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Railroad Maintenance and Operations Handbook for Local Governments and Rail Carriers



Abstract








	                  TITLE: Railroad Maintenance and 


                                 Operations Handbook for Local 


                                 Governments and Rail Carriers





	                 AUTHOR: North Central Texas Council of


                                 Governments





	                SUBJECT: A summary of railroad 


                                 guidelines for selected 


                                 maintenance and operation 


                                 procedures in the NCTCOG 


                                 region.





	                   DATE: April 27, 1995





	       SOURCE OF COPIES: Research and Information 


                                 Services


		                 NCTCOG


		                 P.O. Drawer 5888


		                 Arlington, TX  76005-5888


		                 (817) 640-3300





	        NUMBER OF PAGES: 72





	               ABSTRACT: Local governments and private 


                                 railroad operators have 


                                 recommended that a regionwide 


                                 handbook on railroad 


                                 maintenance and operational


                                 procedures be compiled to 


                                 assist cities and rail carriers


                                 in clarifying separate and 


                                 joint jurisdictional issues. 


                                 This report provides analyses 


                                 of current maintenance and 


                                 railroad operational issues 


                                 with recommendations supported 


                                 by local governments, state 


                                 agencies, the Federal Railroad


                                 Administration, and major rail


                                 carriers. Included are a 


                                 summary of maintenance 


                                 guidelines including crossing 


                                 upgrade procedures and funding; 


                                 jurisdictions of agencies on 


                                 highway and railroad 


                                 rights-of-way; recommendations 


                                 on signals, pavement, drainage,


                                 signs, illumination, pavement 


                                 markings, crossing material 


                                 selection, visual obstructions,


                                 operating speed restrictions, 


                                 and blocked crossings; an 


                                 overview of legal 


                                 considerations in Texas; and 


                                 a listing of emergency and 


                                 nonemergency contact phone 


                                 numbers.








	RAILROAD COORDINATION TASK FORCE














Mr. Kurt J. Anderson (M/O)


Manager, Public 


Projects


Union Pacific 


Railroad


1416 Dodge Street


Omaha, NE  68179


402/271-5891





Ms. Donna Barrett


(formerly Administrative Assistant)


City of Fort Worth


1000 Throckmorton Street


Fort Worth, TX  76102


817/870-8079)





Mr. Harold Bastin


Dir. of Traffic & Transp.


City of Garland


P.O. Box 469002


Garland, TX  75046-9002


214/205-2430





Mr. Bob Burns (M/O)


Attorney


Union Pacific Railroad


P.O. Box 1584


Austin, TX  78767


512/478-1657





Mr. Mike Calhoun, Mgr (O)


Safety and Planning


Railroad Commission of Texas


Capitol Station, 


P.O. Box 12967


Austin, TX  78711


512/463-7121





Mr. Larry Cervenka (O)


(formerly Traffic Engineer)


City of Farmers Branch


P.O. Box 819010


Farmers Branch, TX  75381-9010


214/247-3131)





Mr. Walter Cooper (O)


City Traffic Engineer


City of Fort Worth


1000 Throckmorton Street


Fort Worth, TX  76102


817/870-8055





Mr. Ken Daft


Cotton Belt Railroad


P.O. Box 121


Carrollton, TX  75006


214/434-7999





Mr. Jim Dickson (O)


Director of Government Affairs


Burlington Northern Railroad


373 Inverness Drive South


Englewood, CO  80112


303/220-3472








Mr. Jim Driscoll


Traffic Administrator


City of Irving


P.O. Box 152288


Irving, TX  75015


214/721-2646





Mr. John Eck


Government Relations


Southern Pacific Transp. Co.


1005 Congress Avenue, #800B


Austin, TX  78701


512/478-5881





Mr. Robert Farnsworth (O)


State Rail Planner


Railroad Commission of Texas


Capitol Station, 


P.O.Box 12967


Austin, TX  78711


512/463-7121





Mr. S. Elton Hamill (M)


Supervising Design Engineer


TxDOT, District 2


P.O. Box 6868


Fort Worth, TX  76115


817/292-6510





Mr. Robert Hestes (O)


Repr., Operation Lifesaver


Union Pacific Railroad


2826 Olympia


Arlington, TX  76013


817/265-0457





Mr. Jon Hoeft


General Counsel


Dallas Area Rapid Transit


601 Pacific Avenue


Dallas, TX  75202


214/658-6207





Mr. Deannie Hobbs (O)


Asst. Terminal Superintendent


Southern Pacific Railroad


7600 South Central Expressway


Dallas, TX  75216


214/372-7434





Mr. Don Huffman (O)


Manager of Operating Practices


Union Pacific Railroad


P.O. Box 9857


Fort Worth, TX 76107


817/878-4661





Mr. Frank Jones (M/O)


Former Regional Director


Federal Railroad Admin.


