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Rail News: Safety

Washington state panel OKs funds for rail-crossing improvements


The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has approved more than $30,000 in grant funding for rail-crossing upgrades in Auburn.

Auburn city officials requested the funds to improve safety at the C Street SW crossing, according to a UTC press release.

The grants will be used to cover the cost to install median barriers and additional street lights at the crossing.

The barriers will improve safety at the crossing by preventing motorists from driving around trains entering or occupying the crossing, UTC officials said. The additional lighting will help to improve the visibility.

Since 2014, multiple accidents and near-miss incidents have occurred at the crossing due to motorists attempting to drive around trains. An average of 14,800 vehicles use the crossing daily.

Currently, two freight trains traveling at 10 mph use the crossing several times a week.

The upgrades must be completed by Aug. 31, according to the UTC.

The UTC regulates railroad safety, including approving new grade crossings and closing or altering existing rail crossings, investigating train accidents, inspecting public railroad crossings, approving safety projects and managing safety education through Operation Lifesaver.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/17/2018