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GO 88-B: Modify an Existing Rail Crossing

CPUC authorization is required prior to constructing a new rail crossing or modifying an existing rail crossing.

Refer to the Find Authorizations page to review previously issued GO 88-B authorizations.

Formal applications to Commission

  • For modification of an existing public rail crossing, the General Order 88-B authorization request process is usually preferable.
  • Commission authorization may be requested by filing a formal application
  • A formal application for a non-controversial highway-rail crossing project typically takes 4 to 12 months for approval.

General Order 88-B Authorization Request to Commission Staff

  • Commission General Order 88-B (abbreviated GO 88-B) provides rules for staff approval (in contrast to Commission action for formal applications) of rail crossing projects that meet the criteria for a GO 88-B authorization request as listed below.
  • Please see the GO 88-B Request Form and Instructions
  • Projects that are processed pursuant to the GO 88-B authorization request process typically take less than 45 days for approval.
  • GO 88-B authorizations are valid for 3 years from the date of the authorization issuance letter.

Criteria for GO 88-B Authorization Request Projects

  1. Grade crossing widening within the existing street right-of-way.
  2. Approach grade changes.
  3. Track elevation changes.
  4. Roadway realignment that is functionality related to the existing crossing and can be achieved within the existing or a contiguous right-of-way.
  5. Addition of one track within the existing rail agency right-of-way.
  6. Change in the type or addition of an automatic signaling device, crossing gate, crossing flagman or other forms of crossing protection or reduction of hours during which any such protection is maintained, or other minor alterations.
  7. Alterations or reconstruction of an existing grade-separated crossing, where exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to California Public Resources (PR) Code Section 21080.13.
  8. Construction of a grade-separation that eliminates an existing at-grade highway-rail crossing, where exempt from CEQA pursuant to PR Code Section 21080.13

In addition to meeting the above criteria, all interested parties--including Commission staff--must agree to the project. If any party objects to the proposed project, then a formal application must be filed.

GO 88-B Authorization Request Process

  1. Contact the appropriate field engineer. See the Rail Crossings Contact Information page for details.
  2. Conduct on-site diagnostic meeting with the interested parties (rail organization, roadway authority, Commission staff) to review the proposed changes.
  3. Update plans based on reviews by interested parties.
  4. Obtain written concurrence of the rail organization and/or roadway authority with jurisdiction at the crossing.
  5. Complete and send the GO 88-B authorization request form (included with the form are instructions on completing it and where to send it), if all parties are in agreement.
    • The form must be signed by a roadway authority or rail organization official, it cannot be signed by a consultant on behalf of a roadway authority or rail organization.
  6. Send completed form, attachments, and evidence of concurrence signed by interested parties to the following contacts. 
    • Electronic copies are preferred in scanned, PDF/A format. Please confirm with the appropriate engineer if submitting alternate formats.  Large files can be transferred to CPUC staff using the site

1) Branch Manager

Provide an electronic copy to Michael Robertson, P.E., Manager, Rail Crossings and Engineering Branch:

If you would like to also send a hardcopy, mail to the following address:

Michael Robertson, P.E., Manager
Rail Crossings and Engineering Branch
California Public Utilities Commission
320 West 4th Street, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90013

2) Engineer assigned to the area

Please see Rail Crossings Contact Information for contact information of the appropriate engineer assigned to the area.

3) Supervisor

Provide an electronic copy to Anton Garabetian, P.E., Supervisor, Rail Crossings and Engineering Branch:

4) Senior Engineer

For projects in Northern California, please send an electronic copy to Felix Ko, P.E., Acting Senior Utilities Engineer, Rail Crossings and Engineering Branch:

5) Railroad and/or Roadway agency

Ensure that other interested parties receive a copy of the request.


Last Modified: 3/12/2015

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