2. Public
  3. Rail Ombudsman

Rail Ombudsman

Duties of the Rail Ombudsman

During the 2024 Utah Legislative Session, UDOT was given the responsibility of creating a Rail Ombudsman. The Rail Ombudsman has the authority to facilitate meetings to resolve issues between a rail company and a local government entity, a large public transit district, or a private property or livestock owner.

Invited parties are required to attend the meeting and attempt to resolve the dispute before filing an action in court or seeking another remedy.

Issues that involve the following may require a meeting:

  • Safety
  • At-grade and grade-separated rail crossings
  • Fencing
  • Injury to or loss of livestock
  • Railroad maintenance, including maintenance agreements and road closures
  • Improvements to railroad right-of-way infrastructure
  • Track realignment
  • Track consolidation
  • Any other issue that has caused a dispute

A rail company, a local government entity, a large public transit district, and a private property or livestock owner are also required to provide notice to the Rail Ombudsman before:

  • Closing a highway for railroad maintenance.
  • Starting a construction project involving an at-grade rail crossing or the realignment or consolidation of railroad tracks.

The Rail Ombudsman may not address nor participate in organized labor issues, disputes, or rail company employee safety issues.

Other References

UDOT Links Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Links Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Links Federal Rail Administration (FRA) Links