Railroad Grade Crossing Monitor in Fremont Nebraska

City of Freemont website

state a fact about the project

Figure 1. Identified rail corridor deployment zone

The City of Fremont, Nebraska contacted TTI with interest in deploying a train monitoring system along the BNSF rail corridor to the west of US 77 in Fremont.  City staff reviewed TTI previously deployed systems and determined the concept and technology meet their needs for a rail monitoring system.  Figure 1 shows the rail monitor corridor with the BNSF rail line highlighted in red and the Union Pacific line in gray.

There are two railroads with rail lines in the area of interest.  The Union Pacific runs east/west through town and is an extremely busy transcontinental corridor.  The BNSF runs north/south and must intersect the Union Pacific at grade in the area of interest.  If a southbound BNSF train arrives in town and does not have permission to cross the Union Pacific, the BNSF train must stop short of the Union Pacific crossing thus creating a potential long-term blockage of streets along their line.

Trains travel on the BNSF line in both directions.  At times BNSF trains stop in the identified corridor creating numerous fully blocked streets with an unknown delay time.  This unknown delay adversely impacts emergency response times.  With knowledge of a street blockage, emergency services can be directed to take alternate routes to avoid the blocked area.  The public at large also uses the system to better plan travel.  An example is travel to and from schools.

TTI, with the help of the city, deployed a 4 intersection blocked grade crossing monitor system to meet the city’s needs.  Train sensors were installed at W. Military, W. Linden, W. 23rd St, and N. Somers Av.  The city fully operates and maintains the system.

The following video shows some scenes from the installation.

The primary reason for the project was to help with emergency response times in the community.  The rail monitor system webpage runs live in their 911 dispatch center alongside their other applications.  The rail monitor is displayed on the screen third from the left and shows a train in the corridor.

City of Fremont, Nebraska 911 Dispatch using the rail monitor system

The City of Fremont maintains a website which conveys the blocked crossing information to both their first responders and the public here.