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5/23/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, Kansas DOT share vegetation-control costs to heighten crossing safety



Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Kansas Department of Transportation are sharing the cost of cutting and removing trees, brush and weeds to improve the safety of 261 public grade crossings on nearly 300 miles of BNSF's rights of way in south-central Kansas.
The vegetation-control program — which is aimed at improving sight distances on roads and rights of way — involves clearing state and county roads 100 feet on either side of signalized public grade crossings, and 300 feet on each side of non-signalized grade crossings, and clearing BNSF's rights of way 500 feet on each side of a crossing.
The joint vegetation-control program has been so effective to date that BNSF plans to approach other states with the idea, said Gary Nyberg, BNSF manager of vegetation control, in a statement prepared May 22.
In addition to vegetation control, BNSF is trying to boost crossing safety by working with various state agencies to close crossings; BNSF in 2000 and 2001 closed 1,150 crossings throughout its network.


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