Yeah, they rely on the track owners to update the information. I don't know if there's any standard for how often it has to be reviewed. I think MDOT has one guy who takes care of the data for all the state-owned lines. Depending on the size of the owning company, there are probably only a handful of people at any railroad who know who's supposed to take care of it. Most people would probably say "The feds assign the numbers, so they handle all that stuff."
A lot of the latitude/longitude info is really cockeyed, probably from the days when the GPS satellites were still under "Selective Availability." Then there are the occasional errors that creep in during data entry, like a crossing up in Unity that's listed as being in Sagadahoc County. (837035R)
Last week, the database was showing 70 open at-grade crossings (public and private) in Waldo County, but nothing could be viewed beyond the first page of records. Today I was able to view the other three pages, but there only seems to be B&ML and ST lines in the records, and nothing under Winterport.
Side note: I just discovered that the FRA has maps available online, a GIS thingie. It shows "Freight Stations" (Mosquito Mtn.? Cape Jct.?) and RR mileposts along the various lines, RR owner, any trackage rights, and a bunch of other info. The data collection dates for a couple of the places I looked at were 2010 and 2004, so it still shows "MMA" for the Searsport line.
Yes, I do
have too much free time these days.
Looks like Smitty typed faster than I did. (I kind of went down a rabbit hole looking at the GIS maps.)
KSmitty wrote:I thought standard practice for crossing protection (at least on lines with Maine rail traffic densities) was that whatever is currently in place is ample protection until the town/city/state decide otherwise. At which point the government making that decision will upgrade the crossing to their preferences, and the railroad will maintain it thereafter.
As I understood it, there are federal funds distributed to the states, and the states make the decision about what crossings need upgrading based on the formula I mentioned above.
I could be mistaken on that, because I'm most familiar with the Rockland Branch, which MDOT would be funding anyway. I think it was 2010 when one street in Thomaston was closed, and two others that had been crossbucks-only got lights and gates. Another crossing in Woolwich got lights and gates around that time. Its "Smallest Crossing Angle" (item 7 under Physical Characteristics on the inventory form) is 30°-59°, so maybe it was deemed to need an upgrade more than other crossings on the line.
The Libby Ave. crossing is listed as private (365096B). In my experience, those generally get a W10-1 with a stop sign over it, and a "PRIVATE CROSSING" placard at the bottom. Again, that's just from what I've seen most often, on the Rockland Branch. I agree, it really could use a little more signage, on both sides. The inventory form doesn't show any
traffic control devices there, not even that one lone W10-1.
I try not to use the term "crossing protection," because as an old railroader once said, it doesn't really "protect" anything unless people observe the warnings.