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Level crossing

Level crossing

Overview

A level crossing occurs where a railway line is intersected by a road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 or path
Trail
A trail is a path with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel. Trails may be for use only by walkers and in some places are the main access route to remote settlements...

 on
one level, without recourse to a bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

 or tunnel
Tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

. It is a type of at-grade intersection
At-grade intersection
An at-grade intersection is a junction at which two or more transport axes cross at the same level .-Traffic management:With areas of high or fast traffic, an at-grade intersection normally requires a traffic control device such as a stop sign, traffic light or railway signal to manage conflicting...

. The term also applies when a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 line with separate right-of-way
Right-of-way (railroad)
A right-of-way is a strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way...

 or reserved track
Reserved track
In tram transport terminology reserved track is track on ground exclusively for trams. Unlike track on streets and roads, reserved track does not need to take into account the transit of other wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists or horses...

 crosses a road in the same fashion. Other names include railway crossing, railroad crossing, road through railroad, train crossing or grade crossing.


Early level crossings had a flagman
Flagman (rail)
On the railroads, a flagman is an employee of the railroad who is assigned to protect contractors or any one performing work on a railroad right of way. When a train approaches a location where workers may foul the track, the train crew will call the flagman for permission to pass the work area...

 in a nearby booth who would, on the approach of a train, wave a red flag or lantern to stop all traffic and clear the tracks.
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Encyclopedia

A level crossing occurs where a railway line is intersected by a road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 or path
Trail
A trail is a path with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel. Trails may be for use only by walkers and in some places are the main access route to remote settlements...

 on
one level, without recourse to a bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

 or tunnel
Tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

. It is a type of at-grade intersection
At-grade intersection
An at-grade intersection is a junction at which two or more transport axes cross at the same level .-Traffic management:With areas of high or fast traffic, an at-grade intersection normally requires a traffic control device such as a stop sign, traffic light or railway signal to manage conflicting...

. The term also applies when a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 line with separate right-of-way
Right-of-way (railroad)
A right-of-way is a strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way...

 or reserved track
Reserved track
In tram transport terminology reserved track is track on ground exclusively for trams. Unlike track on streets and roads, reserved track does not need to take into account the transit of other wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists or horses...

 crosses a road in the same fashion. Other names include railway crossing, railroad crossing, road through railroad, train crossing or grade crossing.

Overview



Early level crossings had a flagman
Flagman (rail)
On the railroads, a flagman is an employee of the railroad who is assigned to protect contractors or any one performing work on a railroad right of way. When a train approaches a location where workers may foul the track, the train crew will call the flagman for permission to pass the work area...

 in a nearby booth who would, on the approach of a train, wave a red flag or lantern to stop all traffic and clear the tracks. Manual or electrical closable gates
Boom barrier
A boom barrier is a bar, or pole pivoted in such a way as to allow the boom to block vehicular access through a controlled point. Typically the tip of a boom gate rises in a vertical arc to a near vertical position. Boom gates are often counterweighted, so the pole is easily tipped...

 that barricaded the roadway were later introduced. The gates were intended to be a complete barrier against intrusion of any road traffic onto the railway. In the early days of the railways much road traffic was horsedrawn or included livestock. It was thus necessary to provide a real barrier. Thus, crossing gates, when closed to road traffic, crossed the entire width of the road. When opened to allow road users to cross the line, the gates were swung across the width of the railway, preventing any pedestrians or animals getting onto the line. The first U.S. patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 for such crossing gates was awarded on 27 August 1867, to J. Nason and J. F. Wilson, both of Boston.

With the appearance of motor vehicles, this barrier became less effective and the need for a barrier to livestock diminished dramatically. Many countries therefore substituted the gated crossings with weaker but more highly visible barriers and relied upon road users following the associated warning signals to stop.

In many countries, level crossings on less important roads and railway lines are often "open" or "uncontrolled", sometimes with warning lights or bells to warn of approaching trains. Ungated crossings represent a safety concern; many accidents have occurred due to failure to notice or obey the warning. Railways in the United States are adding reflectors to the side of each train car to help prevent accidents at level crossings. In some countries, such as Ireland, instead of an open crossing there may be manually operated gates, which the motorist must open and close. These too have significant risks, as they are unsafe to use without possessing a knowledge of the train timetable: motorists may be instructed to telephone the railway signaller, but may not always do so.

The director of rail safety at the UK HM Railway Inspectorate
HM Railway Inspectorate
Established in 1840, HM Railway Inspectorate was the British organisation responsible for overseeing safety on Britain's railways and tramways...

 commented in 2004 that "the use of level crossings contributes the greatest potential for catastrophic risk on the railways." Eighteen people were killed in the UK on level crossings in 2003-4. Bridges and tunnels are now favoured, but this can be impractical in flat countryside where there is insufficient space to build a roadway embankment or tunnel (because of nearby buildings).

At railway stations
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

, a pedestrian level crossing is sometimes provided to allow passengers to reach other platforms in the absence of an underpass or bridge.

Where third rail
Third rail
A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, through a semi-continuous rigid conductor placed alongside or between the rails of a railway track. It is used typically in a mass transit or rapid transit system, which has alignments in its own corridors, fully or almost...

 systems have level crossings, there is a gap in the third rail over the level crossing, but the power supply is not interrupted since trains have current collectors on multiple cars.

