Who Regulates Railroads in Texas?

The Railroad Commission of Texas no longer has any jurisdiction or authority over railroads in Texas, a duty which was transferred to other agencies, with the last of the rail functions transferred to the Texas Department of Transportation in 2005.

When the Railroad Commission of Texas was created in 1891, the agency was charged with oversight of the rail industry. Over the course of history, the Railroad Commission of Texas’ duties have evolved and all rail functions have been transferred to other agencies. Legislation has been introduced to change the name of our agency to better reflect our current jurisdiction, but to date such legislation has not been passed.

Railroad Resources:


U.S. Railroad Retirement Board – Official site that provides vital information concerning railroad benefits, forms, and other pertinent information for railroad retirees

Texas Department of Transportation
  1. Rail Safety and Security Program – The Texas Department of Transportation has been designated as the State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) and is required to prepare a program standard, which is a written document developed by the oversight agency that describes the policies, objectives, responsibilities, and procedures used to provide Rail Transit Agency safety and security oversight.
  2. Rail Safety Inspection Program– State rail safety inspectors coordinate investigative activities with federal authorities in the areas of hazardous materials, motive power and equipment, operating practices, signal and train control and track structures.
  3. Rail Division – The Rail Division administers federal and state programs to improve highway-rail grade crossings by partnering with railroads to install and maintain crossing signals and gates, improve crossing surfaces on state highways and consolidate crossings where possible. The Rail Division participates in the state rail safety participation program in conjunction with the Federal Railroad Administration.
  4. Rail Safety Program Hotline - 1-512-416-2376 or email AskTxDOT@txdot.gov

National Transportation Safety Board
– Official site that provides information concerning transportation accidents and hearings

Amtrak – Official site that provides information about schedules, fares, promotions, and reservations

Federal Railroad Administration– Official site that provides rail safety regulations, railroad assistance programs, and conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy.

Union Pacific Railroad – Major Texas railroad company

BNSF – Major Texas railroad company

Last Updated: 7/18/2016 10:06:17 AM