Connecting tracks and switching. 192.27(1)(1)
When the track of a railway corporation crosses the track of any other railway corporation at grade, or when their tracks and right-of-way are adjacent, except in counties having a population of at least 150,000, the corporations shall, within 60 days after a written request of the office or the council or board of the city, town or village within which the tracks so cross or are adjacent, make a track connection within such town, city or village to afford reasonable and proper facilities for the interchange of traffic between their respective lines for forwarding and delivering freight, and the expense thereof shall be borne equally by those corporations, unless otherwise ordered by the office.
Any railroad corporation neglecting or refusing to comply with the provisions of this section shall forfeit not less than $25 nor more than $100 for each offense. Each day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Train bells and crossing signs at street and highway crossings. 192.29(3)(3)
Bell to ring, municipal authority. 192.29(3)(a)(a)
No railroad train or locomotive shall run over any public traveled grade crossing within any city or village, except where gates are operated, or a flagman is stationed, unless the engine bell shall be rung continuously within 330 feet of the crossing and until the crossing is reached.
Flagmen or gates shall be placed and maintained, or such mechanical safety appliances shall be installed upon such public traveled grade crossings in villages and cities as the city or village authorities and the railroad company may by agreement decide; such agreement may include the apportionment of the cost of installation of such mechanical devices.
(4) Highways; bell.
No railroad train or locomotive shall run over any public traveled grade highway crossing outside of the limits of municipalities unless the engine bell shall be rung continuously from 1,320 feet before the crossing until the crossing is reached. But the office may order that the ringing of the bell as required by this subsection shall be omitted at any crossing.
(5) Railroad crossing and yield signs. 192.29(5)(a)(a)
Wherever its track crosses a public highway or street, every railroad corporation shall maintain on each side of the track a highway-rail-grade crossing sign, commonly known as a crossbuck sign, that conforms with the manual of uniform traffic control devices adopted by the department under s. 84.02 (4) (e)
No later than July 1, 2007, at every railroad crossing at which a railroad corporation is required to maintain a sign described in par. (a)
and that is not controlled by a gate, automatic signal, or official stop sign, the railroad corporation shall install and maintain, below the sign described in par. (a)
, a yield sign that conforms with the manual of uniform traffic control devices adopted by the department under s. 84.02 (4) (e)
(6) Contact information at private crossings.
A railroad company shall make a notice containing a telephone number at which a person may contact the company available to private landowners at each private traveled grade crossing at the request of the private landowner. The notice shall be large enough to be visible from the crossing.
Trains obstructing highways.
It shall be unlawful to stop any railroad train, locomotive or car upon or across any highway or street crossing, outside of cities, or leave the same standing upon such crossing longer than 10 minutes, except in cases of accident; and any railroad company that shall violate this section shall be liable to a fine of not more than $500 or any officer of such company responsible for the violation shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than 15 days.
History: 2005 a. 179
Willful neglect of railroad employees.
Any officer, agent, conductor, engineer or employee of any railroad company operating within this state who willfully neglects or omits to ring or cause to be rung the bell on the engine of any train of cars or on an engine alone, as required by s. 192.29 (3)
, shall forfeit $100.
History: 1983 a. 501
; 2005 a. 179
Telltales over railroads. 192.31(1)(a)
Telltales shall not be required except to the extent required under federal law and except as provided in par. (b)
If the office finds that the absence of a telltale would create an unreasonable risk of harm to the public or a railroad employee on a railroad not under the jurisdiction of the federal railroad administration, the office may enter an order requiring the installation of a telltale. A telltale shall be ordered by the office according to the hearing procedure provided under sub. (4)
The office may determine the materials for and the construction and placing of such telltales.
After December 31, 1993, no overhead structure shall be constructed or reconstructed, not including ordinary repairs necessary for maintenance, which shall have a vertical clearance of less than 23 feet above the top of rail, except as provided in sub. (4)
Upon finding that any such structure will not imperil life or limb, and that the public interest requires or permits such structure to be constructed or reconstructed otherwise than as permitted by sub. (3)
, the office may exempt such structure from such provision. Such findings shall be made only upon written application, setting forth fully the grounds therefor and shall be made only after public hearing held upon notice to all interested parties except that, if no objection is filed with the office within 20 days of the notice, the office may require the installation of a telltale without hearing. The findings and order requiring the installation of a telltale shall be in writing and contain complete provisions and requirements as to the vertical clearance to be maintained in such construction or reconstruction. Such structure shall be constructed or reconstructed only in compliance with such order.
Prior to July 1, in each year every corporation operating a railroad within the state shall file with the office a verified statement showing the location of every such bridge or other structure over any of its tracks at a height of less than 23 feet above the top of rail, together with a statement showing whether or not the provisions of this section have been fully complied with.