An innovation yet to be proved practical is to transmit level crossing warning signals by radio into the cabin of the road vehicle. This would be particularly useful at passive crossings not yet fitted with flashing lights.

Major accidents


Level crossings present a significant risk of collisions between trains and road vehicles. This list is not a definitive list of the world's worst accidents and the events listed are limited to those where a separate article describes the event in question.
Accident Deaths Country Year
Langenweddingen level crossing disaster
Langenweddingen level crossing disaster
The Langenweddingen rail crash near Magdeburg in Germany caused 94 deaths.The disaster occurred on 6 July 1967 at the village of Langenweddingen on the Magdeburg–Thale railway in former East Germany when a bilevel train struck a fuel tanker, which exploded as a result of the collision, at a level...

94 Germany 1967
Nagpur level crossing disaster
Nagpur level crossing disaster
The Nagpur level crossing disaster was an accident that occurred on 3 February 2005, when a crowded trailer being towed by a tractor was hit by a train near the village of Kanan, 20km from Nagpur in Maharashtra, India...

55 India 2005
Marhanets train and bus collision
Marhanets train and bus collision
The Marhanets train accident occurred on 12 October 2010, at Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine when a train collided with a passenger bus on a railroad level crossing. Forty-three people were reported dead and nine injured. The bus driver, whose actions allegedly caused the collision, was...

45 Ukraine 2010
Polgahawela level crossing accident 35 Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

2005
Lake Balaton level crossing disaster, Siófok
Siófok
Siófok is a city in Hungary on the southern bank of Lake Balaton in Somogy County. The city is one of Hungary's most popular holiday destinations, famous for its beaches and nightlife. Siófok is one of the richest municipalities of Hungary due to tourism...

33 Hungary 2003
Xirivella level crossing accident, Valencia 27 Spain 1980
Dorion level crossing accident
Dorion level crossing accident
The Dorion level crossing accident occurred on October 7, 1966, when a school bus carrying 40 students was struck by a CN Rail freight train travelling at full speed in Dorion, Quebec, Canada .-Summary:...

19 Canada 1966
2009 Slovak coach and train collision
2009 Slovak coach and train collision
The Brezno train accident was a train accident which occurred close to Brezno, Slovakia, on 21 February 2009, when a train collided with a tourist coach on a level crossing. Twelve people were killed and at least twenty people were injured in the crash. All of the deaths and injuries occurred on...

12 Slovakia 2009
Bourbonnais train accident
Bourbonnais train accident
The 1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois train accident was a train-truck collision between Amtrak's southbound City of New Orleans passenger train and a semi truck in the village of Bourbonnais, Illinois, near the city of Kankakee. Almost the entire train derailed, killing 11 passengers...

11 United States 1999
Hixon rail crash
Hixon rail crash
The Hixon rail crash occurred on 6 January 1968 when a low-loader transporter carrying a 120-ton electrical transformer was struck by an express train on a recently installed automatic level crossing at Hixon, Staffordshire in England.-Background:...

11 United Kingdom 1968
Glendale train crash
Glendale train crash
The 2005 Glendale train crash is the second deadliest incident in the history of Metrolink, the commuter railroad in the Los Angeles, California, area. It was overtaken as the deadliest by the 2008 Chatsworth train collision.On January 26, 2005, at 6:03 a.m...

11 United States 2005
Kerang rail accident
Kerang rail accident
The Kerang train accident occurred on 5 June 2007 at about 1:40 pm AEST in the Australian state of Victoria, approximately north of the town of Kerang in the state's northwest, and north-northwest of the city of Melbourne....

11 Australia 2007
Lockington rail crash
Lockington rail crash
The Lockington rail crash occurred on 26 July 1986 at Lockington, Humberside , England, when the 09:33 passenger train from Bridlington to Hull on the Yorkshire Coast Line hit a Ford Escort van on a level crossing...

9 United Kingdom 1986
Gerogery level crossing accident
Gerogery level crossing accident
The Gerogery level crossing accident was a vehicle-train crash that occurred at Bells Road on the Olympic Highway, where it crossed the Main Southern railway in Gerogery, New South Wales, Australia...

5 Australia 2001
Fox River Grove level crossing accident 7 United States 1995
Ufton Nervet rail crash
Ufton Nervet rail crash
The Ufton Nervet rail crash was a railway accident between a train and car near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, England that caused seven deaths.-Collision:...

7 United Kingdom 2004

Asia



Level crossings in China, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Malaysia are still largely manually-operated, where the barriers are lowered using a manual switch when trains approach. A significant number of crossings are without barriers. Railway electrification in Malaysia
Railway electrification in Malaysia
Railway electrification comprised a single system in geographical areas of Malaysia.-Rawang-Ipoh:The double-tracking and electrification of 179 km of the main West Coast line will enable KTMB to run trains at a maximum speed of 160 km/h between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh...

 has gradually eliminated level crossings in Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia , also known as West Malaysia , is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula. Its area is . It shares a land border with Thailand in the north. To the south is the island of Singapore. Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the island of Sumatra...

, replacing those along nearly all upgraded lines with large overhead viaducts or deep underground tunnels, and simply cutting off non-essential crossings outright.

Taiwan


As most railways in Taiwan were built during Japanese administration, railway level crossings remain very common, though many urban crossings have been eliminated when the railroads have been moved underground, e.g., segments of the Western Line in Taipei City, or abolished, e.g. the former TRA Tamsui Line that is now the Taipei Metro Tamsui Line with no level crossings.

