Most railroad crossings in the City of Minot have flashing lights and crossarms except the crossing near the Minot Amtrak Depot.
That crossing in southwest Minot is equipped with stopsigns and railroad crossing signs.
Some residents have questioned why the crossing doesn't have the flashing lights and crossarms that drop down to stop traffic since nearby crossings have them.
Stop signs and railroad crossing signs are posted at this railroad crossing near the Minot Amtrak Depot, shown in this photo looking south of the depot. Most railroad crossings in the city have flashing lights and crossarms, but not this one.
This photo, at the railroad crossing, looks north toward the Minot Amtrak Depot.
The road, owned by BNSF, that runs along the south side of the depot is fairly well traveled. It's the access road to and from the depot, plus various other traffic uses it.
Jim Styron, railroad crossing program manager with the North Dakota Department of Transportation in Bismarck, said the road that the crossing lies on is on private property.
"It is an access road and not a city street," Styron said. "The railroad and the property owner would be the ones who would work on the process for implementing crossing signs or signals."
The railroad track just south of the depot is a Canadian Pacific Railway track.
Amy McBeth, BNSF public relations director for this region from Minneapolis, said crossing signals are highway control devices, not railroad signals.
Styron said there are many indicators that warrant signalizing crossings.
"No one entity has that power. It is a decision between the local road authority or property owner and the railroad. The railroad can make an independent decision because they own the crossing," he said.
He said there is a federal program in which property owners can request a review be performed at the crossing to determine warning adequacy if they feel there is an issue there.
"At this time there are 2,751 passive crossings (no signal) in the state. There is a total of 3,460 public crossings in the state of which 566 are signalized," Styron said.
He said in 2008 a review was requested on the crossing near the depot. "It was determined to have adequate warning because of the slow speed of the trains and traffic, if they abide by the stopsigns," Styron said.
He added that the Federal Highway Administration is the administrator of the safety funding used for the rail crossing program.
McBeth said federal funds pay about 90 percent of the cost of a signal installation and the local government pays the other 10 percent. The railroad maintains the signals from that time forward, she said.