of not
11more than 5% within the right of way for a distance of not less
12the 6 feet on each side of the centerline of such tracks;
13provided, that the grades at the approaches may be maintained
14in excess of 5% only when authorized by the Commission.
15    Every rail carrier operating within this State shall remove
16from its right of way at all railroad-highway grade crossings
17within the State, such brush, shrubbery, and trees as is
18reasonably practical for a distance of not less than 500 feet
19in either direction from each grade crossing. The Commission
20shall have power, upon its own motion, or upon complaint, and
21after having made proper investigation, to require the
22installation of adequate and appropriate luminous reflective
23warning signs, luminous flashing signals, crossing gates
24illuminated at night, or other protective devices in order to
25promote and safeguard the health and safety of the public.
26Luminous flashing signal or crossing gate devices installed at



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1grade crossings, which have been approved by the Commission,
2shall be deemed adequate and appropriate. The Commission shall
3have authority to determine the number, type, and location of
4such signs, signals, gates, or other protective devices which,
5however, shall conform as near as may be with generally
6recognized national standards, and the Commission shall have
7authority to prescribe the division of the cost of the
8installation and subsequent maintenance of such signs,
9signals, gates, or other protective devices between the rail
10carrier or carriers, the public highway authority or other
11public authority in interest, and in instances involving the
12use of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, the Illinois
13Department of Transportation. Except where train crews provide
14flagging of the crossing to road users, yield signs shall be
15installed at all highway intersections with every grade
16crossing in this State that is not equipped with automatic
17warning devices, such as luminous flashing signals or crossing
18gate devices. A stop sign may be used in lieu of the yield sign
19when an engineering study conducted in cooperation with the
20highway authority and the Illinois Department of
21Transportation has determined that a stop sign is warranted. If
22the Commission has ordered the installation of luminous
23flashing signal or crossing gate devices at a grade crossing
24not equipped with active warning devices, the Commission shall
25order the installation of temporary stop signs at the highway
26intersection with the grade crossing unless an engineering



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1study has determined that a stop sign is not appropriate. If a
2stop sign is not appropriate, the Commission may order the
3installation of other appropriate supplemental signing as
4determined by an engineering study. The temporary signs shall
5remain in place until the luminous flashing signal or crossing
6gate devices have been installed. The rail carrier is
7responsible for the installation and subsequent maintenance of
8any required signs. The permanent signs shall be in place by
9July 1, 2011.
10    No railroad may change or modify the warning device system
11at a railroad-highway grade crossing, including warning
12systems interconnected with highway traffic control signals,
13without having first received the approval of the Commission.
14The Commission shall have the further power, upon application,
15upon its own motion, or upon complaint and after having made
16proper investigation, to require the interconnection of grade
17crossing warning devices with traffic control signals at
18highway intersections located at or near railroad crossings
19within the distances described by the State Manual on Uniform
20Traffic Control Devices adopted pursuant to Section 11-301 of
21this Code. In addition, State and local authorities may not
22install, remove, modernize, or otherwise modify traffic
23control signals at a highway intersection that is
24interconnected or proposed to be interconnected with grade
25crossing warning devices when the change affects the number,
26type, or location of traffic control devices on the track



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1approach leg or legs of the intersection or the timing of the
2railroad preemption sequence of operation until the Commission
3has approved the installation, removal, modernization, or
4modification. Commission approval shall be limited to
5consideration of issues directly affecting the public safety at
6the railroad-highway grade crossing. The electrical circuit
7devices, alternate warning devices, and preemption sequences
8shall conform as nearly as possible, considering the particular
9characteristics of the crossing and intersection area, to the
10State manual adopted by the Illinois Department of
11Transportation pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code and such
12federal standards as are made applicable by subsection (2) of
13this Section. In order to carry out this authority, the
14Commission shall have the authority to determine the number,
15type, and location of traffic control devices on the track
16approach leg or legs of the intersection and the timing of the
17railroad preemption sequence of operation. The Commission
18shall prescribe the division of costs for installation and
19maintenance of all devices required by this paragraph between
20the railroad or railroads and the highway authority in interest
21and in instances involving the use of the Grade Crossing
22Protection Fund or a State highway, the Illinois Department of
24    Any person who unlawfully or maliciously removes, throws
25down, damages or defaces any sign, signal, gate or other
26protective device, located at or near any public grade