The Act Governing the Punishment of Violation of Road traffic Regulations (zh:道路交通管理處罰條例) defines three types of railway level crossing violations:
  1. Not obeying a direction of a flagman or insisting to cross when the gate starts lowering or when the bell rings or the lights flash is a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
  2. Directly crossing a railway level crossing not guarded by any flagman, gate, bell, or flashing light equipment without stopping as required when a warning sign is present is also a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
  3. Overtaking
    Overtaking
    Overtaking or passing is the act of one vehicle going past another slower moving vehicle, travelling in the same direction, on a road. The lane used for overtaking another vehicle is almost always a lane further from the road shoulder — that is, to the left in places that drive on the right,...

    , making a U-turn, backing up, stopping or parking
    Parking
    Parking is the act of stopping a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied for more than a brief time. Parking on one or both sides of a road is commonly permitted, though often with restrictions...

     on a railway level crossing is a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles but not pedestrians.


The same Act provides different penalties against different types of railway level crossing violators as follows, with very heavy penalties against drivers of motorized vehicles and much lighter penalties against drivers of non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians:
  • Article 54: A driver of a motor vehicle shall be administratively fined 6000 to 12000 new Taiwan dollar
    New Taiwan dollar
    The New Taiwan dollar , or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar...

    s for a railway level crossing violation. Should an accident occur, the driver license shall also be revoked permanently according to Article 67. This lifetime revocation used to be absolute, but the amendment of the law proclaimed on 28 December 2005 and effective on 1 July 2006 has allowed a possible waiver after serving at least 6 years of the revocation.

  • Article 75: A driver of a non-motorized vehicle (e.g., a bicycle) shall be administratively fined 1200 to 2400 New Taiwan dollars for a railway level crossing violation.

  • Article 80: A pedestrian shall be administratively fined 1200 New Taiwan dollars for a railway level crossing violation.


Accidents at railway level crossings remain a very serious concern. The Taiwan Railway Administration
Taiwan Railway Administration
The Taiwan Railway Administration is an agency of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Republic of China responsible for managing, maintaining, and running passenger and freight service on 1097 km of conventional railroad lines in Taiwan...

 alone has hundreds of level crossings along its routes of slightly more than 1100 km. In average, there is a level crossing in less than 2 km.

Red emergency buttons have been installed to allow the public to report an emergency at a level crossing, such as stalled vehicles or any obstacles that would be very dangerous should any train approach. However, willfully misusing the emergency button is a criminal offence. In an emergency, the public is asked to:
  1. First, press the button and be sure of its activation with a flashing light.
  2. Second, try to clear any obstacles, including any vehicles.
  3. Third, if unable to clear the obstacles and the warning bell rings, leave quickly. "A train is coming and please quickly leave the level crossing" will be announced in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hakka.

Belgium



At a level crossing, any overhead electric power cables must also cross. This led to a conflict where a mainline railway that crossed one of the country's once extensive interurban tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

lines (vicinal or buurtspoorweg) was electrified. In at least one location, this led to the tram overhead being dismantled.

Automatic Level crossings in Belgium have two red lights, a "moon-white" light and (usually) barriers. However, the white flashes for half a second every certain number of seconds just to inform drivers and pedestrians that they can cross the level crossing, and that the signal is in working order. In some cases the white light is absent, but the Belgian law of Traffic of 1975 does not enforce anything special regarding that.

Italy


The cable-hauled section of the tramway up the hill from Trieste
Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

 to Opicina has an interesting level crossing with a minor road at midpoint. As well as the rails, people crossing have to step or drive over two haulage cables, separated by wooden planking.

Norway


During 1998-2008 the Norwegian rail administration (Jernbaneverket) removed about 1000 level crossings, but thereafter, still about 3500 were in use. 160 km/h is maximum speed for trains over level crossings. In addition, Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

's and Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

's tram or light rail systems have some level crossings. Oslo's metro (T-banen) is free from them, and on the old suburban railways in the western parts of the city, the level crossings were removed when the lines were upgraded to metro standard.

Sweden


In Sweden there are 8,500 level crossings, according to Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration (former Banverket
Banverket
The Swedish Rail Administration was a government agency that owned and maintained virtually all railway lines in Sweden except many short sidings for freight only. It was formed in 1988 when Statens Järnvägar was split, leaving Statens Järnvägar as mainly a train operator and real estate owner,...

, Swedish Rail Administration). On public roads they have light signals with or without gates. On private roads there are level crossings without signals. Most accidents occur on crossings without gates. For many years there have been activities to reduce the number of accidents, usually by adding gates, or adding light signals if there were none. On the main lines many bridges have been built, and also anywhere a new road or new railway has been built. Still there are some level crossings left on the main lines. A train speed of 200 km/h is allowed in Sweden over level crossings, if there are gates and an obstacle detection unit. This unit detects cars on the track and prevents the gates from closing fully and stops the train. According to Trafikverket in 15 years there has only been one serious collision between a car and a train on such a level crossing, when a car ran through the gates just in front of the train.

