Making Railroad Crossings Safer

New Safety Measures Aim to Reduce Accidents

DULUTH, Minn.- Saint Louis County ranks in the top five counties in Minnesota for the number of crossing accidents reported each year.

On Monday, the city and North Shore Scenic Railroad unveiled new measures to change that, at multiple spots around the community including at 45th and 47th Avenues East, McCulloch St., and Harbor Dr.

City leaders gathered at the railroad crossing of 45th Ave. E. and Superior St. to unveil some of the new measures, to improve safety at that dangerous railroad intersection.

This crossing is among the top 10 crossings with the most incidents reported.

“Minnesota Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, North Shore Scenic Railroad and St. Louis and Lake County Regional Rail Authority do put safety first,” said Ken Buehler, Executive Director of the North Shore Scenic Railroad.

“And improvements to safety means crossings, and that’s where trains and cars and pedestrians unfortunately can come together in collisions.”

The new aspects include new vehicle arms, bells, lights, and pedestrian crossing arms.

The city and the railroad hopes these measures will force people to look, and stop.

“It takes a mile at 55 mph for that train to stop, or 18 football fields,” said  Commissioner of the 7th District, Michael Jugovich. “If you have the optical illusion that that train is slower than that, and you’re going to try and beat it across the tracks, it’s not like baseball, a tie doesn’t go to the runner.”

This initiative is part of a $700,000 investment in safety, most of which is from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The North Shore Scenic Railroad told us that they hope to implement more new safety improvements, including by 40th Ave. W. near Denfeld High School.

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