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1crossing, shall be guilty of a petty offense and fined not less
2than $50 nor more than $200 for each offense. In addition to
3fines levied under the provisions of this Section a person
4adjudged guilty hereunder may also be directed to make
5restitution for the costs of repair or replacement, or both,
6necessitated by his misconduct.
7    It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to enhance
8public safety by establishing safe grade crossings. In order to
9implement this policy, the Illinois Commerce Commission is
10directed to conduct public hearings and to adopt specific
11criteria by July 1, 1994, that shall be adhered to by the
12Illinois Commerce Commission in determining if a grade crossing
13should be opened or abolished. The following factors shall be
14considered by the Illinois Commerce Commission in developing
15the specific criteria for opening and abolishing grade
17        (a) timetable speed of passenger trains;
18        (b) distance to an alternate crossing;
19        (c) accident history for the last 5 years;
20        (d) number of vehicular traffic and posted speed
21    limits;
22        (e) number of freight trains and their timetable
23    speeds;
24        (f) the type of warning device present at the grade
25    crossing;
26        (g) alignments of the roadway and railroad, and the



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1    angle of intersection of those alignments;
2        (h) use of the grade crossing by trucks carrying
3    hazardous materials, vehicles carrying passengers for
4    hire, and school buses; and
5        (i) use of the grade crossing by emergency vehicles.
6    The Illinois Commerce Commission, upon petition to open or
7abolish a grade crossing, shall enter an order opening or
8abolishing the crossing if it meets the specific criteria
9adopted by the Commission.
10    Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (3), in no
11instance shall a grade crossing be permanently closed without
12public hearing first being held and notice of such hearing
13being published in an area newspaper of local general
15    (4) Freight Trains - Radio Communications. The Commission
16shall after hearing and order require that every main line
17railroad freight train operating on main tracks outside of yard
18limits within this State shall be equipped with a radio
19communication system. The Commission after notice and hearing
20may grant exemptions from the requirements of this Section as
21to secondary and branch lines.
22    (5) Railroad Bridges and Trestles - Walkway and Handrail.
23In cases in which the Commission finds the same to be practical
24and necessary for safety of railroad employees, bridges and
25trestles, over and upon which railroad trains are operated,
26shall include as a part thereof, a safe and suitable walkway



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1and handrail on one side only of such bridge or trestle, and
2such handrail shall be located at the outer edge of the walkway
3and shall provide a clearance of not less than 8 feet, 6
4inches, from the center line of the nearest track, measured at
5right angles thereto.
6    (6) Packages Containing Articles for First Aid to Injured
7on Trains.
8        (a) All rail carriers shall provide a first aid kit
9    that contains, at a minimum, those package containing the
10    articles prescribed by the Commission, on each train or
11    engine, for first aid to persons who may be injured in the
12    course of the operation of such trains.
13        (b) A vehicle, excluding a taxi cab used in an
14    emergency situation, operated by a contract carrier
15    transporting railroad employees in the course of their
16    employment shall be equipped with a readily available first
17    aid kit that contains, as a minimum, the same articles that
18    are required on each train or engine.
19    (7) Abandoned Bridges, Crossings, and Other Rail Plant. The
20Commission shall have authority, after notice and hearing, to
22        (a) The removal of any abandoned railroad tracks from
23    roads, streets or other thoroughfares in this State; and
24        (b) The removal of abandoned overhead railroad
25    structures crossing highways, waterways, or railroads.
26    The Commission may equitably apportion the cost of such



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1actions between the rail carrier or carriers, public utilities,
2and the State, county, municipality, township, road district,
3or other public authority in interest.
4    (8) Railroad-Highway Bridge Clearance. A vertical
5clearance of not less than 23 feet above the top of rail shall
6be provided for all new or reconstructed highway bridges
7constructed over a railroad track. The Commission may permit a
8lesser clearance if it determines that the 23 foot clearance
9standard cannot be justified based on engineering,
10operational, and economic conditions.
11(Source: P.A. 96-470, eff. 8-14-09.)