Mission: To ensure that the Citizens of Arizona, as well as Railroad employees throughout the State, have a railroad system that is operated and maintained in as safe a manner as possible.
|What We Do:|
|We are responsible for the inspection of:|
| Railroad tracks|
Commission Staff examines railroad track for proper alignment, profile and geometrical surface. Curves and spirals are measured for uniformity and proper superelevation. We also examine switches, derails and other track related structures for compliance with the federal minimum safety standards for track. Initial track inspections are done from a track-mounted highway vehicle and sometimes by walking.
| Locomotives and railcars|
Commission Staff examines various components of the several braking systems on railcars and locomotives. There are also certain safety features on locomotives having to do with the very high amperage generated by them that are checked for proper operation and the required periodic inspection. Locomotives are also inspected for proper operation of the horn, sidelights, headlights, bell and for compliance with all the applicable federal regulations.
| Railroad operating practices|
Commission Staff examines the railroads for compliance with extensive federal regulations in the operating practices area. Included are such things as the proper certification of locomotive engineers and trainmen, drug and alcohol testing of them, and observation of the efficiency testing of these employees by company officers, which is done to see that employees are properly observing wayside signals when moving their trains.
| Railroad crossing warning signals, train control signals and devices|
Commission Staff examines the various electronic crossing warning devices for proper operating voltages, grounding, etc., for compliance with federal regulations. Similarly, Staff also examines train control signals for compliance with federal regulations.
| Transportation of hazardous materials by rail|
Commission Staff examines shipments of hazardous materials on the railroad for compliance with the applicable federal regulations. Inspections consist of examination of tank cars and containers on flat cars (COFC) for proper securement and placarding. Inspections are also done at shipper and receiver facilities around the state for proper compliance with the loading, unloading and securement standards.
In addition, the Commission also has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to public rail and highway crossings. This includes the repair and maintenance of railroad crossing surfaces. The Commission also regulates the amount of time the trains can block railroad crossings.
The Section is responsible for investigating the following accidents/incidents and complaints:
- Train derailments
- Train/auto collisions
- any railroad incident involving a release hazardous materials
- Pedestrian injury or fatality at a highway-rail crossing
- Train to train collisions
- Trespasser injury or fatality
- Railroad employee workplace complaints and or injuries
- complaints by citizens or other public agencies relating to:
Roadway surfaces at rail crossings
Excessive noise caused by train operations