Signals being unveiled for metro area rail lines

The transport ministry said Thursday that it would put into service today the first two rail crossing signals for motorists.

Since the reactivation of the valley train line, motorists have been clashing with trains.

A spectacular collision between a train and a truck Tuesday morning closed the Circunvalación near the Universidad de Costa Rica for four hours. There the train line crosses the six-lane highway, and there are no signals. However, train engineers generally provide extensive warning with the train horns.

There have been three collisions between vehicles and trains in the last four days. There also has been an earlier one where the truck suffered damage. A pedestrian died at that crossing, too, in February.

There have been other deaths, including one of a police officer since 2012.

Railroad officials did not put in crossing gates or other signals because of the expense.

The early morning horn blowing by train engineers at each street crossing was enough for a Barrio Otoya hotel owner to hire crossing guards so his guests would not be jolted out of their sleep at 5:30 a.m.

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