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Minnesota Rail Safety

Rail Safety Latest Developments

Investing in Railway Safety
Accidents in nearby states involving trains carrying crude oil have raised concerns over the safety of Minnesota’s railways and the people living near them.
Governor Mark Dayton has proposed 75 railway safety projects. Read more about the projects and how they will benefit Minnesota.
Legislation signed in July 2014 by Governor Mark Dayton requires the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to provide oil transportation awareness trainings to local jurisdictions across the state. As of March 13:
  • 1,800 first responders trained to better understand the hazards posed by the transportation of oil and other hazardous substances and how to best protect the public’s safety.
    • 65 classroom sessions held
    • Participants are provided a map of their jurisdiction describing the important community assets within a half mile of the rail line.
  • 126 departments and other agencies with rail in their jurisdiction have been contacted about the availability of oil transportation awareness training
    • 45 additional sessions are currently scheduled
  • All state Chemical Assessment and Emergency Response Teams have received advanced training in response to crude oil.
  • Oil training advisory group formed with state agency participation from: Department of Public Safety, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has completed its report outlining Minnesota’s response capabilities for an oil transportation incident. This report presents key findings on emergency preparedness, training of first responders and recommendations for implementing best practices.

Rail Safety Overview

Laws improving the safety of Minnesotans who live and work near railways that carry crude oil and other hazardous materials went into effect on July 1, 2014.

The Department of Public Safety, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the railroads will carry out the new rail safety legislation passed by the Legislature and signed Gov. Mark Dayton into law in May 2014.
The new laws follow accidents involving crude oil in neighboring states and provinces and will implement stricter oversight of railroad companies, require more railway inspections and provide for better emergency response training and preparedness in communities across Minnesota.

Rail Safety Information and Resources

Rail Safety News Releases

Governor Dayton to Local Leaders: How is Increased Railway Traffic Impacting Your Communities?
From Office of Governor Dayton
Governor Mark Dayton reached out to 300 communities located along railway routes in Minnesota, asking how increased rail traffic and the volatility of oil shipments are impacting local budgets and the quality of life enjoyed by area residents. Read the full news release here.

New state rail safety regulations now in effect
From Minnesota Department of Transportation
Laws improving the safety of Minnesotans who live and work near railways that carry crude oil and other hazardous materials went into effect on July 1. Details about the new regulations are available in the release.