819 Taylor, Room 11A23


Fort Worth, TX  76012


817/334-3601








Mr. Dennis A. Kearns (O)


Legislative Counsel


Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe RR


1005 Congress Street, #800A


Austin, TX  78701


512/473-2823





Mr. Richard Larkins


Asst. Dir. of Public Works


City of Grand Prairie


P.O. Box 530011


Grand Prairie, TX 75053-0011


214/660-8131





Mr. Ralph Martinez


Traffic Engineer


City of Irving


P.O. Box 152288


Irving, TX  75015


214/721-2605





Mr. Mark Mathis


Traffic Engineer


City of Grand Prairie


P.O. Box 530011


Grand Prairie, TX 75053-0011


214/660-8000





Mr. Don Millender


Consultant 


Union Pacific Railroad


505 N. Industrial Blvd.


Dallas, TX  75207


214/760-2020





Mr. Don Penny, P.E. (M)


Dir. of Traffic & Transp.


City of Carrollton


P.O. Box 110535


Carrollton, TX  75011-0535


214/466-3050





Mr. Jim Renshaw (O)


Senior Traffic Engineer


City of Arlington


P.O. Box 231


Arlington, TX 76010


817/459-6371





Mr. Ron Royse (O)


Transportation Manager


Amtrak


1501 Jones


Fort Worth, TX  76102


817/332-2931





Mr. Michael Schneider


General Solicitor


Union Pacific Railroad


801 Travis, #1600


Houston, TX  77002


713/220-3202








(M)	Maintenance Work Group


(O)	Operations Work Group








	RAILROAD COORDINATION TASK FORCE (Cont'd)














Mr. David Schultz


Transportation Planner


City of Garland


P.O. Box 46902


Garland, TX  75046-9002


214/494-7100





Mr. Thurman Schweitzer


(formerly Transportation Planner)


Fort Worth Transportation Authority


P.O. Box 1477


Fort Worth, TX  76101-1477


817/870-6236)





Mr. Jim Sparks


Public Works Department


City of Hurst


1505 Precinct Line Road


Hurst, TX  76054


817/281-6160





Mr. Johnnie Stotts (O)


Operation Lifesaver


Union Pacific Railroad


Route 1, Box 414


Haslet, TX  76052


817/439-4336





Ms. Cissy Sylo (O)


Traffic Engineer


City of Carrollton


P.O. Box 110535


Carrollton, TX  75011-0535


214/466-3000





Mr. David Timbrell (M)


Engineering Assistant


City of Garland


P.O. Box 469002


Garland, TX  75046-9002


214/494-7100





Mr. Hal Tynan


Transportation Planner


City of Dallas


1500 Marilla, Room 5CS


Dallas, TX  75201


214/670-4032





Mr. Noe Villarreal (M)


Traffic Safety Engineer


TxDOT, District 18


P.O. Box 3067


Dallas, TX  75227


214/320-6233





Mr. Ernie A. Wilson (O)


