Highway-Railroad Coordination

The WSDOT Railroad Liaison provides direct support to regions and other HQ offices by serving as the statewide subject matter expert on highway-railroad projects and safety.

The Liaison coordinates statewide highway project delivery with impacts to railroad companies, manages railroad crossing safety projects and supports highway operation improvements and maintenance by coordinating with railroads, regions and the Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Diagnostic team
Grade crossings and the traffic control devices that are associated with them are unique in that in many cases the road authority, the regulatory agency (UTC), and the railroad company are jointly involved in development of engineering judgment or the performance of an engineering study. This joint process is accomplished through the efforts of a Diagnostic Team, which is a group of knowledgeable individuals of the parties of interest in a grade crossing or group of grade crossings.

Railroad crossing data

Reporting railroad crossing problems
To report railroad crossings problems (rough surface, signal malfunctions, blocked by trains for longer than 10 minutes, missing signs, etc.) use the UTC Rail Safety Complaint Form on the UTC website

Construction guidance

Permitting
Permits are needed from railroads for the following activities:

  • Pipeline or wire lines (utilities) on railroad property (including new installations on existing easements).
  • Temporary Occupancy for construction staging or access.
  • Permits are required to install new, temporary or private crossings. For crossings on the state highway system, please contact Connie as soon as the need is identified.
  • General License for culverts or ditches.
  • Environmental studies or monitoring.

Please note that permits are in addition to Construction and Maintenance agreements. Some permits may need to be obtained by the WSDOT contractor and permanently held permits (utilities) are obtained by WSDOT. It can take up to six months to obtain a permit. 

Permits issued by BNSF
Union Pacific Permits

Permits with other railroads, permit information and assistance with processing, please contact:
Connie Raezer
Railroad Liaison
360-705-7459

Safety training

  • All WSDOT employees or WSDOT contractors providing labor, material, supervision, or services within 25 feet of track or on railroad property shall complete a safety orientation. BNSF safety training is available on line.
  • Other railroads accept safety orientation training available on line.
  • The safety training identification card must be on your person at all times when you are on railroad property.

Assistance and guidance

Additional assistance that can be provided by the Railroad Liaison includes:

  • Receipt and routing of invoices related to WSDOT construction projects.
  • Maintenance questions regarding work near or on railroad right of way.
  • Obtaining contacts for various railroad companies (Roadmaster and Maintenance of Way staff).
  • Processing railroad protective services (flagging) requests.
  • Researching invoices for claims, permits or licenses.
  • Researching old railroad agreements or easement documents.

Contact
Connie Raezer
Railroad Liaison
360-705-7459