Schererville railroad crossings made safer, trains less noisy
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent May 2, 2013 2:50PM
New barriers are in place at a railroad grade crossing on 213th west of Indianapolis Boulevard in Schererville, Ind. Thursday May 2, 2013. The barriers prevent drivers from driving around crossing arms. | Stephanie Dowell~Post-Tribune
Updated: June 4, 2013 6:24AM
SCHERERVILLE — Train-related noise around two of the town’s most heavily traveled tracks should now be significantly diminished with the installation of silent crossings.
Fourth-ward Councilman Tom Schmitt said Thursday public-works crews worked through the night Tuesday and Wednesday to install the tall yellow and black pylons at 213th Street, and Kennedy Avenue and Avenue H crossings. The roads were shut down between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to complete the work.
The town embarked on installing the silent crossings four years ago, or shortly after Canadian National Railroad took over the EJ&E lines, Schmitt said. Working with CN, as well as receiving national certification and getting the town’s contractor licensed to install the crossing delayed their completion.
CN paid for the installation, Schmitt said.
The pylons, installed starting 100 feet from the actual crossing, deter drivers from crossing the tracks when the gates are down, Schmitt said. In turn, trains using those tracks won’t have to blow their horns approaching the crossings.
“You’d have to be really brave to try to cross when the gates are down with the pylons starting at 100 feet from them,” Schmitt said. “This will increase safety at the crossings.”
The added benefit comes to the residents living around those tracks. With train traffic increased exponentially between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., residents, particularly in the Briar Ridge and Briar Cove subdivisions, where it’s heavily populated, can now rest a bit more quietly.
“You can imagine what you’d have to hear night after night,” Schmitt said.
The town of Griffith also installed silent crossings on Main Street and 45th Avenue within the past two years.