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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.

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.

 

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.

Victoria: Crossing closure extra costs could be AUD 1.0 billion

21 Sep

Having successfully leased the Port of Melbourne to the private sector for AUD 9.7 billion, the State of Victoria has now put a further eleven Melbourne conurbation level crossing closure projects out to tender.

The State Government is intent on having 37 level crossing elimination projects underway or completed in advance of the 2018 state elections. However, the state’s Public Transport Minister has warned that eliminating 50 level crossings in the Melbourne metropolitan region may now cost between AUD 6.0-7.0 billion, this is up to AUD 1.0 billion than previously anticipated. subsequent “clarification” has said that the level crossing elimination budget remains between AUD 5.0-6.0 billion with the balance to be charged to the budget for station reconstruction and other consequential rail network improvements

However, the money coming from the Federal Government’s asset recycling scheme bonus payment of 15% of the sum raised from the lease of the Port of Melbourne has been halved to AUD 877.5 million because the state government-federal government bilateral agreement was not concluded before June 30th, 2016. A state cry of foul appears justified.

The incoming 2014 labor administration pledged to eliminate 50 greater Melbourne urban level crossings within two four-year parliamentary terms with 20 to be gone by 2018.

 

Australia: Regulator publishes level crossing policy

15 Jul

Australia’s national rail safety regulator has published a level crossing policy document which sets out an approach based around no new level crossings and a risk-based and proportionate reduction in risk at existing level crossings through closure and upgrade of level crossings.

To read more go to: http://www.onrsr.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/17620/Policy-Railway-Crossings.pdf

City of Industry, CA: ACE makes it 16

23 May

Federal, state and local officials have broken ground to mark the start of the 16th grade separation project under the auspices of the ACE Construction Authority’s work to improve safety and reduce congestion on the Alameda corridor.

The latest site at which work is underway is the Fullerton Road grade separation linking the City of Industry with an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. The USD145.6 million project will see Fullerton Road lowered to pass beneath the Union Pacific (UP) right-of-way in place of the present at-grade route across the UP tracks

 

The Fullerton Road-UP intersection currently handles about 50 trains and 24,000 road vehicles each day with more in prospect over the next decade. Completion, scheduled for 2019 will eliminate substantial delays to road traffic and improve safety too. Of particular note is the improvement in response times of emergency vehicles using the Fullerton Road corridor.

FRA data records two train-road vehicle collisions within the last ten years.