Great Falls Tribune: Shelby to get funds for Amtrak improvements

The Amtrak stop in Shelby will get $953,954 from the Federal Railroad Administration for safety improvements, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced Wednesday.

This project will upgrade two pedestrian and motor vehicle crossings in Shelby, by extending the existing Amtrak platform and installing fencing, signage, two quadrant gates and a wayside horn advance warning systems.

The project is located along Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway’s east-west mainline with 45 to 50 BNSF freight trains and two Amtrak trains — the Empire Builder — operating through Shelby.

“Improving the safety and reliability of Montana’s rail network is critical to connecting people in our communities,” Daines, who wrote a June 9 letter of support for the project to the FRA, said via email.

“There have been six documented fatalities on Shelby’s railroad tracks in the past 20 years,” Daines wrote in the letter. “If improvements are not made, the city of Shelby believes this number could grow if train traffic increases.”

Shelby Mayor Larry Bonderud said the project will help ensure efforts Amtrak continues to serve the state and his community.