Archbold, OH

Downtown Railroad Crossing Discussed At Council Meeting

The condition of the Defi- ance Street Norfolk Southern railroad crossing and other railroad issues were discussed by Archbold Village Council at its Monday, July 21 meeting.

Kevin Morton, councilman, said the concrete at the crossing is deteriorating.

Bob Seaman, village engineer, agreed. “It’s getting bad,” he said.

Dennis Howell, village administrator, said he would write a letter to the NS track supervisor, informing him of the problem.

Howell said in 2005, before the village held its celebration of reopening of North Defiance Street after major reconstruction, he asked the railroad to work on the crossing. Railroad crews fulfilled the request.

Howell said he would ask that the work be done before the village sesquicentennial in 2016.

But councilmen noted the failed concrete at the crossing exposed rusted bolts, which could potentially damage a car tire. Work needs to be done soon, they said.

West Barre Road

Council also asked about the installation of gates and lights at the West Barre Road crossing.

Seaman said the project is still in the design phase. Railroad engineers are being challenged by underground utilities in the area.

Vaughn Bentz, councilman, said different railroad crews take different precautions when their trains cross West Barre Road.

He said some will send out a crewman, who will light a flare and flag traffic.

Others simply blare the horn and proceed into the crossing.

Morton said some train crews are inconsiderate at times, parking their trains in the crossing, when, by moving 10 additional feet, they would allow vehicle traffic to flow.

He said he sometimes feels like parking his car on the tracks to block the train, but someone in council chambers said, “You must not care about your car…”

Quiet Zones

Ed Leininger, councilman, said a constituent had asked him about railroad “quiet zones,” where trains are not required to blow their horns as they travel through crossings.

Howell said village offi- cials had looked into quiet zones several years ago, but found them cost prohibitive.

First, to qualify for quiet zones, the two village railroad crossings, Defiance and Franklin streets, must have additional gates installed so there are four per crossing instead of two, at a cost of $200,000 to $250,000 per crossing.

Plus, the village must pay a maintenance fee of $40,000 to $50,000 per year, per crossing.

Howell said it’s not the initial cost, but the $80,000 to $100,000 in yearly maintenance fees that concern him.

Jeff Fryman, councilman, noted it had been several years since the village looked into quiet zones, and the requirements may have changed.

He asked village officials to look into quiet zones again.

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