Public Works Engineer


Burlington Northern 


Railroad


6851 N.E. Loop 820, #300


Fort Worth, TX  76180


817/581-2460








(M)	Maintenance Work Group


(O) 	Operations Work Group








Project Staff





North Central Texas 


Council of Governments





Wes Beckham, Senior Transportation Engineer


Diane Brostuen, Administrative Secretary


Mitzi Ward, Transportation Planner I











                          TABLE OF CONTENTS


	                                                   Page





I.  INTRODUCTION		                            I-1


      Regulation Authority Jurisdictions		    I-4


	Environmental Protection Agency 		    I-4


	Federal Railroad Administration 		    I-5


	Federal Highway Administration		            I-5


	Interstate Commerce Commission		            I-5


	National Highway Traffic Safety Administration	    I-6


	Department of Public Safety		            I-6


	Railroad Commission of Texas		            I-6


	Texas Department of Transportation		    I-6


	City Law Enforcement		                    I-6


	Operation Lifesaver		                    I-6





II. MAINTENANCE		                                   II-1


      Texas Priority Index for Railroad-Highway Grade 


      Crossings		                                   II-2


      TxDOT Railroad Grade Crossing Replanking Program	   II-9


      Highway-Rail Crossing Surface Ranking Index	  II-11


      Jurisdiction of Responsible Agencies		  II-16


        Track, Signal, and Crossing Surface Maintenance	  II-16


	Railroad Signal Maintenance and Traffic Signal 


        Preemption		                          II-19


	Pavement Alignment		                  II-20


	Drainage		                          II-20


	Advance Signs and Pavement Markings		  II-21


	Fencing		                                  II-28











	                                                  Page


	Grade Crossing Materials		          II-28


	Reflectorized Tape and Illumination		  II-32


	Track Inspections		                  II-34


	Visual Obstructions		                  II-35


      Crossing Relocations, Consolidation or Closure   	  II-36


      Temporary Crossing Closures		          II-38


      Bicycle Crossings		                          II-39


      Americans with Disabilities Act		          II-40


      Toll-Free Number in Texas for Reporting Crossing 


      Signal Problems		                          II-40





III. OPERATIONS		                                  III-1


      Speed Restrictions		                  III-1


	Historical Development		                  III-1


	Existing Railroad Operating Speeds		  III-2


	Federal Court Judgments		                  III-3


	Precedence of Federal Railroad Administration 


        Track  Classification		                  III-6


	State Intervention for Local Crossing Hazards	  III-7


	Harmonic Oscillation		                  III-7


	Accident Data		                          III-8


	Recommendations		                          III-8


      Size Restrictions		                         III-11


      Blocked Crossings		                         III-12


      Railroad Noise Relating to Adjacent Land Uses	 III-15








      Motorist Education		                 III-17


	Grade Crossing Safety Facts		         III-17


	Operation Lifesaver		                 III-18


      Legal Responsibilities of Motorists at Grade 


      Crossings		                                 III-19


      Police Enforcement at Activated Warning Device 


      Grade Crossings		                         III-20





APPENDIX A - CONTACT NUMBERS FOR CITY OFFICIALS AND RAIL 


             CARRIERS


APPENDIX B - FRA LOCOMOTIVE NOISE ENFORCEMENT POLICY


APPENDIX C - GLOSSARY	APPENDIX D - LIST OF ACRONYMS


APPENDIX D - LIST OF ACRONYMS





REFERENCES








LIST OF FIGURES





	Page





  I-1	Map of the North Central Texas Region		    I-2


  I-2	Rail Network in the Transportation Study Area	    I-3


 II-1	Texas Priority Index Funding Procedure 		   II-3 


 II-2	National Average of Crossing Upgrade Costs ($1989) II-5


 II-3	Factors Affecting Grade Crossing Safety            II-8


 II-4	Texas Department of Transportation Grade Crossing 


        Submission Form		                          II-10


  II-5	Grade Crossing Surface Site Characteristics and 


        Weights 		                          II-13


 II-6	Average Daily Traffic (ADT) /Percent Trucks 


        Quotient		                          II-13


 II-7	Grade Crossing Surface Ratings 	                  II-14


 II-8	Grade Crossing Surface Condition Rating Form      II-15


 II-9	Typical Cross Section Thru Timber Crossing	  II-17


 II-10	Elements of Railroad Track Cross Section	  II-18


 II-11	Standard Passive Advance Warning Signs 		  II-23


 II-12	Crossbuck Sign, Flashing Light Signal, and 


        Automatic Gate		                          II-24


 II-13	Comparison of Crossing Material Costs and 


        Service Life		                          II-30


 III-1	Community-Imposed Speed Restrictions in the 


        North Central Texas Region		          III-4


III-2	1988 Current Class of Track and Operating 


        Speed Limits of the Federal Railroad 


        Administration		                          III-5


III-3	Texas Grade Crossing Accidents		          III-9


III-4	Crossing Fatality Rates by Age		         III-10














	              I.  INTRODUCTION





Railroad maintenance and operation procedures vary widely in the 


North Central Texas Region. In response to a request from local


communities and railroad operators, this report was prepared to 


recommend guidelines which are agreeable to several interested 


parties including:  local governments, the Railroad Commission 


of Texas (RCT), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT),


the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and major passenger


 nd freight rail operators within the region.  These 


recommendations are not enforceable by legislative action unless 


expressly stated in the report.  Jurisdictional issues, either 


as separate or joint responsibilities among local, state, or 


federal agencies and affected railroad companies, are presented


with uniform guidelines and recommendations to be considered by


 the 16-county North Central Texas Region as shown in Figure 


I-1.  The specific railroad network within the North Central 


Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Transportation Study Area 


is shown in Figure I-2.





Section II of this report provides a summary and recommendations 


for selected maintenance issues.  Grade crossing upgrades using 


the TxDOT Priority Index (PI) and a survey of funding mechanisms 


are discussed.  The TxDOT Railroad Grade Crossing Replanking 


Program is presented which describes how the state reviews 


crossing projects located on the State Highway System.  The 


Highway-Rail Crossing Surface Ranking Index presents a 


subjective evaluation process for rating crossing conditions.  


Jurisdictions of responsible agencies are considered along with 


maintenance of track, signals, pavement, drainage, signs, 


pavement markings, fencing, selection of grade crossing 


materials, reflectorized tape on signs, crossing illumination, 


track inspections, visual obstructions at crossings, and 


temporary grade crossing closures for maintenance.








