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Rail News: Communication and Signal

FRA focuses attention on grade crossing accidents


By year's end, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to implement several initiatives designed to reduce grade crossing accidents.

Yesterday, the FRA released the first-ever comprehensive report on safety challenges associated with the nation's nearly 87,000 private crossings, which are not subject to the same federal safety standards as public crossings. The report proposes ways to improve safety at private crossings, such as by developing a national policy or issuing federal regulations.

Later this year, the FRA plans to issue a multi-year research and development plan aimed at addressing crossing safety issues. The plan will support research to modernize existing warning devices, improve motorists' detection of oncoming trains and apply Intelligent Transportation Systems.

The FRA also will issue a revised guidebook to help states and communities close or consolidate unneeded or little-used public crossings and improve safety at key crossings.

The initiatives are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Highway-Rail Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention Action Plan, which was rolled out in June 2004. Involving several USDOT agencies, the plan prompted a number of safety projects and initiatives focusing on regulations, research, technology development, technical assistance and educational efforts.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/13/2008