Santa Fe, N.M., residents will see a higher level of safety at Rail Runner crossings in their area, following a review of the crossings by Rio Metro Regional Transit District, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the city of Santa Fe.
“The amount of pedestrian and bicycle activity in and around these crossings has increased in the past couple of years”, said Terry Doyle, director of Rio Metro Regional Transit District. “We want to make sure we are doing all we can in the way of making these crossings as safe as possible for those who use them.”
Over the next 60-90 days, all agencies involved will be conducting a review of the crossings and gathering input from FRA safety experts to make sure that the highest appropriate level of safety is being provided at the crossings. The diagnostic review will include all Rail Runner crossings in Santa Fe. Any improvements identified will then be implemented as necessary. In the meantime, trains will begin to operate at slower speeds through these crossings and there will also be flaggers regularly stationed at the crossings to provide warning of approaching trains to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
“One option we’ve considered was sounding the train horns through these crossings”, said Dewey Cave, executive director for 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.”