Section III provides a summary of existing railroad and highway 


operational issues with recommendations for speed restrictions, 


size restrictions, blocked grade crossings, railroad noise 


related to existing land uses, motorist education, legal 


responsibilities of motorist, and police enforcement as well as 


contact numbers for city officials and rail carriers.





All references regarding cost estimates are expressed in 1989 


dollars using the consumer price index.  "Railroad operators" in 


this report refer to freight, passenger, and heavy rail commuter 


trains.  "Active warning devices" refer to crossings with gates 


or flashers to warn of an approaching train.  "Passive warning 


devices" refer to crossings with a crossbuck warning assembly.





This handbook is being prepared as the second phase of a NCTCOG 


Railroad Coordination Study.  Phase One of this project 


addressed a railroad and roadway grade separation needs 


assessment benefit-cost analysis.  Hazardous material 


transportation in railroad corridors will form the basis of a 


future study.





REGULATION AUTHORITY JURISDICTIONS





Nine agencies have jurisdiction over railroad operations and 


maintenance activities.  These agencies' responsibilities 


overlap depending on the context of the situation.  A selective 


list of agencies and their responsibilities of interest to local 


cities and railroad operating officials in the NCTCOG region is 


as follows:





Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Develops standards and 


procedures for environmental impact statements and assessments; 


develops noise policies for constant and repetitive noise 


sources and their effects on adjacent land uses and identifies 


future goals for 








noise reduction nationwide relative to public health and 


welfare; and developed Railroad Noise Emission Standards for 


rail carriers engaged in interstate commerce with compliance 


responsibility resting with the FRA.





Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) - Enforces the Code of 


Federal Regulations (CFR); enforces noise standards by testing 


moving, stationary, and switcher trains; specifies track classes 


including a reference to maximum railroad operating speeds; 


investigates complaints by the public regarding crossings; 


investigates selected train/vehicle crossing accidents usually 


where two or more fatalities occur; maintains the 


accident/incident reporting system; and is custodian of the U.S. 


Department of Transportation (DOT) American Association of 


Railroads (AAR) National Rail/Highway Crossing Inventory.





Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) - Administers federal 


funding for crossing safety improvements (railroad crossing 


upgrades) through the Surface Transportation Program (STP) under 


the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 


(ISTEA) for all systems of roads and highways; publishes signs 


and pavement marking standards in the Manual on Uniform Traffic 


Control Devices (MUTCD); and conducts crossing research in 


coordination with the FRA.





Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) - Generally deals with 


cost-effective and competitive rail transportation issues on an 


interstate level; has jurisdiction over the supply of railroad 


equipment; and requires environmental assessments of increased 


rail traffic of approximately 50 percent or greater or eight 


trains/day derived from mergers and new line construction which 


cause extra rail traffic.








National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - 


Maintains the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS).





Department of Public Safety (DPS) - Enforces railroad-highway 


crossing safety laws and maintains railroad/highway accident 


data which is forwarded to the Texas Department of 


Transportation (TxDOT) and NHTSA; receives and passes to 


railroads reports of crossing signal problems made by the public 


using a toll-free 1-800 telephone number.





Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT) - Assists the FRA with the 


inspection of railroad equipment, operations and track; enforces 


state legislation regarding sight rectangle and clearance on 


bridges; has the authority to close crossings; and investigates 


complaints by the public regarding crossings.





Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) - Develops an annual 


list of recommended railroad-highway crossings for FHWA crossing 


safety improvement funds, administers the projects, and 


coordinates the on-site joint inspection of crossings for 


potential upgrading which includes a team of rail operators, 


cities, counties, school districts, and law enforcement 


officials to recommend the type of safety improvements.





City Law Enforcement - Enforces traffic and trespass laws; 


completes railroad/accident reports; and issues citations for 


railroad ordinance infractions if warranted.





Operation Lifesaver - Public information and education program 


that promotes crossing and trespasser safety programs to help 


prevent and reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities and improve 


driver performance at public and private highway-rail grade 


crossings.  Operation 








Lifesaver involves the railroads, related federal, state, and 


local governments, business, railroad suppliers, labor, and 


other concerned safety professionals.  Provides contact for 


Operation Lifesaver presentors program to schools, civic 


organizations, etc.








	             II.  MAINTENANCE





The purpose of this chapter is to present the findings and 


recommendations of the Railroad Maintenance Work Group to the 


Railroad Coordination Task Force for consideration as a regional 


maintenance handbook for rail corridors in the Dallas-Fort Worth 


area.  The Railroad Maintenance Work Group was formed in early 


1989 with members from local cities, rail carriers, the Federal 


Railroad Administration (FRA), the Railroad Commission of Texas, 


and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).  Their 


expertise plus current case law and civil statutes were utilized 


to develop this rail corridor maintenance and operations 


handbook.





