NEW: MBTA & Keolis Take Steps To Further Enhance Safety At North Wilmington Railroad Crossing

Below is a press release from the MBTA:

WILMINGTON, MA — Demonstrating its strong commitment to public safety, the MBTA and its Commuter Rail operator Keolis will exceed standard operating procedures and take additional steps to enhance the protocols for testing the train crossing’s protection system on Middlesex Avenue in Wilmington. With multiple tests confirming that all elements of the crossing’s infrastructure have continued to perform as designed, the MBTA and Keolis are focused on the human element of federally mandated railroad crossing testing.

“I’d like to assure the community that the protection system at the Middlesex Avenue railroad crossing is safe and fully operational,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “On top of our regular maintenance, inspection, and testing procedures, additional rules and instructions for Commuter Rail personnel have been introduced to provide another layer of safety-related enhancements.”

“Safety for our people, our passengers and the communities that depend on commuter rail service is our first priority at Keolis,” said Abdellah Chajai, Keolis Boston CEO and General Manager. “We will continue to work with the MBTA and our crews to ensure safe operations at this location and across the network.”

First and foremost, Keolis has already retrained all of its signal maintainers on the procedures that must be followed before, during, and after the process of performing regular testing of the railroad crossing’s protection system.

In addition, the MBTA and Keolis have initiated the following measures:

  • After the testing is completed, the Commuter Rail dispatchers must request, and receive, affirmation from the signal maintainer that the protection system is enabled.
  • Following the step mentioned previously, the signal maintainer must remain on-site until the next train passes to ensure the crossing’s protection system is fully operational and, if necessary, be prepared to manually control the protection system if the system does not perform as expected.
  • New signage will be installed on the inside of each signal bungalow door to serve as a visual reminder to Keolis personnel to ensure that the crossing equipment has been fully and properly returned to service.

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