The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded nearly $3.5 million to three Indiana agencies in an effort to boost railroad safety. The Indiana Rail Road Co., Indiana Department of Transportation and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District will use the funds to make improvements throughout the state.
The Indiana Rail Road Co. has received nearly $130,000 to make improvements at 321 railroad crossings in 10 counties in Indiana and Illinois. Work will include clearing trees and brush from 201 highway grade railroad crossings and installing warning signs at 120 private road crossings that intersect with the Indiana Railroad.
INDOT has received $640,000 to upgrade four crossings that are considered "at-risk." The improvements will include the installation of flashing signals, automatic gates and warning bells, among others, at crossings in Oakland City, Muncie, Wheatfield and Shelburn.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has received $2.69 million to add two platform access points at the East Chicago Train Station. The FRA says the additions will reduce congestion, enhance safety and operational efficiencies, decrease passenger delays and reduce the probability of derailments.
"It is vitally important that we invest in safety as rail continues to play an increasingly larger role in this country, transporting tons of freight and millions of passengers each day," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "These grants will help address some of the improvements that are crucial to ensuring safe, reliable, and efficient railroad networks."
Indiana’s grants are part of $25 million awarded to agencies in 14 states and the District of Columbia.