The major issues of mutual interest addressed in this section 


are:  the TxDOT Grade Crossing Priority Index (PI) and funding 


for crossing improvements, the TxDOT Railroad Grade Crossing 


Replanking Program, the Florida Highway Rail Crossing Surface 


Ranking Index, and a subsection on the jurisdictions of 


responsible agencies.  The jurisdictions briefly discuss basic 


grade crossing elements which include:  track maintenance, 


signal maintenance and traffic signal preemption, pavement 


alignment, drainage, advance signs and pavement markings, 


fencing, grade crossing materials, reflectorized tape on signs, 


illumination of crossings, track inspections, visual 


obstructions including vegetation control, temporary crossing 


closures, and the existing toll-free number in Texas for 


reporting grade crossing signal problems.





All handbook sections which quote costs are expressed in 1989 


dollars.  If costs were cited from references expressed in 


previous year dollars, the figures were adjusted using the 


consumer price index.








TEXAS PRIORITY INDEX FOR RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSINGS





In Texas, federal funds have been available for crossing 


upgrades since the 1930s.  The Federal Highway Administration 


(FHWA) and TxDOT manage the railroad-highway crossing safety 


improvement program under a federal oversight agreement to 


provide federal funds to Texas for highway-rail grade crossing 


safety improvements.  This program, formerly funded under the 


Section 130 Rail-Highway Crossings program, is funded from part 


of the 10 percent of Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds 


set aside for safety.  These funds have been apportioned by the 


ratio of the number of public crossings in the state to the 


total number of public crossings in the country as well as the 


state's population, area, and road mileage.  FHWA provides 


90 percent of the funding on all roadway systems for crossing 


improvements, with the state providing a 10 percent 


contribution.  The Texas Transportation Commission annually 


approves funding of the state matching funds for the Rail-


Highway Crossings program.  The local governmentsí contribution 


is to provide any roadway approach or alignment improvements, 


utility or drainage adjustments, and vegetation trimming or 


removal.





Federal funds are primarily used to upgrade passively signed 


crossings to active warning signals.  Other eligible safety 


improvements include advance warning signs, removal of visual 


obstructions, grade separation/bridge construction, improve 


roadway approaches, illumination, pavement markings, pavement 


rehabilitation, crossing surface material installation, signal 


preemption, drainage, and crossing closures or consolidations. 


Crossings located on the State Highway System are also 


eligible for other state funds for crossing surface 


improvements. Additional information on the TxDOT Replanking 


Program is provided in the next section.





TxDOT uses a selection process that prioritizes the Federal 


funded crossing safety projects by a priority index.  The Texas 


Priority Index process is outlined in Figure II-1.  Federal 


funds are 








allocated to the top ranked projects until the available funds 


are expended.  The top ranked projects in each TxDOT district 


are then evaluated on site by a team of professionals with 


railroad and highway expertise.  This diagnostic team is 


comprised of rail carriers, TxDOT officials, and local 


government officials.  The diagnostic team considers the local 


conditions and alternatives and is then responsible 


for recommending the type of warning devices and other safety 


enhancements as required.  First consideration is given to the 


necessity of the crossing in relation to adjacement crossings. 


 Local authorities are encouraged to attend these evaluations. 


 Their knowledge is especially helpful in presenting such 


significant factors on local conditions as a site's proximity 


to schools, hospitals, businesses, or residences, traffic 


patterns, type of vehicles using crossings, special conditions, 


etc.  With the number of participants involved, installation 


typically occurs 18 months from initiation of the project.





The crossing safety improvement program does not preclude the 


FHWA, TxDOT, municipalities, and railroads from joining in 


railroad crossing projects outside the "window" of funding 


priorities if they so choose.  Local governments should 


negotiate with the rail carriers to upgrade the crossing 


surface with higher quality, more durable materials such as 


rubber or concrete panels.  Typical average costs for 


improvements are shown in Figure II-2.





TxDOT uses the most current data available to update their 


traffic counts and accident records; this insures that the 


projects receive an accurate priority ranking.  Local 


authorities may forward their most recent average daily traffic 


(ADT) counts to TxDOT District Offices, or request that the 


TxDOT District Office perform a traffic count, to be included 


in the priority index formula.  TxDOT analyzes a five-year 


period of accident statistics when determining accident trends 


at highway-rail grade crossings to quantify the hazard 


potential.








