Please click on the link below to report blocked railroad crossings (over 15 minutes).
It's a simple form to complete. Identify the crossing number on the sign or click the crossing location on the map, click General Public Report, 1.) answer if the train was stationary, moving or no train, but lights or crossing gate was activated, 2.) the date, 3.) duration crossing was blocked, and 4.) any immediate impacts. Please share this with as many people as necessary so we can accurately capture blocked crossing data. The Federal Railroad Administration will use this reporting function to track crossings that are blocked regularly and this will give them more data to pursue enforcement against railroads that are repeat offenders.
Note: The information needs to be reported within 7 days of the blocked crossing incident.
Contractor to install a median and bollards in the at-grade railroad crossing, one of the final steps in attaining the Kootenai Bay Road "Quiet Zone" designation from the Federal Railroad Administration. This will be similar to the one in East Hope.
UPDATE 3/20/2020 - BNSF WILL BE CLOSING THE FOLLOWING RAILROAD CROSSINGS FOR TRACK MAINTENANCE
Bottle Bay Rd - Monday, 3-23-2020 - 8:30 am - 5 pm
Sportsman Access Rd - Wednesday, 3-25-2020 - 8:30 am - 5 pm
Barnhart Rd - Thursday, 3-26-2020 - 8:30 am -5 pm
N Granite Loop - Friday, 3-27-2020 - 8 am - 5 pm
Sportsman Access Rd - Tuesday 3-31-2020 - 8:30 am - 5 pm
UPDATE 3/19/2020 - BNSF will be closing the Bottle Bay Road railroad crossing for track maintenance on Monday, March 23rd from 8:30 to 4pm instead of Tuesday. As of now, they will not be closing it overnight.
UPDATE 3/16/2020 - BNSF WILL BE CLOSING THE FOLLOWING RAILROAD CROSSINGS FOR TRACK REPAIR.
Huckleberry Mountain Road - Tuesday, March 17th, 9am to 5pm and Wednesday, March 18th, 9 am to 3pm.
Bottle Bay Rd - Tuesday, March 24th from 8am overnight, reopening at approximately 4pm.
Please plan accordingly.
Residents may notice conflicting Stop Ahead, Stop and Yield signs at certain passive railroad crossings as the railroad companies are replacing signage within their right of way. The switch from stop signs to yield signs is being done by the railroad company that owns the rail line. Railroad companies are working to complete the sign change at crossings by Dec. 31, 2019. The Bonner County Road Department is removing the stop signs laying in the right of way along County maintained roads once the railroad contractors have installed the new Yield signs.
When approaching a crossing that has a yield sign, drivers should slow down, look both ways, look for train lights at night and listen intently for sounds of an approaching train and only proceed across the tracks when it's safe to do so. Drivers should exercise caution, obey the speed limit and be prepared to stop if a train is approaching.
DUE TO MUCH MORE EXTENSIVE WORK ON THE TRACKS, KELSO - CLAGSTONE CUTOFF RAILROAD CROSSING WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 5 PM TODAY.
KELSO LAKE ROAD RAILROAD CROSSING WILL BE CLOSED TUESDAY, OCT 15TH THROUGH THURSDAY, OCT 17TH. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
Kelso Clagstone Cutoff Rd at the tracks - Sat, Oct 5th from 3pm thru Mon, Oct 7th 4pm
8300 Blk of Kelso Lake Rd at the tracks - Mon, Oct 7th from 4pm thru Tue, Oct 8th 5pm
BNSF will be closing the NORTH end of Granite Loop at the railroad tracks starting Wed, Aug 21st at 8 am and reopening Thursday, Aug 22nd at approx 5 pm.
BNSF WILL BE CLOSING THE RAILROAD CROSSING AT THE SOUTH END OF GRANITE LOOP STARTING MONDAY, JULY 29TH AT 8 AM AND REOPENING THE FOLLOWING DAY, TUESDAY, JULY 30TH. AT 5 PM. SEE DETOUR MAP LINK BELOW:
BNSF will be closing the railroad crossing at the north end of Cocolalla Loop on Wednesday, May 8th from 7:30 am to 4 pm for railroad crossing repairs. Use south end of Cocolalla Loop detour.
BNSF has closed the railroad crossing on the north end of Cocolalla Loop for today, tomorrow ( May 3rd) and Wed, May 8th from 7:30 am to 4 pm for railroad crossing repairs. Use south end of Cocolalla Loop detour.
Homestead Road on 4-03-19 from 8:30 am -5 pm - No safe detour route, so public will need to plan ahead.
S Granite Loop on 4-05-19 from 8:30 am- 4 pm - Detour will be out the north end of Granite Loop.
According to Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, there are 149 open railroad crossings in Bonner County of which 85 are public and 64 are private.
One constant is sure in any type of train collision: The train wins. Motorists and pedestrians often lose at the cost of their lives. With 148 railroad crossings in Bonner County and freight traffic projected to possibly double in this corridor, the threat is ever-present.
Operation Lifesaver is working to change people's behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with the national public awareness campaign SEE TRACKS? THINK TRAIN! link http://www.seetracksthinktrain.org/
Since Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide public information program, was introduced in 1972, train/motor vehicle collisions have declined 83 percent. Still, a person or a vehicle is hit by a train about every three hours, according to the organization’s website, www.oli.org.
