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Rail News: Communication and Signal

NS, FRA and Michigan DOT to test retractable barricades at grade crossing


Van Buren Township, Mich., is now home to the first grade crossing to feature retractable barricades designed to prevent motorists from driving around lowered gates when a train is approaching.

The barricades, known as delineators, are part of a federal crossing safety test sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration and Norfolk Southern Railway. In cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, the parties will test and monitor the barricades for 17 months at a crossing on NS' line.

Traffic-control system developer Intelligent Perimeter Systems recently installed the barricade system at the crossing, which is used by NS and Amtrak. The system features retractable barriers housed in self-contained, modular cartridges recessed in the ground. The barriers are electronically deployed when a train approaches a crossing.

"We believe the barriers have great life-saving potential for those motorists who make a quick, poor decision, and attempt to drive around lowered gates," said Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudle in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/5/2007