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Driver Crashes Into Gate At Chappaqua Railroad Crossing

The grade-crossing intersection in Chappaqua, which includes Roaring Brook Road and an interchange for the Saw Mill River Parkway.
The grade-crossing intersection in Chappaqua, which includes Roaring Brook Road and an interchange for the Saw Mill River Parkway. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- A driver in a white van  crashed into a gate at the railroad grade crossing in Chappaqua Monday morning, according to Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders.

The driver was not apprehended. Although there was a witness, no one was able to get the vehicle's license plate, Anders said.

The report came in at 8:21 a.m. on Monday and was from a train crew, Anders said, adding that the gate was repaired at 8:50 a.m., resulting in the closure of the Roaring Brook Road Exit (33) of the Saw Mill Parkway.

During the 21 minutes between the report and repair, Metro-North used a procedure called "stop and warn," according to Anders. The procedure involves having trains come to a complete stop before arriving at the grade crossing.

The disruption occurred during rush hour and affected a handful of trains, Anders said.

Monday's incident is the second major one this month involving the grade crossing in Chappaqua, which is at the intersection of Roaring Brook Road and the train tracks and is by the interchange to the Saw Mill River Parkway.

Earlier this month, a driver who stopped in the vicinity avoided a collision with a train by backing up and breaking off a gate in the process. The driver was subsequently issued a summons, a spokesman for the railroad told Daily Voice.

New Castle town officials have been making a push to improve the crossing's safety in the wake of the deadly vehicle collision with a train in February at a similar intersection in Valhalla. Supervisor Rob Greenstein, for example, is seeking federal funding to help pay for a bridge that would replace the grade crossing.

Reached for comment on Monday regarding the latest incident, Greenstein reiterated his call for a bridge.

The Chappaqua grade crossing will receive more attention on Tuesday afternoon, as Rep. Nita Lowey, whose district includes the site, will be holding a press conference nearby.

Lowey's office announced that the press conference will include  Sarah Feinberg, who is acting administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), along with New Castle Police Chief Charles Ferry. The event is scheduled to take place at noon.

Just days before the first March incident, Lowey (D-Harrison) gathered with colleague Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) and New Castle officials near the same site. That press conference focused on legislation proposed by Maloney to offer federal funding for construction work to replace grade crossings, which subsequently was approved by the House of Representatives.

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