America’s First "Smart" Highway-Rail Crossing is Dedicated in Groton, Connecticut
Wednesday, August 26, 1998 (Washington, DC ) America’s First "Smart" Highway-Rail Crossing is Dedicated in Groton, Connecticut
Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris today participated in the dedication of a new advanced technology gate system at the School Street Crossing in Groton, Connecticut. The demonstration project represents a step forward in the FRA’s commitment to reducing highway-rail crossing collisions and developing high-speed passenger rail service.
"This crossing demonstration will provide the FRA and others an excellent opportunity to test and study how state-of-the-art technology will enable the high-speed trains of the 21st Century to operate efficiently and safely," said Administrator Molitoris.
The demonstration project features a "four quadrant" gate system and an in-cab/at-grade crossing advance warning system which alerts locomotive engineers to slow down, or stop if there is a disabled vehicle or other obstruction on the track.
This grade crossing safety demonstration is an important component of Amtrak’s plans to inaugurate high-speed service in Southeastern Connecticut on the Northeast Corridor (NEC). If the demonstration is successful, the technology may be deployed elsewhere in the United States in preparation for high-speed rail service in other designated corridors.
Funding for the demonstration originated under Section 1036 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), and funds for improvements will be available under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The FRA contributed $800,000 or 80 percent of the cost of the gate installation. The state of Connecticut through the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) provided the remaining $200,000.
Decreasing the risk of highway-rail crossing collisions is a key element of the high-speed rail corridor plan. In keeping with the Department of Transportation’s goal of zero tolerance for accidents, injuries or fatalities, the FRA is working with railroads, and state and local governments to eliminate crossings where possible and demonstrate cost-effective and practical technologies to reduce the number of highway-rail crossing casualties nationwide.