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Rail News: Communication and Signal
Washington transportation commission, Montana DOT pursue crossing projects

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has approved the allocation of $40,000 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) to help pay for upgrades at two Pend Oreille Valley Railroad (POVR) grade crossings near Newport, Wash.

POVR plans to use the funds to replace an existing cantilever with a walk-out style cantilever, which allows warning lights and other devices to be placed at the side of the roadway and above individual traffic lanes. The railroad also will install an upgraded bungalow and complete other improvements.

GCPF funding is limited to about $20,000 for each project. UTC staff will help arrange surplus equipment for each crossing. Both projects must be completed by June 30, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Montana Department of Transportation is seeking public comments on a proposed project involving the installation of signals, flashing lights and gates, and a 32-foot concrete surface at a crossing near Plains, Mont.

The Montana DOT, Sanders County and Montana Rail Link Inc. (MRL) are jointly pursuing the project. The DOT will provide funding for the signal system and a portion of the new concrete crossing surface, while MRL will install the signals and crossing surface.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in fall.

The Montana DOT also is seeking public comments on a proposed MRL crossing upgrade near Alberton and a proposed BNSF Railway Co. crossing upgrade near Glendive. Those projects — which involve signals and/or flashing lights and gates — also are tentatively scheduled to start in fall.

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