Finland


In Finland, level crossings have dual light units that contain a daytime running light as well as the more common red lights. The tracks at all types of level crossings and of other warning devices are used only for pedestrian and bicycle lanes. Finland does not use full-length gate barriers because of the risk of a vehicle becoming trapped on the tracks between the barriers in the path of an oncoming train. Finnish level crossings are the sixth safest level crossings in Europe. Finland's state railway system has over 3,000 level crossings, according to TraFi. Finland is the whole of the railway`s history occurred during a lot of level crossing accidents, when the accident statistics are compared to other Scandinavian countries. In Finland, the maximum speed is 140km/h at the railways where is some level crossings.

United Kingdom



Britain's first automatically operated level crossing came into operation at Spath
Spath
Spath, is a small village north of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England.Spath is on the River Tean and is divided from Uttoxeter by the A50 road....

 near Uttoxeter
Uttoxeter
Uttoxeter is a historic market town in Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. The current population is approximately 13,711, though new developments in the town will increase this figure. Uttoxeter lies close to the River Dove and is near the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and...

 in Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. Part of the National Forest lies within its borders...

 in May 1961.

There were 8,200 level crossings in the UK in 2005, of which, 1,600 were road crossings. This number is gradually being reduced as the risk of accident at level crossings is considered high. The director of the UK Railway Inspectorate
HM Railway Inspectorate
Established in 1840, HM Railway Inspectorate was the British organisation responsible for overseeing safety on Britain's railways and tramways...

 commented in 2004 that "the use of level crossings contributes the greatest potential for catastrophic risk on the railways." Bridges and tunnels are now favoured, and there is a commitment on the part of UK rail authorities not to build new level crossings, and to reduce the number of existing level crossings. The cost of making significant reductions, other than by simply closing the crossings, is substantial; some commentators argue that the money could be better spent. Some 6500 crossings are user-worked crossings or footpaths with very low usage. The removal of crossings can also improve train performance as some crossings have low rail speed limits enforced on them to protect road users. In fact, between 1845 and 1933, a 4 mph speed limit was notionally in force over level crossings.
Situation

In the United Kingdom, major crossings were normally situated within easy viewing distance of a signal box
Signal box
On a rail transport system, signalling control is the process by which control is exercised over train movements by way of railway signals and block systems to ensure that trains operate safely, over the correct route and to the proper timetable...

, and usually directly adjacent to the signal box. This ensured that the signalman could verify that the road was clear before allowing a train onto the crossing. The traditional form of road crossing on British railways from the mid 19th century consisted of four wooden gates (two on each side of the railway). These prevented road traffic from crossing when closed and when open lay across the railway to prevent horses and livestock inadvertently escaping from the road to the railway. Many gated crossings have been replaced by lifting barriers, which are easier to mechanise. "Full barriers" consist of barriers each side of the track, which block the full width of the road and "half barriers" consist of a single arm each side of the road, which block only oncoming traffic. Half barriers were considered to have an advantage as motorists are less likely to be stranded on the crossing and unable to exit, but cases where impatient motorists have driven around the barriers have raised safety concerns. Video cameras are now often used at crossings to allow the human operator to be some distance from the crossing. On lightly used railways many crossings are sited next to station stops or other stopping points and are crew operated. The guard pushes a plunger to operate the crossing. On completion of the crossing sequence, an indicator light permits the train to proceed if the crossing is observed by the train driver to be clear. After the train has cleared the crossing, it re-opens to road traffic.

To ensure that the barriers are noticed and to draw attention, public road crossings may be fitted with a ringing warning bell or siren and with lights. Some crossings also have telephones which connect to the relevant signal box, so that in case of an emergency, or a large slow moving vehicle wanting to use the crossing, the signalman's attention can be drawn promptly to the hazard and action can be taken. Some "automatic open crossings", with warning lights and bells but no barriers, were introduced, but their expansion was largely halted after the Lockington rail crash
Lockington rail crash
The Lockington rail crash occurred on 26 July 1986 at Lockington, Humberside , England, when the 09:33 passenger train from Bridlington to Hull on the Yorkshire Coast Line hit a Ford Escort van on a level crossing...

. Some smaller crossings, particularly pedestrian crossings on low-speed lines consist of nothing but a warning sign and raised pathway across the track itself.

In November 2004 there were two major accidents on UK level crossings: one involved a car driver committing suicide, who caused the death of seven people (Ufton Nervet rail crash
Ufton Nervet rail crash
The Ufton Nervet rail crash was a railway accident between a train and car near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, England that caused seven deaths.-Collision:...

); another involving a train carrying 50 school children resulted in no fatalities but a number of injuries. These incidents have increased efforts to review the placing of level crossings and to eliminate them where this is practicable. In the UK it has also been suggested that cameras similar to the type used to detect drivers who run traffic lights be deployed at level crossings, and that penalties for ignoring signals should be much more severe. British Transport Police
British Transport Police
The British Transport Police is a special police force that polices those railways and light-rail systems in Great Britain for which it has entered into an agreement to provide such services...

 typically prosecute motorists who jump the barriers with either trespass or failing to conform with a traffic signal. A particular problem has been that the responsibility for the road safety at crossings is entirely outside the control of the railways. In 2006 legislative activities are in progress to permit Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

 to be involved in the road side safety of crossings. This will allow the introduction of anti-slip surfaces and also barriers to prevent motorists driving around crossing arms and, it is hoped, reduce the number of crossing related deaths.
Pedestrian crossings

The use of pedestrian crossings at stations is now rare in more modern countries, although historically it was common that passengers walked across the line between platforms. It is still common in many countries, or on lines with less traffic.

