NM: Changes Planned for Train Crossings in Santa Fe

Aug. 05--Rail Runner Express passenger train operators said Monday that trains will begin to operate at slower speeds through busy street crossings in Santa Fe and flaggers will be regularly stationed to warn motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians of approaching trains.

The announcement comes in the wake of the deaths of two bicyclists at two different track crossings in Santa Fe this year, despite the fact that warning signals were operating and vehicles in nearby traffic lanes had been blocked by mechanical gates.

Meanwhile, in the next 60 to 90 days, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, the Federal Railroad Administration, the state Department of Transportation, the state Public Regulation Commission and the city of Santa Fe will review crossings in the area and gather input from safety experts, the statement said.

"One option we've considered was sounding the train horns through these crossings," said Dewey Cave, executive director of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District. "However, we decided to utilize slower speeds and flaggers so that we uphold the commitment we've made to the residents and business owners of Santa Fe to maintain quiet operations through the area."

Terry Doyle, Rio Metro director, said the amount of pedestrian and bicycle activity in and around these crossings has increased in the last couple of years.

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