Program Demonstrates Improved Public Safety
CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT) will expand its emergency crossing sign program beginning in mid-June to include about 4,100 public and private highway-rail grade crossings on the lines it has been allocated in the Conrail transaction.
The program, developed by CSXT in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), improves the ability of local emergency responders and the motoring public to alert the railroad when a vehicle is stalled on a crossing, enabling CSXT to take timely measures to prevent an accident. CSXT was the first railroad in the nation to install emergency information signs across its entire system.
CSXT will install the new signs on approximately 4,100 crossings on the former Conrail lines it will begin operating on June 1. Work will begin in the Cleveland, Ohio area and expand east and west from there. The company anticipates completing the $1 million project this year.
Signs posted at the crossings display the company's 800 emergency telephone number as well as a Department of Transportation identification number and railroad milepost number for each crossing.
In April 1998, CSXT completed the installation of emergency information signs at 24,000 crossings across its current 20-state system at a cost of $4.7 million. In the first year after the signs were posted, nearly 200 potential safety hazards were reported, preventing possible grade crossing collisions or train accidents. While many of the calls were to report stalled vehicles on the tracks, other calls reported potential safety concerns such as broken crossing gates, trees and other objects on or near the tracks and damage to crossing signals caused by traffic accidents.
``Safety is our first priority,'' said CSXT President and CEO A.R. ``Pete'' Carpenter. ``The one-year results from areas where this system has already been installed prove that working together, CSXT and the communities it serves can make a difference in safety. We believe this program also will help enhance public safety in the new communities we will soon begin serving.''
The state-by-state breakdown of public and private crossings tentatively slated to receive the signs is: Illinois, 338; Indiana, 903; Maryland, 75; Massachusetts, 265; New Jersey, 69; New York, 1,280; Ohio, 1027; Pennsylvania, 116; District of Columbia, 4.
CSXT and its 28,000 employees provide rail transportation and distribution services over an 18,300 route-mile network in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. With the integration of Conrail, CSXT will continue to be the largest railroad in the eastern United States, with a rail network spanning more than 22,000 route miles in 23 states and two Canadian provinces. CSXT is a business unit of CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX - news), headquartered in Richmond, Va.
SOURCE: CSXT 28 May 1999
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