At Settle
Settle
Settle is a small market town and civil parish within the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is served by the Settle railway station, which is located near the town centre, and Giggleswick railway station which is a mile away. It is from Leeds Bradford Airport...

, for example, before the footbridge was installed in the 1990s, the time taken while passengers from Leeds walked across the line was happily used to top up the driver's kettle with hot water. With a few exceptions, such as at Carmarthen
Carmarthen railway station
Carmarthen railway station is situated south of the River Towy on the edge of the town of Carmarthen. It is located on the West Wales Line and is managed by Arriva Trains Wales, who operate most of the passenger trains serving it...

, the remaining examples occur only on heritage railways or as a means for passengers who cannot climb stairs to move between platforms where the only other route is a footbridge.

For the episode of British motoring television programme Top Gear
Top Gear (current format)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

on 25 February 2007, Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

 staged an incident in which a locomotive was driven into a Renault Espace
Renault Espace
The Renault Espace is a large MPV from French car-maker Renault. Generations 1-3 were sold under the Renault brand but manufactured by Matra. The current fourth generation model, which seats seven passengers, is an all-Renault product; the Renault Grand Espace is a long-wheelbase version with...

 at around 80 mph to graphically illustrate the dangers of "running the risk" (see British Rail Class 31 in the media).

The idea of 'modular' level crossing barriers were a consideration by Network Rail when they introduced a new modular building system in 2008. The term 'modular' meaning they can be assembled and erected into place in a mere matter of hours.

Canada


Grade crossing protection practices in Canada are virtually identical to those in the United States (see below) using the same alternating flashing red lights and gate arms. The only significant differences are the crossbuck
Crossbuck
A crossbuck is a sign composed of two slats of wood or metal of equal length, fastened together on a pole in a saltire formation...

 signs, which have no wording but are white with a red outline, and the advance-warning sign, which is a yellow diamond shape with a diagram of a track crossing a straight segment of road (similar to a crossroads sign, except that the horizontal road is replaced by a track). Before changes in regulations mandated bilingual (English and French) or no-wording signs, crossbucks were nearly identical to those in the States, except that they read "Railway Crossing" instead of "Railroad Crossing." The red lights also flash a little faster than in the United States.

United States




In the United States and in countries following United States practices, a locomotive must have a bright headlight and ditch lights (two lights located below the headlight), a working bell, and a whistle or horn
Train horn
Train horns are audible warning devices found on most diesel and electric locomotives. Their primary purpose is to alert persons and animals to the presence of a train, especially when approaching a grade crossing. They are also used for acknowledging signals given by railroad employees Train horns...

 that must be sounded four times (long-long-short-long), similar to the signal for the International Morse Code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 letter "Q", as the train approaches the crossing.

Some American cities, in the interest of noise abatement, have passed laws prohibiting the sounding of bells and whistles; however, their ability to enforce such rules is debatable. In December 2003, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration published regulations that would create areas where train horns could be silenced, provided that certain safety measures were put in place, such as concrete barriers preventing drivers from circumventing the gates or automatic whistles (also called wayside horns) mounted at the crossing (which reduce noise pollution to nearby neighborhoods). Implementation of the new "Quiet Zone" Final Rule was delayed repeatedly but was finally implemented in the summer of 2005. Rail "Quiet Zone" crossings still require bells as part of the automatic warning devices (AWDs) in addition to the wayside horns. The wayside horns usually are sets of speakers that are directed at the crossing mounted right up on a pole. These audible devices are not similar to a train horn.

Every crossing, whether above grade, below grade, or at grade, is required to be assigned a unique identifier which is a six-digit number and a trailing letter used as a checksum
Checksum
A checksum or hash sum is a fixed-size datum computed from an arbitrary block of digital data for the purpose of detecting accidental errors that may have been introduced during its transmission or storage. The integrity of the data can be checked at any later time by recomputing the checksum and...

. This identifier is called a Grade Crossing Number, and is usually posted with a sign or sticker on the sign or equipment. This allows a particular crossing anywhere in the United States to be precisely identified as to its exact location in the event of an incident involving that crossing.

All public crossings in the United States are required to be marked by at least a crossbuck
Crossbuck
A crossbuck is a sign composed of two slats of wood or metal of equal length, fastened together on a pole in a saltire formation...

; most crossings intersecting rural roads have this setup. If the crossing has more than one railroad track, the crossbuck will usually have a small sign beneath it denoting the number of tracks. As traffic on the road crossing or the rail crossing increases, safety features are increased accordingly. More heavily trafficked crossings have AWDs, with alternately flashing red lights to warn automobile drivers and a bell to warn pedestrians. Additional safety is attained through crossing gates
Boom barrier
A boom barrier is a bar, or pole pivoted in such a way as to allow the boom to block vehicular access through a controlled point. Typically the tip of a boom gate rises in a vertical arc to a near vertical position. Boom gates are often counterweighted, so the pole is easily tipped...

 that block automobiles' approach to the tracks when activated. Increasingly, crossings are being fitted with four-quadrant gate
Four-quadrant gate
A four-quadrant gate is a type of boom barrier gate protecting a grade crossing.It has a gate mechanism on both sides of the tracks for both directions of automotive traffic...

s to prevent circumventing the gates.

