Build Inexpensive Grade CrossingsNudging Up Customer Service: Long-Term Solution
Problem, Classification, and Idea
Regional Rail customers at stations without grade crossings often face the daily predicament of crossing to the other side of the tracks. Be it an underpass or overpass, doing so requires ascending and descending multiple flights of steps. Worse, some stations have absolutely no access from one portion of the station. As an alternative, some customers choose to save time and energy by unsafely crossing the tracks at-grade. Adding more designated at-grade crossings would enable customers to avoid the steps and cross in a safe manor, thereby benefiting customer safety and station access.
Most stations would not require a complex grade crossing to be installed. The infrastructure required (planks, signage, and the crossing protection system) would be somewhat costly; however, a cost-benefit analysis should be performed on a case-by-case basis.
At stations such as Conshohocken, customers are already crossing dangerously; adding a new platform-end grade crossing (similar to that of Fernwood-Yeadon) could aid this situation. In addition, while trains do indeed have to slow through crossings, the Conshohocken station is served only by local trains (meaning no passengers would experience an increased trip speed due to the crossing’s installation. These are just some of the factors that need to be evaluated along with each station’s safety profile (consisting of unsafe crossings and injuries) at any given station.
One additional unique and specific crossing scenario exists at Fern Rock Transportation Center. Currently, there is no access to the station from the Eastern portion of the station. Someone who lives directly adjacent to the tracks is faced with either running across the tracks or having to walk more than a mile just to access the station entrance. In order to solve this specific problem, a staircase should be added from the outbound platform to a new inexpensive grade crossing over the siding track. Inter-track fencing as well as fencing along the main outbound track should be installed as an additional safety measure. Overall, this would cheaply enable east-side access to the station without the need for much infrastructure. In addition, such a crossing would not disrupt Regional Rail service as the track is currently used to store Push-Pull trainsets between the AM and PM peak periods.
Notes & Graphics
Customer Comments (from VERITAS Tickets)
- 660209: Request for track crossing at Conshohocken station written by Board member for Grande at Riverview Condominiums (across from Conshohocken station). Also stated Conshohocken Borough Council would further support such a development, but need more information related to development.
- 666590: Customer stated that she and her fellow passengers have expressed interest in having a mid-track grade crossing installed at Conshohocken station.
- Speak to EM&C about the possibility of constructing each project, as well as for cost figures to get a more accurate cost estimate.
- Speak to real estate and/or legal about the feasibility of placing a grade crossing on the tracks.