With over 13,000 public grade crossings in Texas and funds for 


approximately 200 projects per year, TxDOT developed the 


project selection procedure using a priority index (PI) 


formula. The Texas Grade Crossing Priority Index Program funded 


227 projects in 1994 for $20 million and is estimated to fund 


160 projects in 1995 for $15 million and 250 projects in 1996 


for $25.9 million.  The Texas PI uses a variation of the New 


Hampshire Index to prioritize grade crossings for potential 


upgrading.  The potential for railroad-highway grade crossing 


accidents is primarily a function of the number and speed of 


trains traveling through the crossing, the volume of average 


daily traffic (ADT) utilizing the street facility, the existing 


traffic control device(s) in place, and the past five-year 


train involved accident history.  The TxDOT Priority Index as 


of 1994 is as follows:





Texas Priority Index (PI) = V * T * St * Pf * (.01) * A1.15 





where:	V  = average daily traffic (vehicles/day)


	T  = number of trains per day


	St = speed of trains (mph * 0.1)


	Pf = protection factor of existing warning devices


             .  gates = 0.10


             .  cantilever flashers = 0.15


             .  mast flashers = 0.70


             .  crossbucks, wigwags, or bells = 1.00


        A = number of train/vehicle accidents in previous five 


            years to the 1.15 power 


       (if A=0 or A=1 the default is 1)





An example is provided using the following information where:


	V = 5,000 vehicles per day,


	T = 10 trains per day,


	St = 30 mph * 0.10 = 3.0,


	Pf = 0.70 (existing mast flashers), and


	A = 0 accidents,








the following priority index will result:


PI = V * T * St * Pf * (.01) * A1.15


 = 5,000 * (10) * (3) * (0.70) * (.01) * (1) = 1,050





Given that the Texas PI cut off for project selection was 317 


in 1987, 337 in 1988, and 269 in 1989, this example railroad-


highway grade crossing would have ranked above the past minimum 


priority index thresholds for review and possible upgrade.





Several states employ other variations of the index by adding 


variables to augment the original equation.  Optional safety 


factors added to this original equation by other states 


include: highway speed, crossing width, type of track, local 


population, volume of transit buses, number of school buses, 


number of tracks, crossing surface condition, proximity of 


nearby intersections, functional class of the road, vertical 


alignment, horizontal alignment (crossing angle), volume of 


trucks carrying hazardous material, average number of vehicle 


occupants.  TxDOT uses this factor.





The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), under a TxDOT 


contract, is working on a project to research, evaluate, and 


recommend revisions to the current Texas Priority Index for 


railroad-highway grade crossings.  The 1994 TTI report is under 


review and evaluation by TxDOT to receive final acceptance.  A 


list of some of the more significant potential factors that 


affect grade crossing safety is shown in Figure II-3.  The 


revised formula may incorporate into the current list of 


factors the addition of sight distance modifications, approach 


factors, reaction factors, vertical alignment, number of school 


buses, transit buses, hazardous materials carriers, and other 


"special" vehicles.








TXDOT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING REPLANKING PROGRAM





The Railroad Grade Crossing Replanking Program has been 


established between the Texas Department of Transportation and 


the individual railroads to maintain grade crossings located on 


the state maintained highways. This system of review, developed 


through research conducted by the TTI, provides a uniform basis 


for identifying the current crossing conditions of all grade 


crossings on the State Highway System.  Local agencies may find 


this a useful tool to apply to grade crossings under their 


jurisdiction to rank grade crossings for possible surface 


improvements.  This methodology provides an assessment of a 


highway-rail crossings, but requires professional expertise and 


judgment in completing a subjective analysis of the site 


conditions.





The TxDOT District Railroad Project Coordinators perform a 


visual inspection of all grade crossings located on the State 


Highway System in their districts.  The visual rating of the 


crossing considers the condition of the highway pavement, 


highway traffic volume, train traffic volume, railroad track 


condition and drainage factors.  The railroad project 


coordinator assigns a numerical rating between 0 and 5 for the 


highway, rail, and drainage aspects of the crossing. 


The results of the highway-rail crossing inspections are 


submitted on the Railroad Grade Crossing Submission Forms for 


all candidate crossing projects to the TxDOT Traffic Operations 


Division, Railroad Section for review and prioritization.  


Figure II-4 shows the Railroad Grade Crossing Submission form.





All candidate crossings are prioritized based on an estimated 


cost per vehicle to repair or replace the crossing surface.  


The estimated cost is determined by multiplying the estimated 


or negotiated cost per track foot by the total track feet 


proposed for replanking.  The average negotiated cost per track 


foot for asphalt, concrete panel, and rubber crossing materials 


are 








provided in the Grade Crossing Materials section.  The estimated


cost per vehicle is then derived by dividing the estimated cost 


by the average daily traffic (ADT).  The formula is provided 


below:


	Estimated Cost per Vehicle = (Estimated Cost / 


                                      Average Daily Traffic)


	Estimated Cost = (Negotiated Cost per Track Foot) X 


                          Total Track Feet





Grade crossings with the lowest estimated cost per vehicle are 


given the highest priority ranking.  The Replanking Program 


allocates the funds to the highest ranked crossings until the 


annual, funded apportionment representing approximately $3.5 


million is obligated.  This annual apportionment typically 


funds 140 crossing replanking projects.  Grade crossings on 


roadways that are not maintained by the state are not eligible 


to receive funds through the Replanking Program.





