Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB1573
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Full Text of HB1573  97th General Assembly


Rep. Thomas Holbrook

Filed: 3/1/2011





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 1573 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by
5changing Section 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



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1Federal Railroad Administration shall be safety standards of
2the Commission. The Commission may, in addition, adopt by
3reference in its regulations other federal railroad safety
4standards, whether contained in federal statutes or in
5regulations adopted pursuant to such statutes.
6    (3) Railroad Crossings. No public road, highway, or street
7shall hereafter be constructed across the track of any rail
8carrier at grade, nor shall the track of any rail carrier be
9constructed across a public road, highway or street at grade,
10without having first secured the permission of the Commission;
11provided, that this Section shall not apply to the replacement
12of lawfully existing roads, highways and tracks. No public
13pedestrian bridge or subway shall be constructed across the
14track of any rail carrier without having first secured the
15permission of the Commission. The Commission shall have the
16right to refuse its permission or to grant it upon such terms
17and conditions as it may prescribe. The Commission shall have
18power to determine and prescribe the manner, including the
19particular point of crossing, and the terms of installation,
20operation, maintenance, use and protection of each such
22    The Commission shall also have power, after a hearing, to
23require major alteration of or to abolish any crossing,
24heretofore or hereafter established, when in its opinion, the
25public safety requires such alteration or abolition, and,
26except in cities, villages and incorporated towns of 1,000,000



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1or more inhabitants, to vacate and close that part of the
2highway on such crossing altered or abolished and cause
3barricades to be erected across such highway in such manner as
4to prevent the use of such crossing as a highway, when, in the
5opinion of the Commission, the public convenience served by the
6crossing in question is not such as to justify the further
7retention thereof; or to require a separation of grades, at
8railroad-highway grade crossings; or to require a separation of
9grades at any proposed crossing where a proposed public highway
10may cross the tracks of any rail carrier or carriers; and to
11prescribe, after a hearing of the parties, the terms upon which
12such separations shall be made and the proportion in which the
13expense of the alteration or abolition of such crossings or the
14separation of such grades, having regard to the benefits, if
15any, accruing to the rail carrier or any party in interest,
16shall be divided between the rail carrier or carriers affected,
17or between such carrier or carriers and the State, county,
18municipality or other public authority in interest. However, a
19public hearing by the Commission to abolish a crossing shall
20not be required when the public highway authority in interest
21vacates the highway. In such instance the rail carrier,
22following notification to the Commission and the highway
23authority, shall remove any grade crossing warning devices and
24the grade crossing surface.
25    The Commission shall also have power by its order to
26require the reconstruction, minor alteration, minor relocation



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1or improvement of any crossing (including the necessary highway
2approaches thereto) of any railroad across any highway or
3public road, pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway, whether
4such crossing be at grade or by overhead structure or by
5subway, whenever the Commission finds after a hearing or
6without a hearing as otherwise provided in this paragraph that
7such reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement is
8necessary to preserve or promote the safety or convenience of
9the public or of the employees or passengers of such rail
10carrier or carriers. By its original order or supplemental
11orders in such case, the Commission may direct such
12reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement to be
13made in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may
14be reasonable and necessary and may apportion the cost of such
15reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement and the
16subsequent maintenance thereof, having regard to the benefits,
17if any, accruing to the railroad or any party in interest,
18between the rail carrier or carriers and public utilities
19affected, or between such carrier or carriers and public
20utilities and the State, county, municipality or other public
21authority in interest. The cost to be so apportioned shall
22include the cost of changes or alterations in the equipment of
23public utilities affected as well as the cost of the
24relocation, diversion or establishment of any public highway,
25made necessary by such reconstruction, alteration, relocation
26or improvement of said crossing. A hearing shall not be



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1required in those instances when the Commission enters an order
2confirming a written stipulation in which the Commission, the
3public highway authority or other public authority in interest,
4the rail carrier or carriers affected, and in instances
5involving the use of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, the
6Illinois Department of Transportation, agree on the
7reconstruction, alteration, relocation, or improvement and the
8subsequent maintenance thereof and the division of costs of
9such changes of any grade crossing (including the necessary
10highway approaches thereto) of any railroad across any highway,
11pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian subway.
12    Every rail carrier operating in the State of Illinois shall
13construct and maintain every highway crossing over its tracks
14within the State so that the roadway at the intersection shall
15be as flush with the rails as superelevated curves will allow,
16and, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, shall
17construct and maintain the approaches thereto at a grade of not
18more than 5% within the right of way for a distance of not less
19the 6 feet on each side of the centerline of such tracks;
20provided, that the grades at the approaches may be maintained
21in excess of 5% only when authorized by the Commission.
22    Every rail carrier operating within this State shall remove
23from its right of way at all railroad-highway grade crossings
24within the State, such brush, shrubbery, and trees as is
25reasonably practical for a distance of not less than 500 feet
26in either direction from each grade crossing. The Commission



