RailWorks Signals & Communications installed the grade crossing warning system on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway second main line along a 12-mile stretch of track through southeastern Nebraska.
RailWorks Signals & Communications (S&C) installed 15 crossing houses and six remote crossing houses, each equipped with GE XP4 grade crossing predictors (GCPs), on BNSF’s newly constructed second main line. RailWorks crews worked simultaneously with a civil contractor installing the roadbed and with BNSF crews constructing and surfacing track.
Five S&C crews, comprised of four to five signalmen each, worked in tandem throughout the project to maintain a continuous installation schedule. In addition to coordinating with other workers, a number of factors made this S&C project challenging. Work on live track with a heavy volume of train traffic presented an obvious and ongoing focus. Besides required operations and safety training specific to this BNSF territory, RailWorks conducted regular job briefings with other contractors and BNSF personnel to ensure the safety of all employees. Early on, cold temperatures hardened the ground, making it extremely difficult to dig trenches to install the houses, cabling and foundation.
The new main line gives BNSF greater capacity to sequence the heavy volume of trains on this rail corridor — one of the most heavily traveled in the United States — linking the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to Kansas City and Chicago.