Tag Archives: grade-separation

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

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.

 

Durham, NC: USD27 million grade separation complete

15 Jul

State transportation officials gathered in Durham on July 12th, 2016 to celebrate the completion of a construction project designed to enhance rail safety and efficiency.

“To help fulfill Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision, our Rail Division is working to enhance rail safety and connectivity across the state,” said North Carolina’s Transportation Secretary, Nick Tennyson. “These projects will modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.”

The project is funded through a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration and was completed in partnership with the North Carolina Railroad Company and Norfolk Southern Railway.

Construction on the Hopson Road grade separation and passing track project began in 2013 and was the first Piedmont Improvement Program project to break ground. It was designed to improve road safety and speed up train travel along the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor by eliminating railroad crossings at Hopson Road and Church Street. A bridge wide enough to accommodate any future widening of Hopson Road was also built to carry train tracks over the road, replacing the existing street level crossing.

The project also constructed a new 3.3-mile passing track between McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville and I-40 in Durham.

The improvements will help provide schedule reliability for passenger service as the addition of a second track will allow passenger trains to pass slower freight trains. The new bridge over Hopson Road will reduce the risk of automobile/train collisions, improve safety for automobile and rail passengers and reduce automobile and train traffic congestion.

“This project is a result of long-term vision and collaboration among all the partners involved,” said Scott Saylor, President of the North Carolina Railroad Company. “The Hopson Road grade separation and new passing track will have an immediate and significant impact on both rail and highway safety, as well as increased efficiencies for our freight and passenger rail providers.”

Delivery of the $27 million project is a partnership effort. NCDOT constructed the railroad bridge, road realignment and grading work for the parallel track. Norfolk Southern built the additional track line, and the North Carolina Railroad Company purchased the land for railroad improvements.

Melbourne: Next grade-separation visibly moving ahead

10 May

Evidence that the project to eliminate the Blackburn Road level crossing in  Blackburn, near Melbourne is moving ahead is now very much in evidence. While the excavation of the nine-metre deep cutting that will allow Blackburn Road to cross the railway at the current street level is still more than seven-months away, piling rigs will soon be on site.With more than 1,000 concrete piles to be constructed, some up to 15 metres deep,this is a major step along the way to grade separation.

Wareham, Dorset, UK: Crossing stand-off continues

14 Apr

The footpath level crossing just metres away from the town’s station continues to generate passion whether for or against eliminating the level crossing.

Despite regulator ORR slapping an improvement notice on Network Rail and Dorset County Council in 2010 to address risk at one of the country’s least safe level crossings, hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the retention of this level crossing. Meanwhile Network Rail has improved matters on a ‘temporary basis by installing a locking gate and posting an attendant at the crossing. Even with these controls overlaid onto a crossing equipped with warning lights and audible alarms, Network Rail still maintains its position that the crossing needs to be eliminated on safety grounds as misuse is still being reported..

The permanent solution proposed by Network Rail was a ramped access footbridge to replace both this level crossing and the footbridge at the station just metres away. This solution was last year turned down by Purbeck District Council on the grounds that it was too large and increased walking time expected of pedestrians.

Now Dorset County Council and Network Rail are looking at further options.

 

Wool, Dorset UK: new footbridge context misunderstood

13 Apr

Network Rail has completed work to construct a new stepped-access footbridge to eliminate a footpath level crossing. However, there are still many who challenge the decision to approve a stepped rather than ramped design. The logic behind the approval of the stepped design was that access to each end of the footpath level crossing was over a stile at each end which limited the use of the crossing. Thus, as the footbridge was independent of any plan to make the route of which it is a part accessible to the mobility impaired or users with prams and pushchairs, there was no obligation on Network Rail to install a ramped access footbridge replacing a footpath level crossing.

As Network Rail’s objective was to reduce risk by eliminating a high-risk level crossing, complete with sighting constraints extra expenditure on a ramped access design would have been an inappropriate use of regulator approved funding to progress the elimination of level crossings. Even so, the stepped design footbridge has cost in the region of GBP 830,000.

 

Sioux City, IA: Funding a rail-over-road bridge

8 Apr

With planning well underway, now is the time to secure funding for a new rail-over-road grade separation that will allow three Hoeven Valley level crossings to be closed. It has been revealed that USD20.7 million is needed for this project with USD 14.8 millionth be sought from federal funds, with the balance to be raised locally. If funding can be secured, work on the ground could start in around a year’s time.