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CONRAIL ADDS OR UPGRADES SIGNALS AT 188 GRADE CROSSINGS

 CONRAIL ADDS OR UPGRADES SIGNALS AT 188 GRADE CROSSINGS
 PHILADELPHIA, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Consolidated Rail Corporation


(NYSE: CRR) added or upgraded automatic highway traffic control signals at 188 grade crossings in 10 states during 1991.
 Many of the improvements were funded through a federal/state program. After installation, Conrail maintains the signals, which last year amounted to $22 million.
 The automatic signals at rail-highway grade crossings are usually flashing lights and bells or a combination of lights, bells and gates. About 60 percent of the nearly 11,000 public highway grade crossings on the Conrail system are equipped with some form of automatic warning device.
 Most of last year's projects included installation of grade crossing predictors. With predictors, the automatic signals are activated a consistent length of time before a train reaches the crossing, whether the train is approaching at 10 mph or 70 mph.
 Last year, Conrail completed 77 grade crossing signal installation and improvement projects in New York. Other state totals: Ohio, 38; Indiana, 24; Michigan, 19; Pennsylvania, 12; New Jersey, 6; Illinois, 4; Maryland, 4; Delaware, 3; and West Virginia, 1.
 Through funding legislation, Congress recognized the public responsibility for highway improvements, including installation and upgrading of highway traffic control signals at rail crossings. For new projects, the federal government provides 80 percent of the financing for these projects, with the remaining 20 percent paid by state or local highway authorities; for projects approved under an earlier version of the program, the federal share is 90 percent.
 In the Northeast-Midwest region served by Conrail, each state establishes a priority list of grade crossings to be improved under the federal program.
 Usually, a community initiates a request for installation of automatic signals at a grade crossing by contacting the appropriate state agency. A diagnostic team, composed of representatives of state and local agencies and the railroad, recommends to the state the appropriate device. When this basic decision has been made, the railroad submits plans and cost estimates. The state then secures federal government approval, after which the railroad prepares detailed engineering designs and orders the necessary materials. Work begins after the materials are received.
 The entire process, from the time the community contacts the state until the work begins, usually takes about two years.
 Conrail operates a rail-freight transportation network in 14 Northeastern and Midwestern states, the District of Columbia, and the Province of Quebec.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/30/92
 /Editors: Contact Conrail Public Affairs at 215-977-4594 for a list of grade crossings in your area where work was completed last year./
 /CONTACT: Robert L. Libkind or Andrea L. Just of Conrail, 215-977-4594/
 (CRR) CO: Consolidated Rail Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


KA -- PH003 -- 4804 04/30/92 10:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 30, 1992
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