1. Why Rail Safety is so high on the priority list.2. Section 130 Rail-Highway Safety Program3. Rail-Highway Diagnostic Review Elements and Process4. Sain’s Role in the Process5. Railroad Background Information and Key Concepts6. Types of Railroad Warning Devices
1st Division – Meng Han 2nd Division – Andy Laster 3rd Division – Renya Hooks 4th Division – Ken Cush & Steven Corley 5th Division – Rozalyn Clifton & Keith Hoggle 6th Division – David Bollie & David Primm 7th Division – Dewayne Chancellor 8th Division – Jeff Powell 9th Division – Dewayne Hood
GOAL: To provide federal support (funding) in efforts to reduce the incidence of accidents, injuries and fatalities at public railroad crossings. Administered by FHWA Established by the Highway Safety Act of 1973 Funds the efforts of ALDOT’s Rail Section to improve rail safety in Alabama by providing additional warning devices to public Rail/Highway Crossings in Alabama. A ranking is given to each railroad crossing in the State using the US DOT Accident Prediction Formula Index. This allows a prioritized list of projects to be developed. For each of those projects, ALDOT must perform a Diagnostic Review.
Improved safety for both railroad and highway users Systematic approach Focused effort on high priority crossings in terms of safety needs
Predicts the likelihood of a collisionoccurring over a given period of time givenconditions at the crossing.Used to determine prioritization for eachconstruction phase.Combines three independent calculationsto produce a collision prediction value.
1. Provides an initial hazard ranking based on a crossing’s characteristics2. Utilizes the actual collision history at a crossing over a determined number of years to produce a collision prediction value3. Adds a normalizing constant, which is adjusted periodically to keep the procedure matched with current collision trends.
OBTAIN BACKGROUND INFORMATIONCOORDINATE DATE/TIME/LOCATION FOR ON-SITE REVIEW WITH DIAGNOSTIC TEAM PERFORM DIAGNOSTIC REVIEW IN THE FIELD PREPARE DRAWINGS AND PAPERWORK SUBMIT TO ALDOT DIVISION FOR REVIEW INCORPORATE DIVISION COMMENTS SUBMIT TO ALDOT MULTI-MODAL DEPARTMENT FOR REVIEW
The FRA Website provides access to railroad safety data including:National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory DataInformation from the Railroad Accident Incident Reporting System
Scroll down and select:Section 5.02 – Generate CrossingInventory and Accident Reports or use direct link: http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/ officeofsafety/publicsite/ crossing/crossing.aspx
Select “Report Type” Enter DOT Crossing ID Number Generate ReportSelect Current
Provided by ALDOT 5 Parts: o Location and Classification Information o Railroad Information o Highway Traffic Control Device Information o Physical Characteristics o Public Highway Information Includes photographs
• Camera• Measuring Wheel• Tape Measure• Safety Vests• Clipboards• Range Finder• Sain’s Diagnostic Process and Inventory Checklist• ALDOT Rail-Highway Diagnostic Review Form
Meeting facilitator Collect data (photography, measurements and inventory items) Take field notes Provide recommendations for discussion amongst all team members
“A” = Sight Distance along the railroad tracks to permit the vehicleto cross and be clear of the crossing upon arrival of the train.“B” = Sight distance measured along the highway from the nearestrail to the driver of a vehicle which allows the vehicle to be safelystopped without encroachment of the crossing area.
Assume vehicle speed = 0“A” = Sight Distance along the railroad tracks to permit the vehicle tocross and be clear of the crossing upon arrival of the train.
1. Submit to ALDOT Division for review2. Incorporate Division comments3. Submit to ALDOT Multi-Modal Department for review
6,011 railroad crossings in Alabama 3,279 of those are public at-grade crossings 1,277 of the 3,279 are signalized 1,615 crossings have passive devices 2,027 private crossings 869 closed crossings
Public Crossings – on highways under jurisdiction of and maintained by public authority and open to the traveling public. Private Crossings – on roadways privately owned and utilized by the landowner or licensee. Pedestrian Crossings – used solely by pedestrians.
FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) – categorizes railroad tracks into six classes based on maximum speed limits. AAR (Association of American Railroads) – categorizes railroad based on operating revenues.
Railroad classes aredefined byAssociation ofAmerican Railroads(AAR) based onoperating revenue.CLASS I – operatingrevenues exceeding$319.3 millionannuallyCLASS II – operatingrevenues between$20.5 million and$277.7millionCLASS III – less than$10 million of annualoperating revenue.
