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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

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.

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.

 

Killarney, Ireland: Railway subsiding below road level

30 Jan

The railway at the level crossing of the Minish level crossing on the N22 highway near Killarney has been subsiding for several years. Now, the difference in the levels of road and rail is seen as a safety issue. talks appear to have started before 2013 when it was said that remedial works would be undertaken. Now, four-years later such works have been undertaken and the local and rail authorities are talking as, it is reported, there was ambiguiyty as to which party was responsible for the remedial works. Logic says that if it is the railway that has moved, it should be the railway that funds the remedial works to restore the level crossing.

Tacoma, WA: Improvements at crossing follow pedestrian fatalities

30 Jan

With fatalities in 2015 and 2016 and continuing community pressure, the city of Tacoma has installed signage to warn users to watch for a second train. This signage with a barrier and further signage on the west side of the crossing to focus pedestrians on crossing the railway on the east side of the McCarver crossing. These improvements have been taken by the city independently of BNSF which owns the railway right of way. However, further improvements will be addressed collaboratively with `BNSF and potentially other agencies.

 

Netherlands: Government adds EUR25 million to upgrade passive crossings

10 Jan

The Dutch government’s Sharon Dijksma Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Environment has announced an increase of EUR25 million, on top of EUR10 million previously agreed, to address risk at passive level crossings. In total there aremore than 100 passive level crossings, the number of which will be reduced with a proportion of the funding now available. Others will be upgraded to an active configuration.

To increase the scope of this project the Secretary of State has said that she is looking for provincial and municipal administrations to contribute additional funding to this project.

This focus on upgrading and eliminating presently passive level crossings follows the collision on a now eliminated passive level crossing in Winsum, near Groningen on November 18th, 2016 in which a passenger train derailed. This collision with a milk tanker returning from a farm injured 18.