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Mid-America Transportation Center

Development of Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Consolidation Rating Formula

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Zachary Hans (zhans@iastate.edu 515-294-8103)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    State and local government agencies and railroad companies face the challenge of identifying rail crossing locations for potential closure. The literature documents many attempts to address various issues related to safety and risks at highway-rail grade crossings, as well as strategies to minimize these risks and improve safety. However, there is limited information on a formula-based approach to improving safety through the closing of such crossings. Thus, there is a need to develop a quantitative approach to address this challenge.
    Research Objective
    The goal of the project is to provide an objective methodology to support public agencies and railroads in making decisions related to closures of at-grade rail-highway crossings.
    Potential Benefits
    The principal result of this project will be a formula to rate at-grade rail-highway crossings for potential closure. A final technical project report will be submitted to document efforts on the project and their outcomes. Additionally, a technology brief (akin to an executive summary) will highlight key findings and implementation strategies to be considered. A spreadsheet based tool will also be provided.
    Abstract
    The goal of this project is to provide an objective methodology to support public agencies and railroads in making decisions related to closures of at-grade rail-highway crossings. The project will develop a formula to evaluate candidate crossings for potential closure based on various factors such as relative risks, safety, infrastructure, operational, economic, emergency response, societal, and mobility considerations. The formula would be used to rate at-grade rail-highway crossings to identify potential locations for closure. In turn, this would enable the comparison of crossings across a geographic region (e.g., the state) and the development of a prioritized list of crossings for closure. A spreadsheet-based tool will be developed to support the use of the formula. Such an approach is intended to assist these organizations in convincing decision makers and stakeholders of the need to close the identified crossings.
    Project Amount
    $ $59,995