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Towards Vision Zero at Railroad Grade Crossings

The Road to Zero must address at-grade rail crossings. Since collisions between trains and motor vehicles typically result in severe damage and fatalities, it is important that designers and legislators/public officials are focused on improving safety of at-grade rail crossings. This session highlights the most recent “best practices” for treatments at highway-rail grade crossings from an international perspective. The session also showcases emerging new guidance for implementation of traffic signal preemption at locations where the traffic signals are interconnected with the railroad active warning devices (flashing lights, bells and crossing gates). The session provides updates on both the USDOT Grade Crossing Handbook / Preemption Guide as well as Transport Canada’s updated grade crossing requirements manual.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand the content of the upcoming ITE Recommended Practice for Preemption of Traffic Signals Near Grade Crossings.
  • Explain the use of updated Preemption Timing Worksheets recently developed by Texas A&M Transportation Institute for TXDOT.
  • Discuss key new content which will be available in the upcoming update to the USDOT Grade Crossing Handbook.
  • Describe the similarities and differences between Canadian and U.S. requirements for grade crossings.
Brent Ogden, Regional Vice President, Kimley-Horn Associates, Oakland, CA

  • Karen Hankinson, Vice President, Rail Pros, Irvine, CA
  • Kevin Balke, Senior Research Engineer, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station, TX
  • Jay Reiger, Chief Engineer, Railway Safety Operations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, ON
  • Amiy Varma, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND