TECHNOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY FOR GRADE CROSSING PROTECTION

Recent interest in improvement of safety at railroad-highway grade crossings has been accompanied by a growing involvement of government at all levels. Public responsibility typically has been confined to providing funding, developing information, planning, and regulating; the design, installation, and maintenance of automatic protection has been exclusively a railroad activity. This paper examines the technical limitations that constrain public authorities from taking total responsibility for crossing protection devices, which are the only highway traffic control devices that are not the responsibility of highway officials. Research directed toward removal of those limitations is described. A review of the legal history and current role of governmental units precedes a description of conventional technology in terms of impact on a wider public role. Means of train detection and motorist warnings are discussed; the conclusion drawn is that the principal technological impediment to non-railroad responsibility for crossing protection is the present dependence on track circuit techniques for determination of train presence. Recent research directed at removing this constraint is presented. Analysis of system requirements and available technology has identified a discrete train detector-microwave communication link concept, and the results of field testing indicate a number of attractive features and general feasibility.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 33-43
  • Monograph Title: Traffic operations
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00083969
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309023580
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 8 1976 12:00AM