Railroad crossing on Highway 25 an aggravation to many

This railroad crossing on Highway 25, just east of U.S. 101, is uneven, causing motorists to slow down when crossing it.

A portion of train tracks on Highway 25 that have been a problem
spot for years are once again making the crossing a bumpy ride.
The crossing, which is the last set of tracks drivers cross over
on Highway 25 before the Highway 101 on-ramp, has become uneven
with heavy use from trucks and motorists, causing many cars to slow
down considerably when crossing it or suffer a jolt to their
car.
A portion of train tracks on Highway 25 that have been a problem spot for years are once again making the crossing a bumpy ride.

The crossing, which is the last set of tracks drivers cross over on Highway 25 before the Highway 101 on-ramp, has become uneven with heavy use from trucks and motorists, causing many cars to slow down considerably when crossing it or suffer a jolt to their car.

The crossing was fixed once in the past several years, but with the constant use the concrete pads that sit beside each track have moved slightly, causing the unevenness when it’s crossed over, said Santa Clara County Supervisor Donald Gage.

To alleviate the problem the pads on the approach to the crossing and in-between the tracks must be leveled out, Gage said.

A total of eight pads surround the tracks, and it only takes as much of a half inch of movement up or down to cause an imbalance, and subsequent jolting when crossing it, he said.

“You have heavy weight and dirt underneath and things move a little bit,” Gage said. “It’s like a loose board in the floor – the more you walk over it the looser it gets.”

A representative from Union Pacific, who services the tracks, did not return phone calls concerning the crossing.

Before it was fixed, it was a hazard to motorists, causing cars to slide if they went over it too fast on a frosty morning, Gage said.

“We thought we fixed it but it didn’t hold up to the wear and tear,” he said. “It’s not that bad compared to how it used to be – before if you were going over 25 mph it would jar your teeth.”

The crossing is just like every other crossing in Hollister, but because of the large semis constantly rolling over it, along with heavy motorist and commuter traffic, it sees the effects sooner than other sets of tracks, Gage said.

The entrance to Christopher Ranch is near the crossing, and many of the trucks going to and from the facility cross over the tracks on a daily basis.

For many of the Christopher Ranch truck drivers, it’s a little bothersome but not much else, said District Manager Mike Delia.

“They have to slow down before they go over it anyway, so for them it’s not something as noticeable,” Delia said. “The cars seem to get the biggest impact of it.”

People who work at Christopher Ranch have made comments about the bumpy crossing and safety personal at the company have been made aware of it, Delia said.

“In my opinion it’s very annoying… I thought when they did what they did to it we weren’t going to see this problem, but it started again,” Delia said. “But I don’t know anyone here that has called and complained about it.”

Currently, there are no plans to fix the portion of tracks, but they will be taken care of when the Highway 25 project goes into effect, Gage said.

“It’s a few years out, but it will get fixed,” he said. “We haven’t gotten any complaints about it.”

When a project to rectify the slipping pads finally is undertaken, it will have to be done in sections because people won’t be allowed to cross it while it’s being fixed.

“You have to fix half of it, and it’s not very wide there,” Gage said. “It’s a big project.”

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