An employee of a railroad corporation who is injured by or because of the existence of any bridge, or other structure over, above or across any of the tracks of said railroad at a height less than that provided in this section, which has not been protected by telltales, shall not be considered to have assumed the risk of such injury, although the employee continues in the employ of such corporation after the existence of such unguarded structure has been brought to the employee's knowledge.
Trespassing on railroad. 192.32(1)(1)
No person, other than a licensee, authorized newspaper reporter or person connected with or employed upon the railroad, may walk, loiter or be upon or along the track of any railroad. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to do any of the following:
To interfere with the lawful use of a public highway by any person.
To prevent any person from driving across any railroad from one part of that person's land to another part thereof.
To interfere with the use of the right-of-way or track by any person in connection with, either directly or indirectly, the shipping, loading or unloading of freight, seeking employment, the investigation or securing of evidence with respect to any accident or wreck or in conducting or transacting any other business for or with the railroad.
To interfere with the entry of any employee during or on account of labor disputes by employees.
Each railroad corporation shall post notices containing substantially the provisions and penalties of this section, in one or more conspicuous places in or about each railroad station.
Getting on and off cars.
Any person who shall get upon, attempt to get upon, cling to, jump or step from any railroad car or train while the same is in motion shall forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $200, provided that this section shall not apply to the employees of any railroad company.
History: 2005 a. 179
Railroad bridges to be safe for employees.
Whenever a complaint is lodged with the office by any person to the effect that a railroad bridge because of its style of construction does not have walks or railings and for that reason is dangerous to the life and limb of railroad employees and the safety of such employees requires the alteration so as to provide for such walks and railings of such bridge, the office shall give notice to the party in interest, other than the complainant, of the filing of the complaint and furnish such party with a copy thereof, and order a hearing thereon, in the manner provided for hearings in s. 195.31
. The office may proceed in a similar manner in the absence of a complaint when, in the opinion of the office, the safety of railroad employees requires the alteration of a railroad bridge. After the hearing, the office shall determine what alteration, if any, of such bridge, shall be made. The expense of such alteration shall be borne by the railroad company.
Motor vehicles of railroads used to transport its employees. 192.327(1)(1)
As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:
“Motor vehicle" means any vehicle which is self-propelled.
“Owner" means any person having the lawful use or control of a motor vehicle as holder of the legal title of the motor vehicle or under contract or lease or otherwise.
“Place of employment" means that location where one or more workers are actually performing the labor incident to their employment.
“Worker" means an individual employed for any period in any work for which the individual is compensated, whether full or part time.
Every motor vehicle provided by a railroad company and used to transport one or more workers to and from their places of employment or during the course of their employment shall be operated by a driver who satisfies the minimum standards for drivers established by the department.
The office shall make and enforce reasonable rules relating to motor vehicles used to transport workers to and from their places of employment or during the course of their employment.
Before formulating such rules, the office shall conduct hearings under ch. 227
and invite the participation of interested groups. These groups may make suggestions relating to the minimum standards to be embodied in the rules. The office may consider the suggestions prior to the issuance of any rules.
The office may amend the rules at any time upon its own motion after due notice to interested parties.
The office may, in enforcing the rules, inspect any motor vehicle used to transport workers to and from their places of employment or during the course of their employment. Upon request of the office, the department shall direct its traffic officers to assist the office in those inspections.
Whenever the office finds that a motor vehicle used to transport workers to and from their places of employment or during the course of their employment violates any provision of the rules, the office shall make, enter and serve upon the owner of the motor vehicle such order as may be necessary to protect the safety of workers transported in the motor vehicle.
Any railroad company willfully failing to comply with an order issued under sub. (7)
, may be fined not to exceed $500.
History: 1977 c. 29
, 1654 (7) (a)
, (e), (9) (e); 1981 c. 347
s. 80 (1)
; 1993 a. 16
See also ss. RR 2.17
, and 2.20
, Wis. adm. code.
Fences, cattle guards, crossings. 192.33(1)(1)
Subject to s. 190.09
, every corporation operating any railroad shall erect and maintain on both sides of its railroad, depot grounds excepted, sufficient fences with openings or gates or bars therein, and suitable and convenient farm crossings for the use of the occupants of the lands adjoining and shall maintain cattle guards at all highway crossings, outside of municipalities, and connect their fences therewith. This section shall not apply to that part of the railroad where sidetracks or switch tracks are used in cities of the 1st class.
All fences and cattle guards required under sub. (1)
shall be made within one month from the time of commencing to operate the railroad right-of-way, so far as operated. Until the required fences and cattle guards are made, the railroad corporation owning or operating the right-of-way shall be liable for all damages done to domestic animals, or persons on the right-of-way, occasioned in any manner, in whole or in part, by the want of the required fences or cattle guards. After the required fences and cattle guards are constructed the railroad conformations liability shall not extend to damages occasioned in part by contributory negligence, nor to defects existing without negligence on the part of the corporation or its agents.
