Ask a Trooper: How can I report an emergency at a railroad crossing?

State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.

Question: What am I supposed to do if I am at a railroad crossing and need to report an emergency?

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Answer: Call 911 and provide the needed information. Every highway-rail crossing has an Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign that provides a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year telephone number to report problems or emergencies at the railroad location. The blue-colored ENS sign is located on the railroad crossing posts or the metal control box near the tracks.

The ENS is for emergencies that would require stopping train traffic due to an obstruction or any other problem at the crossing. By providing the DOT number on the sign, the dispatchers know exactly where the grade crossing is and can notify trains moving in that direction to either come to a stop or be placed on a speed restriction.

Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to: Trp. Jesse Grabow โ€“ Minnesota State Patrol , 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at

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