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N.J. Congressman Calls On State To Improve Dangerous Railroad Crossings

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- After a fatal collision earlier this month between a Metro-North train and a sport-utility vehicle in Valhalla, new concerns have been mounting about the safety of other rail crossings in the region.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported Saturday, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) has sent a letter to the New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner asking for help.

The railroad crossing at Midland Avenue in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, is a familiar one to Pascrell – and one of particular concern.

N.J. Congressman Calls On State To Improve Dangerous Railroad Crossings

"You've got sharp turns. You've got driveways fairly close. You got side roads off of Midland Avenue," he said.

All of those factors make the Midland Avenue crossing one of the most dangerous in the country, Pascrell said. He wants the state to find money to fix the crossing.

"If they're no ways to fund these programs, well then, we're excepting the status quo," Pascrell said.

Pascrell said other crossings in New Jersey need improvements as well.

Federal investigators expect to issue a preliminary report this month on the fiery Westchester County collision between the Metro-North train and the SUV that killed six people on Feb. 3.

A Harlem Line train crashed into a Mercedes SUV on Feb. 3 at a grade crossing in Valhalla, sparking an explosion and fire that burned out the first car of the train.

A spokesman said Thursday that they don't plan to comment on any findings before issuing the preliminary report the week of Feb. 23.

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