On October 18th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a webinar on rail safety in California featuring a discussion led by CPUC Rail Safety Division Director, Roger Clugston on rail safety oversight, accident investigations, trespassing, and public safety. The webinar was intended for local government representatives and officials with rail lines in their communities. Director Clugston provided an overview of the division’s regulatory and enforcement work on railways, as well as the bridges and tunnels that convey rail traffic, including rail crossing funding programs.  

Applications for Priority List grade separation projects for Fiscal Years 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 closed on October 20, 2023. The CPUC conducts an investigation every two years to determine the Priority List to finance grade separation at-grade crossings of local roads or state highways for the next two fiscal years.  

The Rail Safety Division also continues to study public safety issues associated with trespassing from homeless encampments and individuals along railroad tracks and rail property. Along with personal risks to the homeless individuals, these encampments can create maintenance hazards of train equipment affecting safe operations.  

To access the webinar’s recording, see here. More information on the CPUC’s Rail Safety Division can be found here. For questions, please contact RCRC Policy Advocate Leigh Kammerich or Sidd Nag.