Archbold, OH
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Pickup-Train Crash At Barre Road Crossing; Signal Delayed

A Norfolk Southern railroad locomotive collided with a mini-pickup truck at the West Barre Rd. crossing about 10:56 am, Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The driver up the pickup, Maycey Danielle Smalcer, 19, Wauseon, was not injured.

The Archbold police report states Smalcer was driving west on West Barre Road and did not see the locomotive traveling north on the side track that serves local industries.

Smalcer attempted to stop, but the pickup slid on the wet pavement and was struck in the passenger side by the 125-ton locomotive.

She did not receive a citation.

Crossing Protection

The crossing had been slated to receive crossing lights and gates several months ago. The project was stopped after one set, on the southeast corner of the intersection of the road and the crossing, was installed.

Construction of a cantilever arm-style signal on the north side of West Barre Road was delayed because the spot located for the foundation is the site of underground utility lines, including a 20-inch village water main and an eight-inch Ohio Gas Company pipeline.

A meeting was held at the crossing on July 19 between railroad, village, Ohio Rail Development Commission, and Public Utilities Commission representatives.

During the meeting, alternatives were discussed, including a suggestion by the village that the waterline be relocated.

However, relocating the waterline would require the crossing light foundation be placed on private property.

The purchase of private property is not covered under the federally-funded PUCO grant.

Variance Required

In an Oct. 6 email message, Bob Seaman, village engineer, said Cathy Stout, of the ORDC, said in an Aug. 18 email, “the proposed alternative for the installation of a standard flashing light and gate mechanism in the northeast quadrant and a mast-mounted flashing light in the southeast quadrant directed to the westbound left-turn lane is the best reasonable option.”

But Jill Henry, of the PUCO, said in a Sept. 1 email such a design would require a PUCO variance at the Commission level.

She requested direction from Norfolk Southern on whether to proceed with the variance.

“That was the last correspondence I received,” Seaman said.

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