A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Wondering about Queen crossing upgrade

Written October 24th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The Portland & Western builds a train loaded with lumber in the Albany yard north of Queen Avenue Tuesday.

It was raining Tuesday when the bike and I came up to the railroad crossing on Queen Avenue.  The crossing arms were down and rail cars loaded with lumber blocked the street.

With nothing better to do while standing there and getting wet, I turned on the phone to record this:

The train noise and clanging bells drowned out what I said. Which was, more or less, that because the street crossing was closed because of construction, motorists didn’t have to wait for the road to be clear. They had to take the detour anyway.

For people on foot or on a bike, the wait this time was short, as the video makes clear.

While I was standing there, I was wondering when ODOT would install the long-promised improvements in crossing protection.

Turns out that just last month, the department posted an online update on that project. It says the construction is estimated to start next year and is expected to cost $1,320,000.

There are four tracks at the crossing, including the Union Pacific main line. ODOT’s idea is to make it harder to circumvent the crossing arms, ignore the flashing lights and bells, and get caught by a passing train on a different track after the yard train has passed.

This has happened a couple of times, with deadly results. ODOT is willing to spending the money so it doesn’t happen again. (hh)

6 responses to “Wondering about Queen crossing upgrade”

  1. Michael Foote says:

    So there will be no way to go across until next year?
    If that is the case then why did they start
    Working on it now ?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      The current construction has nothing to do with the crossing protection. It’s to replace a water line, and the work is expected to take into November, when the road will be reopened. The ODOT crossing project is separate and it’s not known exactly when next year it will be done.

  2. Rick says:

    It’s the railroad holding up the current construction..They have delayed giving K&E the easement they need to run the water and sewerlines under the track ..The railroad doesn’t care that traffic can’t get through..Mater a fact it’s made it easier on them ..no one btchn because they blocked traffic …

  3. Brandon eaker says:

    I live down Washington street in the 4plex’s. I think they should just block off the street forever. This has been such a nice time with no speeding lunatics that got caught by the train. Just make em all go around.

  4. DPK says:

    Thanks for all your updates and observations, Hasso.

  5. T M says:

    We need a new crossing somewhere between queen street and 34th.


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