The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) offers the short line and regional railroad industry assistance in developing and documenting a Railroad All-hazard Planning Document (RAPD) specific to their location and operations.


The Plan

The final all-hazards approach plan is provided in electronic and hard copy format, ready to be used in preparing for and safely responding to hazardous materials incidents and other emergencies.

The plan will contain detailed hi-resolution maps identifying physical features of the railroad’s yard(s) and location of critical or sensitive assets within that facility. Roadways that can accommodate large emergency vehicles will also be identified. Click here (Link to listing) for a full list of included items.

A “Red Tab” section contains contact information for key railroad personnel and identifies “Sensitive Receptors” such as hospitals and schools within a one-mile radius of the yard with contact information. This valuable tool can be shared with local first responders.

Finally, the RAPD will contain resources for railroad safety and general security, such as the protocol for responding to a bomb threat.

The Process

The RAPD is completed in three steps:

    • An initial phone call to obtain background information and details of the physical layout of the rail yard;
    • A site survey performed by a member of the SLSI team;
    • Review of plan with management and delivery of materials.

A RAPD can be successfully created within CDC guidelines for COVID-19, and any railroad-specific or local health and safety measures.

Through a grant from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), this program is available at no cost to the requesting short line or regional railroad.

Create a RAPD for your railroad

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Each RAPD includes a detailed map of the railyard, with critical assets and roads able to handle emergency vehicles noted.


The final RAPD document includes a “red tab” section with contact information for sensitive receptors within a 1-mile radius, and employees.