Tag Archives: BNSF

Fort Collins, CO: Crossing delays set to fall as trains for UP rerouted

13 Oct

OmniTRAX subsidiary Great Western Railway is set to interchange with Union Pacific in Greeley rather than Fort Collins where average delays to road users at level crossings on Lemay and Riverside avenues stand at more than five minutes per train, with more extensive delays seen as routine. The change is made possible by a USD14 million project to rebuild the dormant right-of-way between Windsor and Greeley which should complete in the first quarter of 2016. Some trains will continue through Fort Collins as the Great Western Railway also exchanges traffic with the BNSF Railway.

Claremore, OK: City moves to take leading role in resolving crossing problems

27 May

Claremore is bisected by Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) which cross at-grade and 19 level crossings across which BNSF and UP trains sometimes stop as they wait their turn to cross their competitors tracks.

Now, despite previous attempts to grade-separate the BNSF and UP tracks, the city wants to play a leading role in finding a collaborative way ahead with the objective of securing arrangements that end the routine blocking of level crossings and the associated extended journey times for emergency response and non-urgent users of the city’s streets. In a practical sense, this means that there will be the need for substantial federal and state funding sitting alongside contributions from the city and both BNSF and UP.

KIlgore, TX: Freight train straddles crossing for 34 hours

26 May

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) train running on the Union Pacific right-of-way straddled the automatic half-barrier level crossing on West Lantrip Street in Kilgore for 34 hours. In a stand-off neither BNSF or UP would accept responsibility for the incident that began before 08.00 am on May 16th and concluded when the train was moved at about 17.40 on May 17th. Worse still, Neither BNSF or UP spokespersons were prepared to speak about the incident or the reasons for it taking so long to move the train. Despite the official silence, it is known that the incident was initiated by the BNSF train crew leaving the train straddling the crossing when they reached 12-hours on duty and concluded when BNSF deployed a replacement crew to move the train.

Texas law provides a penalty of between USD100-300 when a level crossing is blocked for more than 10 minutes.

Los Angeles & neighbouring counties: More than USD3 billion invested

11 Mar

in the past decade more than USD3 billion has been invested in the counties in the greater Los Angeles region. However, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has shown that investment varies greatly county by county.

Orange County has spent about USD1 billion on improvements at 52 crossings it maintains. The upgrades include obstacle detection and warning system upgrades. Additionally five grade-separation schemes have been completed. Similarly, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has similarly invested around USD1 billion, completing 18 grade-separations and upgrades at a further 36 level crossings. In total there are 180 level crossings for which the Transportation Authority has responsibility.

By contrast, Ventura County has no special tax revenues with which to fund upgrades and has only USD18 million to commit to level crossing safety schemes. Indeed, the planned road-over-rail bridge planned for the Rice Avenue level crossing in Oxnard on which there was a fatal accident (the train driver has died from injuries sustained) on February 24th has been an aspiration for twenty years because funding for the USD35 million scheme has not been forthcoming.

San Bernardino County has committed about USD340 million for 10 grade-separation schemes. Neighboring Riverside County has spent about USD461 million since 2008 on various crossing improvements. But even with a transportation sales tax, the county has far more work to be done than money available. A plan to build overpasses at 31 high-priority crossings has had to be scaled back to 20, with five finished and eight under construction.

Building overpasses and underpasses reduces traffic delays and effectively eliminates the risk of collisions between trains and vehicles. But at $20 million to $100 million each, depending on terrain, design and surrounding land values, only a relative handful of those are considered practical, officials say.

Representatives for Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the two Class One Railroads operating in Southern California, said they work closely with state and local officials. But ultimately government agencies decide what types of warning devices to install, they added. A Union Pacific spokesman said the company has reduced level crossing accident rates along its rights-of-way by 15% from 2003 to 2013.

Fort Worth, TX: USD101 million Tower 55 project is complete

19 Nov

A ceremony has been held to mark the completion of infrastructure works costing USD101 million in Fort Worth, the Tower 55 project.

While the primary goal was to improve rail traffic-flow through a congested interlocking, the project has delivered substantial safety benefits through the elimination of three level crossings. The elimination of the Peach Street level crossing is of particular note as it improves a route taken by many children to and from school,

USD34 million was provided from federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) programme. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroad (UP) contributed USD65 million. The balance of USD2 million was provided by City and State sources.

Bismark, ND: City set to agree funding for a quiet zone

26 Feb

The City of Bismark’s proposed quiet zone is moving ahead with city officials set to sign a design contract with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). In total the project is set to cost USD3.6 million dollars for upgrading three level crossings (on 3rd, 5th & 12th streets) along the BNSF right-of-way to four quadrant gates, obstacle detection and associated works. The first stage of the City’s commitment to this project is to authorise design works for the scheme that will end the routine sounding of train horns through the downtown area of town. It is intended that the project will be complete no later than September 2015.

Camp Point, Illinois: Crossing upgrade receives public funding

9 Dec

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved a level crossing upgrade of the 2200E Road at-grade crossing of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s (BNSF’s) right-of-way near Camp Point, Adams County.

The ICC has approved an expenditure of USD0.482 million from the State’s Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) with the balance of the total cost of USD0.504 million being met by BNSF which will maintain the upgraded level crossing at its own expense. .

The upgrade includes installation of flashing light signals and barriers, controlled by constant warning timed circuitry, improvements to the highway approaches to the crossing are also included.