USTDA’s partnership with the Mexican government is strengthening the safety of its railroad crossings using U.S. technology and expertise. And it’s a story that represents the best of the Agency’s capabilities and experience.
In 2017, Mexico sought USTDA assistance to meet higher safety standards to reduce rail-related accidents and fatalities across the country. USTDA responded by hosting a reverse trade mission that brought Mexico’s leading public and private sector rail representatives to the United States to observe the ways U.S. regulations, technologies and government-industry cooperation has improved safety at U.S. railroad crossings. The delegates also toured several different grade crossing sites in both urban and rural settings that put a variety of high-tech U.S. equipment on display.
The visit led to quick results. Ferromex, a private Mexican rail consortium, subsequently procured 52 highway-rail grade crossing warning systems – including barriers, LED lights, bells, train detection devices, and other components – from Siemens’ manufacturing facilities in Kentucky.
Marc Buncher, president of Siemens Mobility for North America observes: “We were thrilled to support Ferromex’s efforts to enhance safety for its railroad and motorists through the use of modern highway and rail crossing protection devices. Our talented workforce in Kentucky sources materials from sub-suppliers across the USA in order to engineer, manufacture and deliver these critical safety systems. We are grateful for USTDA’s support in our efforts to better serve more railroad operations and look forward to partnerships that further introduce the world-class solutions that come from right here in Kentucky.”
The success of the visit led to a USTDA-funded technical assistance for the Mexican Association of Railroads (AMF). After participating in the trade mission to the U.S., AMF initiated a project to design safety corridor crossings throughout Mexico. USTDA’s technical assistance, funded in early 2020, will specifically recommend investments in technologies and solutions to support critical railroad infrastructure and improve the safety and efficiency at Mexican rail crossings.
“We are very enthusiastic about our partnership with Mexico, and it has already resulted in safer rail and transportation infrastructure,” said USTDA Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy. “The future will also remain bright, as U.S. manufacturers stand to benefit as Mexico seeks to invest in high-quality transportation solutions.”