Using Travel Time Data from the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) to Characterize Hourly Railroad Grade Crossing Delays and Inform Grade Crossing Improvements

This paper describes and applies a methodology to utilize travel time data from the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) to evaluate at-grade railroad crossings and the performance of roadway segments intersected by these crossings. The methodology uses crossing inventories from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to identify at-grade crossing locations throughout Illinois. Since these sets provide complementary information, the study used both to form a more complete view of the crossings’ characteristics. The NPMRDS provides travel times along roadway segments leading into, following, and through many of these crossings. The study estimated delay performance by calculating the proportion of observations along these segments that had estimated speeds under 5mph across each daytime hour during five months of weekday periods. Performance characteristics could be affected by differences in crossing configurations, roadway geometry, traffic, train operations, and other factors. The methodology is oriented towards understanding site level conditions and the impact of spatial arrangements rather than evaluating the impacts of signage, geometry, and signaling. By using these observations, agencies can assess multiple crossings and derive performance measures to prioritize the evaluation of individual crossings. The study uses five case examples that represent different street connectivity, signalization, and traffic behavior characteristics and analyzes these crossings using the travel time estimates. Since detailed crossing evaluations can be costly, this methodology can help agencies to allocate limited funds and limited resources more effectively.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AHB60 Standing Committee on Highway/Rail Grade Crossings.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Hafeez, Bader
    • Kasemsarn, Arnold
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2017


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01628061
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-02291
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2017 5:04PM