Motorists are 20 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than a crash with a vehicle . The weight ratio is 4,000-to-1 . A train engineer can do little else than blow a whistle – an average freight train traveling 55 mph takes a mile to come to a stop. To put that into perspective, a freight train's stopping distiance is nearly the length of 18 football fields . As trains are ever-present around Bonner County, motorists must heed the danger. Operation Lifesaver's slogan says, “See tracks. Think train.” Look up OPERATION LIFE SAVER at www.oli.org for safety tips and more information.
HEATH LAKE RD RAILROAD CROSSING AT HIGHWAY 95 IN SAGLE MAY BE CLOSED BY ITD AND BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROAD WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR
More information about Bonner County railroad crossings with incidents or accidents can be found at this Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis link: http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/publicsite/crossing/XingLocResults.aspx?state=16&countycity=017%2c&railroad=&reportinglevel=ALL&radionm=County&street=&xingtype=%25&xingstatus=1&xingpos=%25
The lights and crossing arms placed at crossings cost approximately $250,000 each. Only 19 crossings in Bonner County are currently controlled with crossing arms. The ITD statewide budget is only $2.5 million for rail safety each fiscal year, or about $500,000 per district.
CENTENNIAL BLVD RAILROAD CROSSING IN HOPE
Many drivers pay little or no attention at highway-rail crossings they drive across day after day because they never see a train there. The following safety tips can help save a life.
Trains do not run on set schedules. They can be on any track, at any time, going in either direction
When locomotive engineers see a vehicle or person on the tracks in the path of their train, they can only sound the warning horn and apply the emergency brakes. A train in emergency braking will stop, but not in time to avoid this collision. The average freight train consisting of 100 cars and weighing anywhere from 12 million to 20 million pounds takes over a mile to stop in emergency braking. There are brakes on every wheel, but it takes that long for all of those brakes to overcome the momentum of the tremendous weight pushing the train.
Always yield the right of way to the train. The train cannot yield to you.
More than half of all motor vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings equipped with the automatic signals. It's because some drivers choose to drive around the gates or through the flashing red lights because they believe they can beat the train, or they assume a stopped train has activated the signals or the signals are malfunctioning.
Never ignore active warnings at crossings.
Locomotives are huge;17 feet high and 10 feet wide. As a result, they appear to be traveling much slower than we think when viewed from a slight angle at the crossing. The combination of the size and angle create this illusion. The parallel lines of the rails converging toward the horizon contribute to the illusion and fool our minds into thinking the train is farther away than it actually is. It is virtually impossible to accurately judge the speed of a train when these combinations of illusions are present.
Trains will arrive at a crossing faster than you anticipate.
One in four crashes occurring at highway-rail crossings takes place when vehicles run into the side of the train. Often, it's because the vehicle is traveling too fast for conditions, such as darkness, rainy weather or fog. Many drivers "overdrive their headlights." This means driving too fast to be able to stop in the distance illuminated by your headlights. By the time drivers see the train at the crossing, it's too late to avoid the crash. In other instances, there may be high levels of noise in the vehicle, which distracts the driver from noticing the train's warning devices.
Look and listen when you see advance warning signs indicating a rail-highway crossing.
Drivers who pass vehicles when approaching a highway-rail crossing run the risk of a collision at the crossing. The vehicle being passed may obstruct a clear view of the tracks, or vehicle speed while passing may be too great to stop in time.
Don’t get trapped on railroad crossings.
Many vehicles get trapped on the crossing, between other vehicles, and end up getting hit by a train or are abandoned by drivers just before they're destroyed.
Before starting across the tracks, be sure there's room to get completely across.
Many crossings are on a surface higher than the roadway. Shifting gears with a manual transmission while going across this raised surface may cause the vehicle to stall on the tracks. If your vehicle is ever stalled or trapped on the tracks and a train is approaching, quickly get yourself and all other passengers out! Don't try to take any other items with you. When the train strikes the vehicle it will send flying metal and glass ahead of and outward from the locomotive. Many people have been seriously injured and even killed because they ran the wrong direction.
When running away from a vehicle stuck on tracks, run away from the tracks at an angle in the direction of the approaching train.
If a train is not approaching when a vehicle is stuck on the tracks, be sure to get yourself and all other passengers out of the vehicle and to a safe location. At crossings there are signs with a toll-free number to call the railroad directly and warn them of stalled vehicles or other problems at the crossing.
When crossing has more than one track, don't try to cross immediately after the end of the train passes -- there may be another train approaching on the second track.
Many crossing crashes have resulted because of impatience or inattentiveness at multiple-track crossings. You will always know how many tracks are at the crossing by observing a sign posed under the crossbuck. Directly below the crossbuck is a sign that indicates the number of tracks present if there are multiple tracks at the crossing.
Stay off railroad property and stay safe.
Some people believe railroad tracks are public property. Railroad tracks, railroad service roads, and other railroad right of way are often used by joggers, hikers, people walking their pets, or as a pathway to ride motorcycles or other all-terrain vehicles or a wide variety of other activities. The danger with these activities on or near railroad tracks is these people are concentrating on their own activities not a train! Many joggers wear headphones and cannot hear a train warning horn. Motorized vehicle noise also drowns out the locomotive horn. Many people who do not hear the warning fail to escape the danger. More importantly, railroad tracks, service roads, and right of way are private property and only persons authorized by the railroads can be on that property.