A deadly accident on a railroad track in Edinburgh has again raised concerns among officials about the safety of the town’s seven railroad crossings.
The Louisville & Indiana Railroad tracks that cut through the town were upgraded this year as part of a plan to run more, faster and heavier trains on the tracks.
Upgrades are continuing on more northern sections of the railroad line, such as near Indianapolis, but much of the work in Johnson County has been finished. And in recent months, trains speeds have been increasing gradually, from the former speed limit of 25 mph to the current limit of 49 mph, Indiana & Louisville Railroad Co. President John Goldman said. But the number of trains per day has not yet increased, he said.
The plan to increase the number and speed of trains, which had to be approved by the federal government, raised significant safety concerns among multiple local communities that are crossed by the tracks. And Johnson County, Franklin, Greenwood and Whiteland landed a $4.3 million grant that will pay for safety upgrades to 17 crossings, adding cross arms that stop traffic when a train is approaching.
Edinburgh could not be included in that grant because the group that awarded it, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, doesn’t include the town in its boundaries.
Upgrading just one crossing can cost as much as $250,000, and with six crossings in Edinburgh with no cross arms, that cost is not something the town can afford.
See Monday’s Daily Journal for more information.