Operation of a typical AWD-equipped railroad crossing in the United States is as follows:
  • Approximately 30 seconds before arriving at the crossing, the train trips a track circuit
    Track circuit
    A track circuit is a simple electrical device used to detect the absence of a train on rail tracks, used to inform signallers and control relevant signals.- Principles and operation :...

     near the crossing, triggering the crossing signals. The lights begin to flash alternately, and a bell (or bells) mounted at the crossing begins ringing. After several seconds of flashing lights and ringing bells, the crossing gates (if equipped) begin to lower, which usually takes 5–10 seconds. Some AWDs will silence the bell once the gates are fully lowered (typically seen on most Norfolk Southern and CSX crossings); most continue ringing the bells throughout (Union Pacific, BNSF Railway
    BNSF Railway
    The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of seven North American Class I railroads and the second largest freight railroad network in North America, second only to the Union Pacific Railroad, its primary...

    ). The lights continue to flash throughout regardless.
  • Approximately 15 to 20 seconds before arriving at the crossing, the train begins ringing its bell and sounding its horn in accordance with NORAC rule 14L or GCOR rule 5.8.2(7): two longs, one short, and one long. These are prolonged or repeated until the engine occupies the crossing. If the AWD is equipped with a horn in accordance with FRA Quiet Zone rules, the AWD may provide the whistle signal instead of the train; however, the train is required to ring its bell regardless.
  • After the train has cleared the crossing, the bells (if silenced) may begin ringing again( such as the Florida East Coast Railway
    Florida East Coast Railway
    The Florida East Coast Railway is a Class II railroad operating in the U.S. state of Florida; in the past, it has been a Class I railroad.Built primarily in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the FEC was a project of Standard Oil principal Henry Morrison...

    ), and the gates (if equipped) begin to rise. Once the gates have completely risen back to their fully raised position, all warning signals, including the lights and bells, are deactivated.


Some AWD track circuits are equipped with motion detectors that will deactivate the crossing signal if the train stops or slows significantly before arriving at the crossing.

As indicated above, the pattern of the bells at each individual crossing can be different. (These bells should not be confused with the bells that are mounted on the trains.) Generally, the bells follow one of these patterns:
  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and stops when the gates have completely lowered.
  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and stops when the gates begin to go up following the passing of the train.
  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and stops when the gates have completely lowered, and then resums ringing when the gates begin to go up, until the gates have returned to their original position.
  • The final, and most common, practice is for the bells to begin ringing when the lights begin flashing and continue till the gates have gone up after the train passes.


Some level crossings that are located too close to intersections with traffic light
Traffic light
Traffic lights, which may also be known as stoplights, traffic lamps, traffic signals, signal lights, robots or semaphore, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings and other locations to control competing flows of traffic...

s will program the signals so when the approaching train trips the track circuit, it not only activates the crossing signals, but also changes the traffic lights facing the crossing to red. Some track circuits place the signals into flash mode the entire time the AWDs are active.

In cases where railroads share the right of way with vehicular traffic, simple railroad preemption may cause an all-red flash in traffic lights.

A few level crossings still use wigwag
Wigwag (railroad)
Wigwag is the nickname given to a type of railroad grade crossing signal once common in North America, named for the pendulum-like motion it used to signal the approach of a train...

 signals, which were developed in the early 1900s by the Pacific Electric Railway
Pacific Electric Railway
The Pacific Electric Railway , also known as the Red Car system, was a mass transit system in Southern California using streetcars, light rail, and buses...

 interurban
Interurban
An interurban, also called a radial railway in parts of Canada, is a type of electric passenger railroad; in short a hybrid between tram and train. Interurbans enjoyed widespread popularity in the first three decades of the twentieth century in North America. Until the early 1920s, most roads were...

 system in the Los Angeles region to protect its many level crossings. Though now considered to be antique, around 100 such signals are still in use, almost all on branch lines. By law, these signals must be replaced by the now-standard alternating red lights when they are retired.

U.S. Federal Railroad Administration regulations restrict trains to a maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h) at standard grade crossings. Crossings are permitted up to 125 mph (201 km/h) only if an "impenetrable barrier" is in place to block traffic when a train approaches. Crossings are prohibited at speeds in excess of 125 mph (201 km/h).

A track that will run high-speed trains in excess of 120 mph (193 km/h) is being tested in Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 between Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

. Here, due to the high speed of the trains, gates that totally prevent road traffic from reaching the tracks are mandatory on all level crossings. Steel mesh nets were tested on some crossings to further prevent collisions, but these were removed because of maintenance issues in 2001.

A new device called "StopGate" has been installed at four locations, one in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

; another in Monroe, Wisconsin
Monroe, Wisconsin
Monroe, known as "the Swiss Cheese Capital of the USA", is a city in and the county seat of Green County, Wisconsin, United States. The population, was 10,843 at the 2000 census. The city is located partially within the Town of Monroe and partially in the Town of Clarno.-Geography:Monroe is located...

 and two in Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara , founded in 1777 and incorporated in 1852, is a city in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California. The city is the site of the eighth of 21 California missions, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, and was named after the mission. The Mission and Mission Gardens are located on the...

 (on a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system). This system resembles a fortified version of a standard crossing gate, with two larger arms blocking the entire width of the roadway and locking into a securing device on the side of the road opposite the gate pivot mechanism. The gate arms are reinforced with high-strength steel cable, which helps the gate absorb the impact of a vehicle attempting to crash through the gate. The manufacturer claims that the StopGate can arrest a 2,000 kg
Kilogram
The kilogram or kilogramme , also known as the kilo, is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units and is defined as being equal to the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram , which is almost exactly equal to the mass of one liter of water...

