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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Minnesota 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.

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.

DPS 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

Rail safety legislation was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014 to help protect those who live and work near railways that carry crude oil and other hazardous materials. The new law includes:
  • Increased oversight of railroad companies,
  • Requires more railway inspections, and
  • Provides for better emergency response training and preparedness in communities across the state
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is involved in the following ways:
  • Working with railroad and pipeline companies in developing safety protocols and facilitating coordination between these companies and local public safety officials.
  • Assisting local governments as they include emergency response information into their emergency operations plans.
  • Collaborating with local emergency managers and responders to understand the dangers of oil and other hazardous substances traveling through Minnesota.
  • Partnering with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the railroads to carry out the rail safety legislation.

Rail Safety Information and Resources