Railway: Safe Level Crossing

Providing safe transportation is the most important aim of railway system. The term level crossing is also known as grade crossing, railroad crossing, train crossing. Level crossing refers to crossing of an object at intersection (level) without the aid of underpass bridges or tunnels. Level crossing is one of the most critical aspect of the railway line system, because there is an interaction between two different transportation at this point/junction. The majority of these collisions are caused by the negligence or incapacity of the road vehicle drivers or by unaware pedestrians or cyclist. Collision at level crossing is the largest cause of train accident risk and should, therefore, be our main area of focus on improving the safety of railway.

Human failures such as ignorance of warning sign and negligence can easily result in collisions at level crossing. To decrease these collisions certain rules, regulations and standards have been developed, like introduction of automated obstacle detection, this detection not only detects foreign objects on crossing but also communicates a signal to the train for, furthermore, required action. According to European agreement, high speed trains should not have level crossing due to reason related to safety of traffic. If there is increase in speed of rail traffic, then safety of level crossing will be decreased. UIC (international union of railway) specifies train speed of 200 km/h as the maximum upper threshold for designing a level crossing. In addition, train speed of 120 km/h is upper limit for making a safe level crossing.

Level crossing are familiar but sometimes it can be a dangerous approach. Level crossing are at intersection of a railway line and road, here the priority is always given to train. Level crossing originated from time when the train speed was very low and traffic was limited, but now the train have become much quite in noise and can travel with speed greater than 140 km/hr, because of the train speed it is impossible for it to stop in time when there is sudden emergency. By doing some literature review, it is known that majority of the accidents occur at protect level crossing because they represent a majority of level crossing also handle majority of road traffic. These accidents can be reduced by providing additional safety measures at the crossing. At the same time, the railway board can learn lessons from accidents in the past and try to correct it.

The system is considered by considering the most important railway safety issues, safety of the passenger, safety of employees, safety of people outside trains. The focus is to accomplish improvement based on maximum reduction of fatalities and injuries and damages and making the system completely safe.

Recognition and acceptance of the risk should be very through to gain the insight of the preventive measures and to control the effects and accidents. Hence, the objective have been framed considering the safety of passengers and people around.

  • Level crossing and its uses may only be altered if it can demonstrate that it does not compromise safety.
  • Safety measure should be maximized at the locations where there is the highest risk.
  • All the high traffic crossing should be additionally protected.

The system should remain fully accountable for operational safety and achieving the desired safety outcomes with at most efficiency. To achieve this safety there are certain norms and standards to follow. This will result in improved safety of passengers and the environment.

The train lines are divided into two parts which are passenger line and other line. The passenger line consists of most part of railway system, the train on these lines carry passengers. Whereas, other line of railway consists of industrial lines, freight lines and heritage railway lines. The main aim of the report is on safety of publicly accessible level crossing on passenger line, because most trains run on these lines and this is where majority of the casualties occur. There are 2775 level crossings situated in the Netherlands, of which 1857 are of passenger line and 918 are for other line. Around 25 accidents occur annually in passenger line and 6-8 accidents occur at other line. These statistics shows that it is necessary to make passenger line safer.

The objective of this report is to make level crossing safer, this can be done by identifying related hazards and analyze them using different methods such as fault tree, safety cube, event tree analyze. All these hazards and methods can be found in the report.

To view Full Report https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uhKu2A0QC4m2l1VAZcpqBcoE3vMz_clL/view?usp=sharing

To View Presentation Slides https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QB9UFaXEouGQc5sUTTWnhxGI0i-bGZea/view?usp=sharing


-Level Crossing Safety- a hazardous intersection of interests, Dutch safety board, 2018

-Level Crossing Removal Project, Australia, Wikipedia