The sufficiency of fences shall be determined according to ch. 90
; but nothing in this section shall render any fence insufficient which was a legal or sufficient fence when built.
No fence shall be required in places where ponds, lakes, watercourses, ditches, hills, embankments or other sufficient protection renders a fence unnecessary to prevent domestic animals from straying upon the right-of-way.
The maintenance of cattle guards may be omitted by the railroad company with the written consent of the office specifying the particular crossings.
A trespasser was not a member of the class protected by this section. Anderson v. Green Bay & Western Railroad, 99 Wis. 2d 514
, 299 N.W.2d 615
(Ct. App. 1980).
“Farm crossings" are not limited to farms, but are all crossings used by occupants of land rather than highway crossings and entail limited private use for which safeguards are unnecessary. Sixmile Creek Associates Inc. v. Chicago & North Western Transportation Co. 178 Wis. 2d 237
, 504 N.W.2d 348
(Ct. App. 1993).
There is no obligation to maintain a fence on a railroad right-of-way when it is being used as a recreational trail and not to operate a railroad. May v. Tri-County Trails Commission, 220 Wis. 2d 729
, 583 N.W.2d 878
(Ct. App. 1998), 97-0588
Fences; complaint of insufficient; hearing; order.
Upon complaint by the owner or occupant of any land contiguous to the right-of-way of any railroad that the railroad company operating the line has failed to construct or keep in good repair fences along its right-of-way opposite to the complainant's land as required under s. 192.33
, the office shall proceed on the complaint in the manner provided in s. 195.04
. If it shall appear that the complaint is well founded, the office may order and direct the railroad company to repair the complained of fences so that the fences will be sufficient or to construct legal fences.
Interference with fences; trespassers on track. 192.35(1)(1)
Any person who does any of the following shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $50 and, in addition, be liable to the party injured for all damages resulting from the act or omission:
Willfully takes down, opens or removes any railroad fence, cattle guard or crossing, in whole or in part.
Allows a railroad fence, cattle guard or crossing to be taken down, opened or removed.
Having lawfully taken down bars or opened gates in a railroad fence for the purpose of passing through the fence, does not immediately replace the bars or close the gate.
Any person who without the consent of the party owning or having control of the road rides, leads or drives any horse or other animal upon a fenced railroad right-of-way, or who rides, leads or drives any horse or team lengthwise of an unfenced railroad track, other than at the farm crossings or upon depot grounds or where the track is laid along or across a public highway shall, for each occurrence, forfeit not more than $10, to the party owning or having control of the railroad right-of-way, and shall also pay all damages that shall be sustained by the aggrieved party.
History: 1997 a. 254
Fences, occupant of land may build or repair. 192.36(1)(1)
Whenever a railroad corporation fails to build or repair any fence, which the law requires it to erect, the owner or occupant of the land adjoining may, between April 1 and October 1, give notice in writing to the railroad corporation to build the fence within 60 days, or repair the fence within 30 days, after service of the notice.
The notice under sub. (1)
shall describe the land on which the fence is required to be built or repaired. Service of the notice may be made by delivering the notice to any station agent of the railroad corporation.
In case the railroad corporation fails to build or repair the fence within the required time, the owner or occupant of the adjoining land may build or repair the fence and recover from the railroad corporation the cost of building or repairing with interest at the rate of 1 percent per month from the time that the fence shall have been built or repaired.
History: 1997 a. 254
; 2009 a. 177
Fences, farm crossings; railroads to provide. 192.37(1)(1)
Whenever any corporation operates a railroad through enclosed lands and fails to construct the fences, farm crossings or cattle guards required by law, proper for the use of the enclosed lands, the owner or occupant of the lands may give notice to the railroad corporation of its failure to construct the necessary fences, farm crossings and cattle guards on the owner's or occupant's enclosed lands.
The notice under sub. (1)
shall meet all of the following requirements:
It shall be in writing, signed by the owner or occupant of the enclosed lands.
It shall contain a description of the owner's or occupant's enclosed lands.
It shall be served in the manner provided for the service of summons in the circuit court.
If a railroad corporation, after being notified under this section, neglects for 3 months to construct the necessary fences, farm crossings and cattle guards on the lands described in the notice, it shall be liable to pay to the owner or occupant of the described lands $10 for each day after the expiration of the 3 months until the necessary fences, farm crossings and cattle guards are constructed. No time between November 1 and April 1 shall be included in the calculation of the 3-month period under this subsection.
History: 1993 a. 482
; 1997 a. 254
Contracts not affected.
shall not affect any contract entered into between any railroad corporation and the proprietors and occupants of lands adjoining for the construction and maintenance of gates, bars, cattle guards and railroad crossings.
Liability of carrier of passengers made absolute.
No contract, receipt, rule, or regulation shall exempt any corporation or person engaged in transporting persons for hire, within this state, from the liability of a common carrier, or carrier of passengers, which would exist had no contract, receipt, rule, or regulation, been made.