 (4,400 lb
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

) truck within 13 feet (four meters). Already the system has been tested at the Madison crossing, when the system stopped a truck while a Wisconsin and Southern Railroad
Wisconsin and Southern Railroad
The Wisconsin and Southern Railroad is a Class II regional railroad in the southern portion of Wisconsin and the northeast corner of Illinois. It operates former Chicago, Milwaukee, St...

 train was in the crossing.

Another new type of barrier is being tested in Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 that is hoped will reduce the number of times drivers attempt to drive around lowered crossing gates. The new devices are called "delineators" consisting of a series of flexible bollard
Bollard
A bollard is a short vertical post. Originally it meant a post used on a ship or a quay, principally for mooring. The word now also describes a variety of structures to control or direct road traffic, such as posts arranged in a line to obstruct the passage of motor vehicles...

s that raise vertically out of vertical tubes in the pavement when the crossing signal is activated. The delineators are designed so that they will not be broken and will not damage vehicles if they are hit, allowing vehicles to exit the level crossing if they are already within it when the gates are activated. The test period for the new barrier began on 5 December 2007, and will run for a period of 17 months.

Australia



Australian railways generally follow United States practices, and they have increasingly been employing American-made crossing warning equipment, such as grade crossing predictor
Grade crossing predictor
A grade crossing predictor is an electronic device which is connected to the rails of a railroad track, and activates the crossing's warning devices at a consistent interval prior to the arrival of a train at a grade crossing ....

s, which are able to provide a consistent amount of warning time for trains of widely varying speeds.

One recent innovation in Australia is to provide crossbuck
Crossbuck
A crossbuck is a sign composed of two slats of wood or metal of equal length, fastened together on a pole in a saltire formation...

s with a pair of flashing yellow lights at a distance of say 200m from the level crossing itself, particularly where there are curves and visibility problems on the road. These are called Advance Active Warning Signals.

In Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia, there are several level crossings where electrified train tracks cross roads with electrified tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 tracks. These crossings are fitted with equipment to change the voltage supplied to the overhead wiring
Railway electrification system
A railway electrification system supplies electrical energy to railway locomotives and multiple units as well as trams so that they can operate without having an on-board prime mover. There are several different electrification systems in use throughout the world...

 depending on the vehicle using the crossing at that point in time. Trains are severely speed-limited across these intersections.

Although all cases where a train line crosses a road are level crossings whether or not they are signed, a tram track in its own right of way crossing a road can also be a level crossing if it is signed with a crossbuck which can read either "TRAM WAY CROSSING" or "RAIL WAY CROSSING". Otherwise, it is a regular intersection and usually has either traffic lights or a give way sign facing the road (see Gallery).

New Zealand


There are 1390 public road level crossings in New Zealand. Of those, 290 crossings are protected by flashing red lights, bells and half-arm barriers, and 430 are protected by flashing red lights and bells only. The remainder are controlled by Stop and Give Way signs. Level crossings are the responsibility of rail infrastructure owner ONTRACK
OnTrack
OnTrack was a regional rail line that operated in Syracuse, New York from 1994 to 2007. During its operation, Syracuse was the smallest city in the United States to have regional train service. The line ran from Colvin Street on the city's south side via Syracuse University and Armory Square to the...

, the New Zealand Transport Agency
New Zealand Transport Agency
The New Zealand Transport Agency is a New Zealand Crown entity tasked with promoting safe and functional transport by land, including the responsibility for driver and vehicle licensing and investigating rail accidents. It was created on 1 August 2008 by the Land Transport Management Amendment...

, and if the crossing is on a local road, the local city or district council
Territorial authorities of New Zealand
Territorial authorities are the second tier of local government in New Zealand, below regional councils. There are 67 territorial authorities: 13 city councils, 53 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council...

.

On the Taieri Gorge
Taieri Gorge
The Taieri Gorge is located on the Taieri River, in the South Island of New Zealand.It is a deep canyon carved by the Taieri River on the middle stage of its journey from Central Otago to the Pacific Ocean, between the high plateau of the Maniototo and the coastal Taieri Plains.The Taieri Gorge...

 line and the Hokitika Branch, in rural South Island
South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...

, New Zealand, roads and railways share the same bridge when crossing a river, with the rail line in the road. Motorists, as well as giving way to oncoming traffic if required (the bridges have one lane) must ensure that the bridge is clear of a train, end to end, before starting to cross the bridge. For safety, trains are limited to 10 km/h (6 mph) while crossing the bridges.

A unique level crossing exist near Gisborne
Gisborne, New Zealand
-Economy:The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped...

, in which the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line
Palmerston North - Gisborne Line
The Palmerston North – Gisborne Line is a secondary main line railway in the North Island of New Zealand. It branches from the North Island Main Trunk Railway in Palmerston North and runs east through the Manawatu Gorge to Woodville, where it meets the Wairarapa Line, and then proceeds to...

 crosses one of Gisborne Airport
Gisborne Airport
Gisborne Airport is a regional airport on the outskirts of Gisborne on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Gisborne Airport is one of the few airports in the world that has a railway line, the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line, crossing the main runway.-Eastland Group Management:On...

