The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will fund a major upgrade to a Longmeadow railroad crossing where a public works employee was killed in a collision with a train last year.
Cowles was killState Senator Eric Lesser on Friday announced that MassDOT will provide $700,000 to fund safety improvements at the Tina Lane railroad crossing where an Amtrak train struck and killed veteran Longmeadow DPW employee Warren Cowles in March of 2017.ed during plowing operations in a snowstorm when his DPW truck was struck by an Amtrak train at the crossing.
“It was a sad moment that we lost my brother,” Cindy Cowles told 22News. “But it’s a happy moment that we can maybe save anyone else, his co-workers especially because they still have to plow this route.”
Warren Cowles was the fifth person killed at that crossing since 1975. The upgrades, which will include the installation of barrier gates and warning lights, are meant to prevent any further deaths there.
MassDOT is paying for 90 percent of the improvements. Amtrak is responsible for the other 10 percent.
“I think one of the big lessons here is teamwork, right?” State Senator Lesser said. “This is teamwork. This is the government at multiple levels working with the community, all together.”
The Tina Lane crossing will remain closed until the safety upgrades are completed in 2020. Work is scheduled to begin in 2019.