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Grade Crossing


The Grade Crossing Unit performs engineering and administrative liaison between the Department of Transportation's eleven engineering districts, the Public Utility Commission (PUC), and the Railroads that operate within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This Unit provides guidance and direct support to the eleven District Grade Crossing Engineers/Administrators (DGCE/A) for performing functions that relate to highway-railroad crossings for both Section 130 Safety improvement projects and department highway/bridge projects involving railroad facilities. This support extends from planning through construction and project closeout, assures compliance with Grade Crossing Manual (Pub 371), and applicable 23 CFR regulations.

A highway-railroad crossing is a special type of intersection involving joint use of right-of-way for both railroad and highway operations. It is defined as the intersection of a highway with a railroad's right-of-way upon which railroad tracks lie and can be at, above, or below the grade of the highway.

In addition to assisting the DGCE/A's with the filing of formal PUC applications and other required pertinent submissions to the PUC, and the day-to-day railroad coordination activities, the Grade Crossing Unit also coordinates with the Office of Chief Counsel to assure that the department is adhering to required regulations and testifying at formal PUC hearings.

The Grade Crossing Unit provides the necessary certification training to DGCE/A's and railroad coordination training to department personnel involved with the management and delivery of department projects.  It conducts Quality Assurance Reviews and issues required department policy and procedural changes through strike-off letters.

The Grade Crossing Manual (Pub 371) was developed by PennDOT to guide State, Local, and Railroad officials in the administration, design, construction and operation of highway-railroad crossings in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 Pennsylvania Operation Lifesaver is part of the international non-profit Operation Lifesaver public education organization that was first established in 1972 to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way. For more information about Pennsylvania Operation Lifesaver visit

Contacts :

Dan Leonard   717-214-4522

Mike Tavani  717-787-4037