's runways. Aircraft landing on sealed 1310-metre runway 14L/32R are signalled with two red flashing lights on either side of the runway and a horizontal bar of flashing red lights to indicate the runway south of the railway line is closed, and may only land on the 866 m section of the runway north of the railway line. When the full length of the runway is open, a vertical bar of green lights signal to the aircraft, with regular rail signals on either side of the runway indicating trains to stop.

Level crossing safety in New Zealand is relatively poor, with 85 level crossing deaths in the past five years. One of the most notable level crossing accidents occurred in August 1993, when a southbound Southerner passenger train hit a cement mixer
Concrete mixer
A concrete mixer is a device that homogeneously combines cement, aggregate such as sand or gravel, and water to form concrete. A typical concrete mixer uses a revolving drum to mix the components...

 at a level crossing at Rolleston
Rolleston, New Zealand
Rolleston is a town in the Selwyn District of Canterbury, New Zealand.It is located next to State Highway 1, 22 km south-west of Christchurch on the Canterbury Plains in the South Island of New Zealand. The town uses the slogan "The Town of the Future"...

, near Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...

. The accident resulted in three deaths, including Louise Cairns, sister of New Zealand international cricketer Chris Cairns.

Unusual crossings


Bishton
Bishton
Bishton or Bishopston is a small rural community in the east of the city of Newport, south Wales. The parish lies in the Llanwern electoral district and contains the eastern end of Llanwern Steelworks, the Underwood estate as well as Bishton itself.- Government :The area is governed by the...

 level crossing in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 is unusual in that it is partly replaced by an underpass
Tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

 for low clearance cars, leaving the level crossing for high clearance trucks. There are many similar crossings on the line between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

 and King's Lynn
King's Lynn
King's Lynn is a sea port and market town in the ceremonial county of Norfolk in the East of England. It is situated north of London and west of Norwich. The population of the town is 42,800....

 (built by the Great Eastern Railway
Great Eastern Railway
The Great Eastern Railway was a pre-grouping British railway company, whose main line linked London Liverpool Street to Norwich and which had other lines through East Anglia...

 Company), including at Ely
Ely, Cambridgeshire
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...

 and Great Chesterford
Great Chesterford
Great Chesterford is a medium sized village and civil parish in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is located north of Bishop's Stortford, south of Cambridge and about north of London.- History :...

, and also near Cambridge Science Park
Cambridge Science Park
The Cambridge Science Park, founded by Trinity College in 1970, is the oldest science park in the United Kingdom. It is a concentration of science and technology related businesses, and has strong links with the nearby University of Cambridge....

 on the former line to St Ives
St Ives, Cambridgeshire
St Ives is a market town in Cambridgeshire, England, around north-west of the city of Cambridge and north of London. It lies within the historic county boundaries of Huntingdonshire.-History:...

. The level crossing at Manningtree station
Manningtree railway station
Manningtree is a railway station which serves the town of Manningtree in Essex, England. Services are provided by National Express East Anglia. The station is on the Great Eastern Main Line between London and Norwich and is the only station on the main line between Colchester and Ipswich....

 in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

 also features this set-up.

See also

  • At-grade intersection
    At-grade intersection
    An at-grade intersection is a junction at which two or more transport axes cross at the same level .-Traffic management:With areas of high or fast traffic, an at-grade intersection normally requires a traffic control device such as a stop sign, traffic light or railway signal to manage conflicting...

  • Automatic full barriers
    Automatic full barriers
    Automatic full barriers are a set of four half-barriers closing a road at a railway level crossing.Typically the barriers on the approach side to the crossing are lowered first with those on the exit side following shortly after. The sequence timing is set to allow enough time for a vehicle or...

  • Billups Neon Crossing Signal
    Billups Neon Crossing Signal
    The Billups Neon Crossing Signal was a prototypical grade crossing signal installed at a dangerous Illinois Central crossing on Mississippi Highway 7 in Grenada, Mississippi....

  • Boom barrier
    Boom barrier
    A boom barrier is a bar, or pole pivoted in such a way as to allow the boom to block vehicular access through a controlled point. Typically the tip of a boom gate rises in a vertical arc to a near vertical position. Boom gates are often counterweighted, so the pole is easily tipped...

  • Crossbuck
    Crossbuck
    A crossbuck is a sign composed of two slats of wood or metal of equal length, fastened together on a pole in a saltire formation...

  • Eugene Patrick Prendergast
  • Four-quadrant gate
    Four-quadrant gate
    A four-quadrant gate is a type of boom barrier gate protecting a grade crossing.It has a gate mechanism on both sides of the tracks for both directions of automotive traffic...

  • Grade separation
    Grade separation
    Grade separation is the method of aligning a junction of two or more transport axes at different heights so that they will not disrupt the traffic flow on other transit routes when they cross each other. The composition of such transport axes does not have to be uniform; it can consist of a...

  • :Category:Level crossing accidents
  • Whistle post
    Whistle post
    A whistle post , in railroad usage, is a sign marking a location where a locomotive engineer is required to sound the horn or whistle.-United States:...

  • Lists of rail accidents
  • List of train accidents by death toll
  • List of road accidents
  • Wigwag
    Wigwag (railroad)
    Wigwag is the nickname given to a type of railroad grade crossing signal once common in North America, named for the pendulum-like motion it used to signal the approach of a train...


External links