Railroad & PSAP Interaction
Full Name:
Public Safety Communications & Railroad Interaction Standard Operating Procedures
Document Type: ANSI Approved NENA Standard
Standard Number:    NENA-STA-013.2-2016 (originally NENA 56-507)

This document provides guidance and relevant information for operational interaction between public safety answering points (PSAPs), public safety communications, railroad call centers, railroad-sworn personnel in the field, and related railroad responders.

PSAPs may receive emergency calls from railroad call centers, railroad-sworn personnel or similar parties relating to railroad incidents. PSAPs must interact with railroad call centers and other railroad personnel when the PSAP becomes aware of an incident requiring emergency assistance involving a railroad.

Emergency response agencies generally respond to calls from the public by responding to an address or street intersection. Railroad incidents generally do not have a street address and instead use a mile post or crossing identification system to describe their location. Railroad dispatch centers and operations control centers are generally centrally located. This means a railroad responding to, or reporting an emergency, may be located in a state other than where the incident occurred.

This poses communication challenges to the railroads and local emergency response agencies. These challenges can be overcome by having proper communication protocols in place before an accident/incident occurs. This document defines an effective communication protocol between railroads and local emergency response agencies.

This Standard is intended to aid Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP), railroad communication centers, and railroad personnel in the development and implementation of standard operating procedures for emergency communications protocols pertaining to railroad and railroad related emergencies.

Committee Name(s):


PSAP Operations


Created: 04/28/2009
ANSI Accredited 03/31/2016



The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has developed informational web based videos relating to the Rail Safety for Law Enforcement and Emergency Dispatcher Training.   FRA has developed these web based informational programs to improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of first responders when assessing and responding to rail related incidents, highlighting key points such as: 

  • locating an incident
  • how to determine which railroad to notify
  • how to stop a train in an emergency
  • how to locate the train crew and victims
  • how to locate railroad personnel and railroad documents
  • determining the appropriate response  

 These videos can be found at FRA’s homepage under “In the Spotlight".  The direct links to the videos are: