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How do I report a rough rail crossing? Notify the community relations contact for Kansas at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) Communities. Your report will be directed to the BNSF Engineering Department to arrange for an inspection at the crossing.
Why do train horns continue to blow? Train horns blow when anyone is observed within 25 feet of all at-grade crossings in Olathe city limits.
Can the City regulate the schedule and speed of trains? Rail transportation is legally interstate commerce, an area where the City has no jurisdiction including little/no leverage regarding the operation of schedules and speeds for rail traffic. The railroads are accountable to a semi-autonomous government agency, the Federal Railroad Administration.
Why are rail engines left idling? There are operational reasons for letting the engines idle to prevent freezing during cold winter months and to keep the brakes pressurized, etc.
Will the City elevate the west tracks? The cost to construct an elevated rail on the BNSF West Tracks is very high due to the number of private properties that would have to be acquired by the City. Until funding can be identified, a grade separation project for the BNSF West Tracks is not scheduled.
Will the City extend the quiet zone? Additional quiet zone projects have not been scheduled. The City will be required to fund the costs of improving the remaining three east mainline and four connection track crossings to qualify for a quiet zone permit from the Federal Railroad Administration.
With future issues to address, it is reasonable to anticipate funding for additional railroad projects will be balanced with additional community needs through the Capital Improvements Program (CIP).
About the rails:
The BNSF Railway has two mainline rail tracks and one connection track in Olathe.
The BNSF West Tracks moves approximately 88 trains per day through Olathe. These tracks carry freight from Los Angeles and Longbeach CA to Chicago IL, host to the largest rail yards in the United States. Vehicle movement is impacted at the following at-grade crossings:
The BNSF East Tracks move approximately 52 long, slow trains per day through Olathe. These tracks carry freight from the coal fields in Montana and Wyoming to power plants in the Southern United States. Vehicle movement is impacted at the following at-grade crossings:
The Southgate “Spur” connects the two mainline east/west tracks operating seven to eight trains per day. Vehicle movement is impacted at the following at-grade crossings:
The Intermodal in Southern Johnson County, near Edgerton KS, lines up geographically with Fort Worth and Alliance TX to the south and with Chicago and Joliette IL to the north. The City of Olathe does not anticipate an increase in rail traffic from the Intermodal facility. However, more truck traffic is anticipated in the southern Johnson County area.
The Olathe City Council has committed millions of dollars to eliminate at-grade railroad crossings in a long-term initiative for Olathe.
|At-Grade Crossing Locations||Safety Modifications|
|127th Street, also known as Harold Street||Raised Medians|
|Cedar Street||Street Closure|
|Dennis Avenue||Raised Medians|
|Elm Street||Four Quadrant Gates|
|Loula Street||Raised Medians|
|Mulberry Street||Raised Medians|
|Park Street||Four Quadrant Gates|
|Poplar Street||Street Closure|
|Prairie Street||Street Closure|
|Santa Fe Street||Four Quadrant Gates|
|Woodland Road||Raised Medians|