After train-truck crash in St. Paul Park, Gov. Dayton pushes for more rail safety funding

Following a weekend train/semi collision in St. Paul Park, Gov. Mark Dayton visited the area this morning to talk about the need for rail safety and infrastructure funding.

Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith met with local officials to discuss the Sunday accident, where an oil train and flour truck collided at a crossing that’s high on the state’s list of dangerous intersections that need to be fixed.

There were no injuries in the crash.

Dayton used the accident to highlight his request for more funding for rail safety. It was discussed during the recent legislative session, but not acted upon.

The governor’s office said the accident occurred at an intersection identified in a MnDOT 2014 study as dangerous and in need of safety improvements. Construction of an alternate access is scheduled to begin as soon as spring 2016 in order to close the crossing.

Dayton said this morning:

“Minnesota’s crowded railways bring very serious threats to the safety of citizens throughout our state. Unfortunately, the very limited transportation and bonding bills agreed to by House Republicans do not fund improvements in many of the most dangerous rail crossings in the state. I will continue to support investments that improve railway safety throughout Minnesota.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 06/10/2015 - 11:39 am.

    Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for RR improvements

    The oil companies & RRs expanded and invested $25B in their business in 2013. Under our noses, but without our permission as they enjoy almost complete autonomy.

    They have also spent more $ on lobbying than improvements to old cars–or replacement of them– would have cost.

    Communities across the country are forced to pay a lot of money for ‘quiet zones’ so their residents can sleep, instead of going crazy from lack of it.

    And we are all being subjected to the new miles long, incredibly fast and potentially dangerous ‘fire bomb’ trains…so it’s product–bituminous–can be shipped to our coastal ports, where it is then shipped to other countries who are willing to pay the highest prices for it.

    So who are the winners here????

    I admire Gov’n Dayton very much. He has extraordinary business skills and has been very good for MN. And I am glad he & other officials are finally aware of the above dangers. (I have been ringing that bell to them for some years now.) But I totally disagree that the MN taxpayers should have to pay for safety expenses.

    Why should the taxpayers take on both the highest risk, as well as incur these added costs?
    Shouldn’t those reaping all of the benefits be doing so, instead?

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