County Rail Crossings To Be Rated For Safety

The Delaware Gazette 

August 24, 1998 

by: Karlyn Byers

Each meeting leaves her exhausted and tearful, she said, but she is determined to make her deceased son's life count for something.

Canal Fulton resident Vicky Moore left the Delaware County Engineer's Office last week, after a 2 l/2 hour meeting with local authorities.

More told how her 16-year-old son, Ryan Moore, was killed in a car-train accident near the Stark-Wayne County border on March 25, 1995.

The crossing was on the federal government's list of upgrades. It was placed on that list in November 1994.

Vicki and her husband, Denny Moore sued Conrail and received an $8 million settlement. They put the settlement into the Angels on Track Foundation, which bestows grants to counties committed to improving track safety. She thinks Delaware County may be one of those.

"They were excited," Moore said of the participants at last week's meeting. "And that excites me."

Members decided they will inventory Delaware County's 50-some crossings, checking to see how many vehicles cross each day; whether the crossings are part of a main, spur, or switching line; whether vegetation obscures vision fields; or if any tracks are likely to be upgraded by the federal government.

Once that is completed, crossings will be ranked, with the most dangerous crossings receiving the highest rankings.

More said Angels on Track will award up to $40,000 for each dangerous crossing to be upgraded. The county would need to secure matching funds. Not all crossings will need warning lights and crossbars, she said, so not all upgradings will be that expensive.

The foundation looks for each community commitment. Moore said, "We don't want to work with people who don't want to put the time and effort into this."

Filing deadline is October l of each year. There is probably not enough time for Delaware County to get its inventory and priority system implemented before this year's deadline, Moore added.

Charles Sheets, Oxford Township trustee, was elected chairman of the Delaware task force. Stanley Haas, a retired Conrail track maintenance employee, was elected vice-chairman, and Tom Corpora, county engineer's and commissioners' safety officer, secretary.

Also at the meeting were Rob Marvin, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Rail Division chief, and Paul Spatero, a retired PUCO rail inspector and a railroad safety consultant.

The next railroad safety task force meeting will be September 16 at 1:30pm in the Delaware County Engineer's Office. For further information, call 368-1930.

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