HIGHWAY-RAIL CROSSING SURFACE RANKING INDEX





At present, no universally accepted procedure exists for cities 


to objectively evaluate the current condition of their highway-


rail crossing surfaces.  The predominant method used to 


subjectively determine the condition of the crossing surface is 


by physical inspection and by riding over it. 


Crossings that are rough and in need of repair should be called 


to the attention of the railroad company. 





Since responsibility for the grade crossing is shared, both the 


local agencies and the railroads should be involved in the 


evaluation of the crossing surface and approaches.  Site 


evaluations and other information such as safety needs and 


public complaint are important inputs used to assist in the 


decision-making process.








The Federal Highway Administration Railroad-Highway Grade 


Crossing Handbook makes reference to a procedure for ranking 


highway-rail intersections for crossing surface improvement. 


The procedure involves evaluating the crossing surface based on 


actually driving over the crossing and observing other drivers 


and vehicles as they traverse the crossing.  The procedure, 


developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), 


Office of Value Engineering, subjectively determines a 


crossing's rideability and observed condition in deciding 


whether the highway-rail crossing needs to be repaired or 


replaced.





The FDOT ranking index takes into account six basic elements:  


approaches, vehicle reaction, driver reaction, rail/pad 


condition, ADT, and percent trucks.  The crossing surface index 


depends on professional judgment to subjectively determine the 


relative condition for the approaches, vehicle reaction, driver 


reaction, and rail/pad condition.  These four elements are 


assigned a number of possible points, within a 100 point system, 


relative to their overall importance. 


Figure II-5 shows the characteristics, conditions, points, and 


weights in this index.





The condition of the characteristics weigh the possible points 


based on the severity of the judged condition of the element.  


The weighted points are summed for each crossing characteristic 


to obtain a total adjusted weight (TW) for the surface condition. 


 An example of a crossing evaluated as having severe cracking in 


the approach and leave areas, showing appreciable vehicle 


bouncing, with most drivers slowing and the rails having 


extensive movement with poor pad condition is rated below.





Click HERE>/A> for graphic.





Click HERE>/A> for graphic.





Click HERE>/A> for graphic.





Since the surface condition is directly related to the average 


daily traffic (ADT) and percentage of trucks, a quotient is used 


to further refine the total adjusted weight (TW).  A quotient, as 


shown in Figure II-6, is applied to the total adjusted weight 


(TW).  If the example crossing is in a rural area, where the ADT 


is almost always less than 5,000, but the percent of trucks is 


15 percent or greater, the value, .93 Q, from Figure II-6 would 


be applied to the total adjusted weight (TW).








Click HERE>/A> for graphic.





The crossing rate is then compared with the grade chart shown in 


Figure II-7.  The example crossing, which ranks well below the 


failure rating, would warrant total replacement.  Depending on 


available funding, the responsible railroad maintenance engineer 


along with the TxDOT railroad coordinator must decide whether to 


repair or replace.  Figure II-8 is an adapted version of the 


surface ranking form used by FDOT.  It should be noted that 


category points, assigned weights and ADT/Truck Quotients are 


arbitrary, but they can be used to establish a prioritized list 


of crossings which need repair or replacement.








Click HERE>/A> for graphic.





JURISDICTIONS OF RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES





Track, Signal, and Crossing Surface Maintenance





Within the State of Texas, cities, counties, TxDOT, and railroad 


operators assume both separate and joint maintenance 


responsibilities.  Items such as the track and signals are 


always maintained by the rail operator.  However, state civil 


statutes, site characteristics, and potential FHWA funding for 


crossing upgrades are further considerations in determining 


jointly funded improvements.





In Texas, the concept of railroad crossing maintenance occurs as 


one of the "enumerated powers" of home rule cities, according to 


Vernon's Annotated Texas Civil Statutes, Article 1175, 


Section 16.  It requires that railroads be responsible for 


street improvements "between the rails and tracks of any such 


railway companies and for two feet on each side thereof."  If 


the definition of "track," according to the FHWA publication 


entitled Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook, includes:  


"an assembly of rails, ties, and fastenings over which cars, 


locomotives, and trains are moved," then the railroad company's 


maintenance responsibility extends two feet beyond the ends of 


ties as shown in Figures II-9 and II-10.  However, for practical 


purposes, the Railroad Maintenance Task Group concurs with the 


FHWA suggestion in the Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook, 


"the public agency having responsibility for the maintenance of 


roadway approaches generally terminates its maintenance 


responsibility for the roadway at the crossing surface."  The 


Work Group makes the recommendation that local governments 


maintain pavement up to the crossing material located at the end 


of the ties.  However, according to FHWA, the railroad operator 


shall maintain any vehicular, pedestrian, or bicycle crossings 


between the ends of the ties.  All of these crossings should be 


physically separated for optimal traffic safety reasons.








