BNSF proposes 2nd Street closure

A view of 2nd Street toward Hardin’s business district. The proposed closure would sever 2nd Street between East Elm and East Olive streets. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

A Burlington Northern-Santa Fe representative made a pitch to Hardin City Council Tuesday night for the need to close the train crossing at 2nd Street.

Cheryl Townlian, a project engineer with BNSF, told the council the close proximity of the 1st and 2nd streets grade crossings is causing interference with trains’ information systems, which could create safety issues.

Townlian also said the railroad must comply with the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act, which requires installation of Positive Train Control systems in trains by December 2015.

Positive Train Control monitors and controls train movement to prevent train-to-train collisions, such as the recent Amtrak collision in Oakland, Calif., along with derailments due to excessive speed and injuries to roadway workers. The upcoming system would require different switches to smooth out the big turn in the tracks, she said.

Townlian and BNSF offered the city of Hardin $85,000 to close 2nd Street, with an additional $20,000 for barricading each side of the roadway. The street would be severed between East Elm and East Olive streets.


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