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Enhancing Safety and Efficiency at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings Operations Through the Application of Train Occupancy Time Information System

Myungwoo Lee, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The integration of an advanced train detection system with a traveler information system can improve operational efficiency and safety at highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs). Despite the ongoing development and validation of relevant technologies, research investigating the specific applications and impact of such technologies at HRGCs remains limited. This research had two primary objectives. The first objective was to design, field-test, and implement a prototype system that provides timely information to motorists about train delays and associated hazards at HRGCs. The system's intention was to enhance motorists' awareness of oncoming trains and train induced HRGC delays, leading to improved decision-making regarding alternate routes or reducing unsafe motorist behaviors. The second objective was to measure the impacts of the implemented system on motorist behavior and traffic patterns in the vicinity of an HRGC.The study’s findings suggest that the installation of the train information system resulted in a more efficient and safer roadway network near the HRGC. Motor vehicle traffic was distributed more effectively, and exposure to trains during crossing events was reduced. Following the installation of the information system, the number of unsafe lane use maneuvers significantly decreased during no train crossing events. The insights gained from this study help local governments and railroad agencies to enhance the safety and efficiency of their roadway networks, including HRGCs. A better understanding of the factors contributing to driver behavior at rail crossings can assist in developing effective strategies to prevent crashes and promote safety. The findings from this study serve as a starting point for future research and guide the development of countermeasures to improve the safety and efficiency of jurisdictional roadway networks.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Lee, Myungwoo, "Enhancing Safety and Efficiency at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings Operations Through the Application of Train Occupancy Time Information System" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30423819.