Class I Rail Companies in Alabama:1. Canadian National2. CSX Transportation3. Norfolk Southern4. BNSF Railway
Only one Class II Rail Company in Alabama:1. Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway (AGR)
o 22 Class III Rail Companies in Alabamao Make up bulk of railroads (500 or so nationwide)
Closure of Crossing Installation of standard signs and pavement markings Installation of replacement active warning devices Upgrading existing warning devices Consider pre-emption/interconnection with signals Crossing illumination General site improvements Crossing surface improvements
PASSIVE: ACTIVE: Signs* Automatic Gates Pavement Markings Four-quadrant Gates Flashing-light Signals Traffic Control Signals* All signs shall be retroreflectorized Actuated Blank-out or illuminated. Signs Variable Message Signs
“Yield right-of-way to rail traffic at grade crossing”At a minimum, one crossbuck sign shall be used on each highway approach to every highway-rail grade crossing,alone or in combination with other traffic control devices.
Required if: No automatic gates are present 2 or more tracks at a grade crossing
Not required if:A. On an approach to a grade crossing from a T- intersection with a parallel highway if the distance from the edge of the track to the edge of the parallel roadway is less than 100 feet and W10-3 signs are used on both approaches of the parallel highway.B. On low-volume, low-speed highways crossing minor spurs or other infrequently used tracks and road users are authorized by an authorized person on the ground to not enter crossing at all times that approaching rail traffic is about to occupy crossing.C. In business or commercial areas where active grade crossing traffic control devices are in use.D. Where physical conditions do not permit even a partially effective display of the sign.
W10-2 W10-3 W10-4Installed on approaches of parallel highways if the distance between the tracks and the parallel highway, from the edgeof the tracks to the edge of the parallel roadway, is less than 100 feet to warn road users making a turn that they will encounter a grade crossing soon after making a turn.
“Provides information to road users so that they can notifythe railroad company about emergencies or malfunctioning traffic control devices.”
If an engineering study indicates that other installed devices provide suitable warning and control, pavement markings are not required in the following circumstances: A. Posted or statutory speed is less than 40 mph if an engineering study indicates that other installed devices provide suitable warning and control B. In urban areasOffset of stop bar = 15’ from nearest rail & 8’ from gate
Flashing Lights and Gates Offset = 12’ – 15’ from trackTypical horizontal offset of gate from roadway = 8’
FLASHING LIGHTS AUTOMATIC GATES 8” OR 12” EXTENDS ACROSS APPROACHING HIGHWAY MAST-MOUNTED OR TRAFFIC LANE CANTILEVERED (WHEN ADDITIONAL EMPHASIS FOUR-QUADRANT GATE OR BETTER VISIBILITY IS SYSTEM – CONSISTS OF NEEDED, SUCH AS ON ENTRANCE AND EXIT GATES MULTI-LANE HIGHWAYS THAT CONTROL AND BLOCK OR HIGH-FREQUENCY ROAD USERS OF ALL LANES CRASH LOCATIONS) ENTERING AND EXITING THE GRADE CROSSING.
Constant Warning Time – A motion sensing system with the capability of measuring train speed and providing a relatively uniform warning time to public traffic at highway-rail intersections. Motion Detection – Uses an electronic device that senses the movement of a train within the approach to a highway-rail crossing. It also detects when a train ceases to move toward the crossing and will, after a specific period of time, deactivate the crossing signals. FRA minimum warning time = 20 seconds
o Crossing Exposure – (Number of trains/day) X (ADT)o Hump Crossings – a crossing at which the railroad bed is higher than the road it is crossing, causing a hump for the motorist to cross; a high-profile crossing on which a long-wheelbase or low- ground-clearance vehicle may become lodged or stuck on the “hump”.
o Quiet Zone – stretch of rail line that contains one or more consecutive public crossings at which trains are prohibited from sounding their horns in order to decrease the noise level for nearby residential communities; must have supplementary safety measures.o Siding – railroad track used by one train to pass or “meet” another train; laid adjacent to a through track.o Spur – railroad track on which cars are left for loading and unloading; used for railroad car storage; can be single-ended or double-ended.
o Wayside Horn System – a stationary horn (or series of horns) located at a grade crossing that is used in conjunction with train-activated warning systems to provide audible warning of approaching rail traffic to road users either as a supplement or alternative to sounding of a locomotive horn.o Wig Wag – nickname given to a type of railroad grade crossing signal once common in North America; named for the pendulum-like motion it used to signal the approach of a train.