Upgrade for Northern Lines crossings

Written by Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age
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Anacostia Rail

A Midwest shortline operator will see grade crossings upgraded, per plans by a state transportation office.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Rail Safety Office has announced plans for significant improvements to five railroad grade crossings on Northern Lines Railway (NLR) in St. Cloud and Waite Park.

Northern Lines is a short line of Anacostia Rail Holdings.

The state is designating approximately $750,000 for the project, using a mix of state and federal funds. Some of the work is scheduled for three crossings in 2018 and two more in 2019.

Northern Lines operates on approximately 25 miles of track in the St. Cloud area, serving a variety of aggregate, agricultural, and manufacturing customers. It connects with the national rail network via BNSF Railway.

“We’re very pleased to partner with the state on these important upgrades,” says NLR President Justin Chalich. “This underscores our strong commitment to safety, for both our employees and the public we serve.”

The grade crossing projects include:

Replacing the existing signal system on 2nd Avenue N. in Waite Park with new flashing lights and gates;

Replacing the existing signal system on Ridgewood Road (County 134) in St. Cloud with new flashing lights, gates, and cantilevers;

Upgrading the existing signal system on Saukview Drive in Waite Park, using relocated equipment from the Lincoln Avenue N.E. crossing in St. Cloud;

Upgrading the crossing at 10th Avenue S. in Waite Park using relocated equipment from the U.S. 10 crossing in St. Cloud, and

Upgrading the crossing at 28th Avenue S. in Waite Park with new LED lights.

The Minnesota DOT official expects the projects to be completed within 12 months.

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