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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF closes 3,000th grade crossing under six-year-old program

On March 27, BNSF Railway Co. marked a milestone. The railroad closed a private crossing in Belle Plaine, Kan. — the 3,000th crossing the Class I has closed since launching a closure program six years ago.

“BNSF has always put a high priority on promoting grade crossing safety, and the closure team has established a process that truly leads the rail industry,” said BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Rose in a prepared statement.

Since 2000, BNSF’s grade crossing incident rate has decreased more than 30 percent from 3.34 incidents per million train miles to 2.33, according to Federal Railroad Administration data. Across its 32,000-route-mile network, the railroad has 31,500 crossings of which 27,500 are highway-rail crossings (18,000 public and 9,300 private). Each year, about 30 percent of the crossings BNSF closes are public.

“While the number of closed crossings to date is impressive, it represents less than 9 percent of the at-grade crossings on the system,” said Robert Boileau, assistant vice president of engineering services. “In coming years, we’ll continue to work toward a few more milestones.”

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More News from 3/30/2006