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UTA offers safety tips during North Davis rail-line testing

Article Published 09/12/2007

LAYTON — As area commuters make their way along the I-15 corridor in Davis County, a very visible — and most likely welcome sight greets motorists: continued construction and implementation of UTA's new train system, FrontRunner.

And aren't those red, white and blue trains just so cool looking, too?

Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner Commuter Rail is slated to begin public operation in spring 2008. The northern leg will track parallel to the freeway corridor from the Salt Lake Intermodal Hub in downtown Salt Lake City to Pleasant View in Weber County.

While test trains have been running for some months now in neighboring Centerville and Kaysville, additional track and signal work will soon be under way farther north, according to W. Steve Meyer, engineering and construction manager for the transit project.

In a letter this summer to Mayor Steve Curtis, Meyer offered some key safety tips for residents to keep in mind as UTA progresses northward with train, track and signal testing:

Always expect a train. With multiple active tracks, several trains travel from different directions at different speeds.
Never go around a lowered gate. Gates are programmed to lower before a train crosses. Going around gates puts drivers and passengers at risk of serious injury or death.
Stay off the track. Never walk, bike or play on the train tracks.

Meyer acknowledged Layton's ongoing efforts to implement mass transit, writing Mayor Curtis: "We appreciate your city's support that helped us reach this major milestone."

He also offered assurances of UTA’s safety and awareness of neighborhood areas in work zones.

"As you know, UTA is providing safety upgrades at each railroad crossing along the FrontRunner Commuter Rail line," he wrote the mayor.

Additionally, during testing, Meyer said UTA trains will continue to sound horns through crossings.

"Your train is coming!" he enthusiastically concluded.

A FrontRunner UTA station is planned in Layton, north of the I-15 and Main Street interchange and south of the Gentile Street/Main Street intersection. A park and ride lot of 700 to 800 parking stalls is expected to be built.

The UTA commuter rail, which can reach speeds of 79 mph, will take passengers from north Davis County to Salt Lake City in approximately 30 minutes.

For additional information, residents are urged to visit the FrontRunner section of UTA’s Web site, www.rideuta.com/projects/commuterRail, or call 1-888-RIDE-UTA.