Amtrak reviewing safety upgrades for Longmeadow rail crossing where DPW worker was killed

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Cindy Cowles is fed up with the lack of action taken to make the Tine Lane Crossing in Longmeadow safer.

The crossing that has no lights, no gates, and no bells, safety guards, which Cowles said could have been lifesaving for her brother, Warren Cowles, and the four other people who have died there over the past 42 years. “I mean five people got killed, four people got injured, why is no action being taken at the accident site at that crossing?”

Efforts to make the crossing safer have intensified over the past 6 months, after Longmeadow DPW worker Warren Cowles was killed while clearing snow from a road near the tracks back in March.

Longmeadow has added barriers to the railroad crossing as a temporary safeguard, but Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane told 22News upgrading the crossing to add lights, gates, and bells would first have to be approved by Amtrak. “MassDOT has included upgrading that crossing on their next round of projects, the Federal Highway Administration needs to sign off on that, as well as Amtrak.”

Crane also said the Federal Highway Administration and Amtrak are currently reviewing MassDOT’s plan to make the crossing safer.

Whether they sign off on it or not may partially depend on the cost of the project, which Crane said is estimated to be least $820 thousand.