Southwest Chief Passenger Rail Corridor Study

MoDOT Multimodal

In March 2023, CMT was selected by MoDOT Multimodal to perform an at-grade crossing safety and consolidation study in response to serious incidents involving multiple highway-rail grade crossings along the Amtrak Southwest Chief Route on BNSF’s Marceline Subdivision. The 190-mile corridor includes 137 crossings across Northern Missouri and services more than 60 high-speed trains (operating at up to 90 mph) daily.

The comprehensive study found $63 million in improvement opportunities predicted to reduce annual crashes by 23% and the exposure index rating by 90%. CMT’s recommendations include passive crossing improvements, warning device upgrade, profile adjustments, closure, grade-separation, and other safety enhancements at each crossing. The project will be implemented in phases prioritized into four tiers based on funding, safety, and timeline criteria, and includes stakeholder and public involvement, survey, roadway design, and funding assistance.

CMT designed the approach with innovative analysis to provide insight into key safety concerns at each public grade crossing. The study included field visits, exposure index modeling, and crash prediction. CMT utilized its Canopy GIS software to house information from multiple sources within one system to streamline FRA inventory, MoDOT and BNSF, and field data collection and processes. To meet federal funding timelines, CMT expedited and completed the study in just three months.

Project Contact(s)

Matt DeMoss, PE

Project Service(s)

  • Environmental Services
  • Public Outreach and Education
  • Rail Crossing Consolidation
  • Rail Safety Analytics
  • Roadway Design
  • Transit