Tag Archives: Railroad crossing

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.

 

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.

 

Portland, ME: Wilful misuse, children in car

30 Jan

A local man drove around vehicles already stopped at the St John Street level crossing in Portland, Maine on January 27th, 2017. The motorist who had two young children in the back of the car entered the level crossing at which barriers were lowered into the path of a passenger train at which point a collision occurred. The motorist was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The children, not related to the driver of the vehicle, were not injured and were returned to a parent. Now, the motorist can expect to be prosecuted for his wilful misuse of the level crossing.

 

City of Industry, CA: ACE makes it 16

21 Sep

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.

Poteau, OK: Crossing where four killed already slated for upgrade

9 Sep

The level crossing of Poteau’s Dewey Avenue where a mother and three of her children were killed and a fourth child seriously injured had already been slated for improvement. The need to upgrade the level crossing with the addition of barriers and a dedicated pedestrian walkway at the active open crossing was identified in 2011. Next, the upgrade was included in Oklahoma’s bid for federal funding from the TIGER programme for transport infrastructure improvements.

Oklahoma’s Transportation Commission approved the upgrade with an estimated cost of USD0.313 million at its August 2016 board meeting on the basis of the state contributing some USD266,000 and USD15,000 from FHWA’s federal budget. The remaining USD31,000 to come from the City of Poteau has yet to be authorised and is due to be considered by the city fathers later this month. Previously, the City of Poteau has determined that it didn’t have the budget for its share of the upgrade funding.

The City of Poteau Police Department has confirmed that when the emergency services arrived at the crossing of the Kansas City Southern right of way, the lights and audible alarm were still operating.

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.