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



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



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1Traffic Control Devices adopted pursuant to Section 11-301 of
2this Code. In addition, State and local authorities may not
3install, remove, modernize, or otherwise modify traffic
4control signals at a highway intersection that is
5interconnected or proposed to be interconnected with grade
6crossing warning devices when the change affects the number,
7type, or location of traffic control devices on the track
8approach leg or legs of the intersection or the timing of the
9railroad preemption sequence of operation until the Commission
10has approved the installation, removal, modernization, or
11modification. Commission approval shall be limited to
12consideration of issues directly affecting the public safety at
13the railroad-highway grade crossing. The electrical circuit
14devices, alternate warning devices, and preemption sequences
15shall conform as nearly as possible, considering the particular
16characteristics of the crossing and intersection area, to the
17State manual adopted by the Illinois Department of
18Transportation pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code and such
19federal standards as are made applicable by subsection (2) of
20this Section. In order to carry out this authority, the
21Commission shall have the authority to determine the number,
22type, and location of traffic control devices on the track
23approach leg or legs of the intersection and the timing of the
24railroad preemption sequence of operation. The Commission
25shall prescribe the division of costs for installation and
26maintenance of all devices required by this paragraph between



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1the railroad or railroads and the highway authority in interest
2and in instances involving the use of the Grade Crossing
3Protection Fund or a State highway, the Illinois Department of
5    Any person who unlawfully or maliciously removes, throws
6down, damages or defaces any sign, signal, gate or other
7protective device, located at or near any public grade
8crossing, shall be guilty of a petty offense and fined not less
9than $50 nor more than $200 for each offense. In addition to
10fines levied under the provisions of this Section a person
11adjudged guilty hereunder may also be directed to make
12restitution for the costs of repair or replacement, or both,
13necessitated by his misconduct.
14    It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to enhance
15public safety by establishing safe grade crossings. In order to
16implement this policy, the Illinois Commerce Commission is
17directed to conduct public hearings and to adopt specific
18criteria by July 1, 1994, that shall be adhered to by the
19Illinois Commerce Commission in determining if a grade crossing
20should be opened or abolished. The following factors shall be
21considered by the Illinois Commerce Commission in developing
22the specific criteria for opening and abolishing grade
24        (a) timetable speed of passenger trains;
25        (b) distance to an alternate crossing;
26        (c) accident history for the last 5 years;



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1        (d) number of vehicular traffic and posted speed
2    limits;
3        (e) number of freight trains and their timetable
4    speeds;
5        (f) the type of warning device present at the grade
6    crossing;
7        (g) alignments of the roadway and railroad, and the
8    angle of intersection of those alignments;
9        (h) use of the grade crossing by trucks carrying
10    hazardous materials, vehicles carrying passengers for
11    hire, and school buses; and
12        (i) use of the grade crossing by emergency vehicles.
13    The Illinois Commerce Commission, upon petition to open or
14abolish a grade crossing, shall enter an order opening or
15abolishing the crossing if it meets the specific criteria
16adopted by the Commission.
17    Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (3), in no
18instance shall a grade crossing be permanently closed without
19public hearing first being held and notice of such hearing
20being published in an area newspaper of local general
22    (4) Freight Trains - Radio Communications. The Commission
23shall after hearing and order require that every main line
24railroad freight train operating on main tracks outside of yard
25limits within this State shall be equipped with a radio
26communication system. The Commission after notice and hearing



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1may grant exemptions from the requirements of this Section as
2to secondary and branch lines.
3    (5) Railroad Bridges and Trestles - Walkway and Handrail.
4In cases in which the Commission finds the same to be practical
5and necessary for safety of railroad employees, bridges and
6trestles, over and upon which railroad trains are operated,
7shall include as a part thereof, a safe and suitable walkway
8and handrail on one side only of such bridge or trestle, and
9such handrail shall be located at the outer edge of the walkway
10and shall provide a clearance of not less than 8 feet, 6
11inches, from the center line of the nearest track, measured at
12right angles thereto.
13    (6) Packages Containing Articles for First Aid to Injured
14on Trains.
15        (a) All rail carriers shall provide a first aid kit
16    that contains, at a minimum, those package containing the
17    articles prescribed by the Commission, on each train or
18    engine, for first aid to persons who may be injured in the
19    course of the operation of such trains.
20        (b) A vehicle, excluding a taxi cab used in an
21    emergency situation, operated by a contract carrier
22    transporting railroad employees in the course of their
23    employment shall be equipped with a readily available first
24    aid kit that contains, as a minimum, the same articles that
25    are required on each train or engine.
26    (7) Abandoned Bridges, Crossings, and Other Rail Plant. The



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1Commission shall have authority, after notice and hearing, to
3        (a) The removal of any abandoned railroad tracks from
4    roads, streets or other thoroughfares in this State; and
5        (b) The removal of abandoned overhead railroad
6    structures crossing highways, waterways, or railroads.
7    The Commission may equitably apportion the cost of such
8actions between the rail carrier or carriers, public utilities,
9and the State, county, municipality, township, road district,
10or other public authority in interest.
11    (8) Railroad-Highway Bridge Clearance. A vertical
12clearance of not less than 23 feet above the top of rail shall
13be provided for all new or reconstructed highway bridges
14constructed over a railroad track. The Commission may permit a
15lesser clearance if it determines that the 23 foot clearance
16standard cannot be justified based on engineering,
17operational, and economic conditions.
18(Source: P.A. 96-470, eff. 8-14-09.)".