PUCO Approves Rail Crossing Upgrades

COLUMBUS OHIO (June 29, 2022) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the installation of LED lights at 100 rail crossings in Cuyahoga, Erie, Fulton, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, Williams, and Wood counties.

The costs of the project shall be shared by the PUCO and Norfolk Southern Railway as follows:

  • PUCO $7,500 for each crossing for a total of $750,000
  • Norfolk Southern Railway: Any costs exceeding $7,500 for each crossing

Norfolk Southern Railway is directed to complete this work by June 29, 2023.

The State of Ohio established the LED upgrade program in 2012. The program seeks to improve visibility and reduce maintenance requirements by upgrading 8” incandescent lights to 12” LED lights at railway crossings equipped with flashing light signal systems. Since the introduction of the LED upgrade program, Ohio has seen a reduction of complaints concerning flashing light failures at crossings with active warning devices.

The PUCO is responsible for evaluating Ohio’s public grade crossings to determine the need for installing active warning devices. Since the PUCO began implementing these evaluations, the annual number of train-motor vehicle crashes in Ohio has decreased significantly, from 356 in 1990 to 67 in 2020.

The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245), provides Ohioans with a toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For more information regarding these crossings, access the Ohio railroad information system website at https://www.gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov.