Norfolk Southern

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Indiana localities have only a week left to apply for the state’s matching grant program designed to separate roadways from railroad tracks.

To receive part of the Local Trax grant, local governments have to pitch a safety enhancement project for a highway-rail intersection. The applications are scored based on factors including how many cars and trains cross per day. If a project is chosen, the state will cover 80-percent of its cost.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

For Indiana cities, having a good relationship with railroad companies can help generate a lot of business. But trains can also clog cities, making drivers wait at blocked road crossings. Mayors have begun to fight freight railroads, who they say have too much power and not enough accountability.

City of Frankfort

The City of Frankfort has attracted some large employers in recent years, but still struggles to find college-educated employees to fill high-wage jobs.

So the city is taking a page out of the book of another Indiana municipality and offering grants to people who want to buy homes in the city.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes about whether the city can find the cash to increase the grant amounts and whether the city budget should even be used in such a way, when there’s little cash to spare anyhow.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In Indiana last year, 34 people – 19 pedestrians and 15 automobile passengers -- were killed by encounters with trains. That places the Hoosier State among the ten worst in America for train fatalities.

To try to stem that tide, Norfolk Southern Railroad officials have embarked on their yearly Project Lifesaver train rides. It’s an effort to keep pedestrians and motorists safer around train tracks.

Think about it like this: what sits beneath most rails? Often, it's loose gravel.