Do railroads insure grade crossings?

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Robert Gift

former OL presenter
In the street view below, a RED flag [] is firmly secured to a crosstie in the middle of the track about 8 feet south of the road.

Regular engines have recently been seen on the eastrack, buthere is not enough room for a regular engine to clear the switch points and head south on either track.
(The power company's little switch engine can clear the switch points and [] and move onto either track.)
Why not allow any rail equipment and/or a railcar or two to enter or cross the road and move father north?
The street is well protected with grade crossing signals, both of which have bells.

Is it an insurance issue of not wanting to insure liabilty athe grade crossing?

Thank you.

GooglEarth street view:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=40.0291...M2V31qaXeRGhaSwH6_DDMg&cbp=12,291.81,,0,-2.96
 
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K-dub

BLE Hogger
I can't tell from that image whether the red board is in the middle of the track, or is actually a wayside sign indicating entrance to a work force location. Just seeing the $ investment in highway grade crossing @ that location though, I'd say it's only a wayside sign and not deadended track.

Regarding your question though, I don't believe any of the Class Is "insure" anything. Of course they could have umbrella policies for some specific liability issues, it's just that I believe the Class Is "self insure" just about everything and prefer to spend that $$ on law firm retainers.

I imagine Ed Sand could provide more insight should he decide to weigh in.
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
Thank you. I'll correct the initial post.
The track ends (goes under) a 4 lane highway now.
The other end is disconnected, so it is called "the railroad to nowhere".
 

Ed Sand

General Idiot
My apologies for not noticing this earlier and seeing reference to being asked.

There are a number of things going on here. First, the red board/flag is indicating that track beyond that point is out of service.

You're probably correct in that they've placed it before the crossing because they don't want to deal with the crossing. However, it isn't likely liability, but simple maintenance the railroad doesn't want to perform.

Crossings are, 99% of the time, actually owned by the local government (city, county, etc.) rather than the railroad. The government pays for installation of the crossing, and usually a percentage of the maintenance.

Taking the railroad out of service so that crossings (and signals) don't have to be inspected and maintained saves a lot of money.

Liability doesn't really change if the crossing is in service or not.
 

Tacoma Tom

New Member
Railroads don't need to buy insurance from a 3rd provider. There is no point. Railroads like the Union pacific make billion dollar profits and have billions more in assets. Even if they wanted to get insured no company in this country would have the cash to back them up. Just one new locomotive will put you on the hook for a cool 3 million and railroads love to order batches in the hundreds.
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
Left the light on!

...Taking the railroad out of service so that crossings (and signals) don't have to be inspected and maintained saves a lot of money.

Liability doesn't really change if the crossing is in service or not.
Thank you.

Boulder Street Department says the crossings were all paved over in 1998 or 1999 buthe maintenance checks were performed as late as 2-2001.

Th.is Union Pacific's track.
Would the UP have records of when the last train traveled that track?

Some said thatheast end of the track was covered by I-25 manyears earlier:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=40.0494...+Yosemite+St,+Denver,+Colorado+80230&t=h&z=18

Here they built a RR bridge over E-470 toll road but the track is paved over just north and it. The track is paved over at other grade crossings north and then taken out:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=39.9779...+Yosemite+St,+Denver,+Colorado+80230&t=k&z=18
 
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Rader Sidetrack

New Member
Railroads don't need to buy insurance from a 3rd provider. There is no point. Railroads like the Union pacific make billion dollar profits and have billions more in assets. Even if they wanted to get insured no company in this country would have the cash to back them up.
Not exactly true. Large railroads generally do "self insure" for most ordinary situations, but may buy insurance (or reinsurance) for large disasters. This might work in a similar manner to having a very large deductible on your car or home insurance. BNSF even owns its own insurance company, and does buy "reinsurance" from other insurance companies so that BNSF does not carry all the risk itself.

Here is a reference in a BNSF report to BNSF buying such insurance:

BNSF Insurance Company
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Insurance Company, Ltd. (BNSF IC), a wholly owned subsidiary of BNSF, provides insurance
coverage for certain risks incurred after April 1, 1998, FELA claims, railroad protective, force account insurance claims and certain
excess general liability coverage incurred after January 1, 2002, and certain other claims which are subject to reinsurance. During the years ended December 31, 2007, 2006 and 2005, BNSF Railway paid premiums of $165 million, $162 million and $157 million, respectively, to BNSF IC for such coverage, net of reimbursements from third parties and recognized $165 million, $162 million and $157 million, respectively, in expense related to those premiums, which is classified as purchased services in the Consolidated
Statements of Income. At December 31, 2007 and 2006, unamortized premiums remaining on the Consolidated Balance Sheets were $4 million, respectively. During 2007, 2006 and 2005, BNSF IC made claim payments totaling $150 million, $130 million and $133 million, respectively, for settlement of covered claims.
http://www.bnsf.com/about-bnsf/fina...ace-transportation-board-reports/pdf/07R1.pdf
 

Ed Sand

General Idiot
Thank you.

Boulder Street Department says the crossings were all paved over in 1998 or 1999 buthe maintenance checks were performed as late as 2-2001.

Th.is Union Pacific's track.
Would the UP have records of when the last train traveled that track?

Some said thatheast end of the track was covered by I-25 manyears earlier:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=40.0494...+Yosemite+St,+Denver,+Colorado+80230&t=h&z=18

Here they built a RR bridge over E-470 toll road but the track is paved over just north and it. The track is paved over at other grade crossings north and then taken out:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=39.9779...+Yosemite+St,+Denver,+Colorado+80230&t=k&z=18
I should have looked at your map earlier. This tied into the Dent Branch, which I believe was abandoned in the late 1980s. You should be able to research the STB website to find the abandonment application.

I lived in Frederick as a kid, and used to bike down to the Jct at St. Vrains.
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
How long after the last train would the RR have applied?

...This tied into the Dent Branch, which I believe was abandoned in the late 1980s. You should be able to research the STB website to find the abandonment application.
I lived in Frederick as a kid, and used to bike down to the Jct at St. Vrains.
How fun! Do you mean rode down the track?
As a young boy I started riding my 20-inch bicycle on the rail head! Was so perfectly smooth and wonderful until I fell off. But no harm. Just get back on.
Was fun trying to stay on longer and longer.

"STB"?
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
No, not on the track, but down the side roads alongside it.
Surface Transportation Board = STB
Thank you. I'll search.

That's no fun! The rails were SO smooth! It was easier when you got up to a comfortable speed. If I had a 20" bicycle I'd like to try it right now!

I remember that I had wanted to remove the tires and flare out the rims to fithe railhead. Better would have been guides folding down to keep the tires on the rail.
 




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