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CSX Transportation to raise speed of trains from Adams Center to Antwerp

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CSX Transportation Co. announced Monday it will increase the operating speed limit on its tracks between Adams Center and Antwerp from 25 to 40 mph.

The change will go into effect on Nov. 4.

The company, in a news release, said the 40-mile section of track includes 22 public at-grade highway crossings. Two of them are in the city, at Coffeen and Bradley streets, two are in Evans Mills, one is in Philadelphia and three are in Antwerp.

CSX said the higher speed, which it called “consistent with Federal Railroad Administration standards,” will help reduce waiting times for drivers at grade crossings and improve the efficiency of rail operations.

CSX increased the speed limit to 40 mph from Antwerp to Potsdam on Jan. 7. Canton village officials protested in September and CSX officials promised to meet with the village Board of Trustees to discuss the issue. That meeting has not yet been held.

To meet federal safety standards, CSX inspects railroad tracks visually at least once a week, spokesman Robert T. Sullivan said in an email. At least annually, they are inspected by sophisticated equipment to check the condition and stability of the rail and track structure.

Based on the new 40 mph speed limit, the automated timing system of warning devices will be changed at crossings, Mr. Sullivan said.

Trains moving through the grade crossing at Noble Street in Evans Mills, next to a Stewart’s Shop, often hold up traffic in the business district, said Ronald C. Taylor, LeRay town supervisor. Occasionally, traffic is backed up to the intersection at Main Street. Trains pass through the intersection about five times daily.

Some residents will welcome the change by CSX to raise the train speed because it will mean shorter waiting times, Mr. Taylor said. But there are families with children who live near the crossing, he said, who might be opposed to raising the speed.

“The longest I’ve had to wait is about three minutes,” he said.

Town officials had not been contacted by CSX about the plan to raise the speed limit, Mr. Taylor said. Evans Mills officials also said they weren’t notified.

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