Delhi, India: INR one trillion over five years for safety

8 Feb

The end of a separate railways budget after 93 years appears to be working in favour of the railways. Central Government’s allocation for railways in 2017-2018 is INR 1.3 trillion, an increase of INR 1.4 billion over the comparable 2016-2017 budget.

Included within the allocated funds is a ring-fenced INR one trillion spread over five years for safety improvements and includes delivery of the government’s pledge to eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2019.

Melbourne, Victoria: Another sep forward with AUD 395 million project

8 Feb

The design for a rail-over-road bridge within the AUD 395 million project which will also deliver doubling  of the railway along the Hurstbridge Line corridor and reconstruction of the Rosanna station reconstruction has been finalised. The elimination of the Grange Road level crossing in Alphington is also included within this project

The new rail-over-road bridge will eliminate the Lower Plenty Road level crossing in Rosanna which has long antagonised road users with the traffic congestion attributable to the level crossing at which the barriers can be down 43 minutes in the hour at peak times..

The project is scheduled for completion in 2019

Valhalla, NY: No NTSB final report two years after fatal accident

7 Feb

Two years on from a level crossing accident that took six lives and injured 15, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has still to publish a final report with a definitive set of recommendations. In response to this scenario, local, state and federal representatives have pushed for the NTSB report to be released sooner rather than later. In response, an NTSB spokesperson has suggested spring 2017 when the wider world will hear further from NTSB.

LX info’s Aidan Nelson says “two years after an accident is surely long enough for any accident investigation body to publish a final report and recommendations therein to prevent a recurrence. Indeed, except in exceptional circumstances, 12 months should be the norm.  Where there are exceptional circumstances extending the timescale beyond one year, investigation bodies should be required to publish a report setting out the exceptional circumstances which are extending the timetable for the investigation as well as interim conclusions so far determined and recommendations resulting from these interim conclusions”.

 

Capreol, ONT: Extended crossing closures are of wider concern

7 Feb

young-street-capreol-level-crossing

In Canada trains can occupy a level crossing for an indefinite period while moving plus a stationary maximum time of five minutes. Using incidents of extended closures to road traffic in Cawreol, the case for change is being developed.

Specifically the Young Street level crossing in Cawreol sits on a single track railway, to the south of a single track triangular junction with an east-west line which is double tracked to the west with additional tracks serving a terminal facility and single to the east.

Reports referencing closure to road traffic of the Young Street level crossing for between 30-40 minutes have prompted municipal action for a change to the permissible blockage time of public level crossings to a maximum of 12 minutes which is the sum of time spent moving and standing with excess occupation of a crossing attracting a fine payable to the local administration.

 

Biloxi, MS: -6+2 = a good deal

7 Feb

Biloxi’s city administration is working with CSX to determine how the number of level crossings in the city can be reduced and traffic flow improved. With 29 level crossings across the city the preferred outcome would see six or more crossings eliminated with two replacement crossings constructed.

The new crossings would be located on the planned extensions of Popp’s Ferry Road and Pine Street. At present the specific crossings targeted for elimination have still to be identified. However, with 20 level crossings in the east of the city between Porter Avenue and Oak Street this CSX corridor looks most likely to deliver options for closures sufficient to justify the new level crossings.

 

 

Now road traffic counts are on-going, the results of which when combined with accident histories should lead to the identification of specific crossings for closure.

Valhalla, NY: Further incident two-years on from multiple fatality accident

30 Jan

Media and community  interest in the Commerce Street level crossing in Valhalla, New York, has been heightened by a further incident after an accident killed five railway passengers and a motorist. In the latest incident at about 11.00am on January 27th, 2017, a barrier was knocked-off, it is presumed because it was struck by a vehicle using the crossing when the barrier was descending or had already descended.

 

 

 

Jeanerette, LA: truck rear-ended, fatality results

30 Jan

In the aftermath of an accident at the level crossing of the US90 highway near Jeanerette, Louisiana that cost the life of a truck driver, the State’s Department of Transportation is further considering how the level crossing might be eliminated.

The accident at about 11.30am on January 25th, 2017 was unusual in a number of ways. Firstly the fact that there is a level crossing in the first place is unusual as US-90 is in line for upgrading to Interstate standards which would require grade separation. The railway crossing at grade serves a major sugar processing factory. In considering grade separation the options regrade separating by way of a road over rail bridge or by a pipeline removing the need for the highway-rail crossing.

Secondly it wasn’t a collision between a train and a truck. On this occasion a truck had stopped because a train was present when it was rear-ended by another heavy truck, the driver of which was killed. This was because the load shifted and compromised the integrity of the driving cab with fatal consequences.

Logic says that grade separation is the only answer even though it will prove costly, a point recognised by Louisiana DoT which was already at the feasibility stage of a project to eliminate this accident prone level crossing.