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Rail News Home Communication and Signal

4/11/2014



Rail News: Communication and Signal

Ohio commission OKs seven crossing upgrades; Canada orders VIA Rail to protect six crossings


The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) earlier this week approved plans to upgrade seven grade crossings in six counties.

Individual projects call for:
• CSX Transportation to install flashing lights at the State Route 18 crossing in Defiance, and flashing lights and gates at the St. Peter Road/Township Road 96 crossing in Big Spring Township;
• Norfolk Southern Railway to install flashing lights and gates at the Hazel Run Road/Township Road 879 crossing in Washington Township;
• Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to install flashing lights and gates at the Fairway Plaza Drive crossing in Akron; and
• Youngstown & Austintown Railroad to install flashing lights and gates at the Hazelwood Avenue crossing in Youngstown.

The railroads must complete the upgrades by Jan. 9, 2015. Funding for the projects will be provided by federal sources.

PUCO also approved a separate agreement between the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), CSX and the village of Columbus Grove through which the Class I will install active warning devices at the Pearl and Broadway street crossings in the village. In addition, the Maple Street crossing will be permanently closed.

CSX must complete the project by April 9, 2015. Funding will be shared by PUCO, ORDC, CSX and the village.

Meanwhile, Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt yesterday announced the federal government has ordered VIA Rail Canada Inc. to immediately address safety issues at six crossings in Ottawa, Ontario.

VIA Rail must employ flagmen at the crossings around the clock to provide manual protection for all freight and passenger trains, and develop a long-term plan to manage safety at the crossings. A Transport Canada safety inspector will be posted on site to closely monitor the crossings and verify compliance with rules and regulations.

"The safety of Canadians is my top priority [and] that is why I am issuing this order to ensure that passenger and freight trains are crossing safely at our intersections," said Raitt in a press release. "I am confident that VIA Rail will take swift action to resolve these issues."



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