The Maryland Department of Transportation on Tuesday won a $700,000 federal grant to improve four rail crossings in Rosedale, near where a train derailed and exploded in 2013.
The Federal Railroad Administration grant will help pay for new gates, bells and lights at four private grade crossings in an industrial area of Rosedale. In 2013, a truck driver drove over the tracks as a freight train was passing by, and the collision caused the trail to derail and hazardous materials carried by the train to explode. No one was killed, but a few people were injured and the blast broke windows, cracked concrete and buckled metal paneling and roofs, causing millions in damage.
Drivers are required by law to stop at ungated rail crossings, but many don't. The Baltimore Sun found in 2013 that of 631 public grade crossings statewide, only 20 percent were gated. The Rosedale crossing where the collision happened ranked 16th in the state for likelihood of a collision, with a 4.2 percent chance that one will occur any given year, according to federal records.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds the Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration, said in a statement that the grant would improve safety in the area.
"A reliable and well maintained infrastructure is vital to safety and creating jobs today in construction and jobs tomorrow through economic growth," Mikulski said. "This grant will improve safety and provide important infrastructure improvements for both trucks and trains that travel through Baltimore County's residential communities."