Therefore, the railroad is responsible for the maintenance of 


the rails, ties, fastenings, ballast, initial upper ballast 


drainage pipe installation, crossbuck sign assembly, railroad 


signals, control boxes, and grade crossing surface materials 


which extend to the ends of the ties.  In most cases, the local 


government will be responsible to reimburse the railroad for the 


cost differential for any crossing surface desired beyond the 


standard timber/asphalt surface.





Railroad Signal Maintenance and Traffic Signal Preemption





Signal maintenance at the crossing is the responsibility of the 


railroad carrier.  However, TxDOT assists the railroad carrier 


by reimbursing the railroad a unit price for signal maintenance 


by the type of signal on state and federal highway systems, but 


not on city streets, county roads, or private crossings.





If a state or local public agency anticipates future signal 


preemption of traffic signals to clear the intersection at a 


grade crossing before a train approaches, the Railroad 


Maintenance Work Group recommends that the city should notify 


the railroad of the intent to use a circuit in the railroad 


signal control box.  Automatic time crossing devices should be 


calibrated to the fastest train using the track.  When train 


speed increases are planned, timing devices should be 


recalibrated to allow motorists adequate time to clear the 


crossing prior to the implementation of the new speeds.





At the time of installation, the critical cycle time to clear 


the intersection of vehicles should be supplied.  However, if 


the critical cycle time exceeds 30 seconds, then a constant 


warning time device in the railroad control box is necessary and 


may be eligible for Rail-Highway Crossings program funding.  As 


an example of cost, an upgrade to a control box in 1988 cost 


TxDOT $2,000, but the conversion of older signal controls on a 


direct current system could cost well over $100,000, especially 


in rural areas.








Pavement Alignment





Large grade changes in rail elevations would be a situation 


where the city may not be totally responsible for street 


approach grade changes.  A schedule of cost sharing between the 


rail carrier and the local government or state agency 


responsible for the roadway is recommended by the Work Group.





The vertical slope of pavement approaching the crossing is 


recommended at a range of between 1 and 2 percent for 30 feet 


beyond the ends of ties, according to the American Railroad 


Engineering Association (AREA).  Pavement sloping away from the 


track will also deter the necessity for installation of french 


drains by the local or state agency to deflect storm water away 


from the ballast to a storm water system or railroad ditch.  


Access to the railroad ditch would be through previous agreement 


with the railroad.  The low vertical pavement slope would also 


assist faster acceleration of vehicles from a stop position 


across the tracks.  It would prevent trucks or trailers with low 


undercarriages from becoming trapped on a severely humped 


pavement.





Horizontal alignment of the approach lanes is recommended to be 


as direct to the tracks as possible to assist motorists in 


viewing any approaching trains without contending with a 


potential "blind spot" situation.  The width of the crossing 


surface should be sufficient to include all highway travel lanes 


and adjacent shoulders plus two feet, with the continuation of 


all traffic lanes across the tracks.  Crossings that are 


inadequate in width should be called to the attention of the 


railroad company.





Drainage





Proper preparation of the track structure and good drainage of 


the subgrade are essential to good performance from any type of 


crossing surface.  Excessive moisture in the soil can cause 


track 








settlement, accompanied by penetration of mud into the 


ballast section.  Surface and subsurface drainage should be 


intercepted and discharged away from the crossing.  Ideally, the 


roadway-railroad crossing should occur at a rise in topography 


to ensure drainage away from the ballast to prevent fouling of 


the ballast with "fines" from the subgrade.  Accumulated "fines" 


would cause the ballast and track to "pump" from railroad loads, 


cause track instability, and increase the likelihood of a train 


derailment.  However, if the pavement slopes toward the crossing 


the railroad will install a french drain, and the drain will 


remain its responsibility as being within the confines of the 


track.





Drainage is a maintenance consideration involving varying 


jurisdictions.  Drainage structures and ballast are initially 


installed by railroads on their right-of-way.  Bar ditches (or 


drainage ditches and culverts) are a joint responsibility which 


should have negotiated maintenance and improvements shared by 


parties benefiting from the infrastructure or whoever modifies 


the runoff pattern necessitating improvements.  Approach 


pavement costs can be reduced within the local government 


right-of-way if the local government completes the subgrade 


preparation with four-inch perforated pipe and filter cloth, 


according to TxDOT.  Use of a suitable filter fabric over the 


entire subgrade area under the crossing and for a sufficient 


distance beyond can be a significant aid in separation, 


filtration, water transport, and tensile reinforcement.  It is 


recommended by the Work Group that any future drainage problems 


be the continued legal responsibility of the rail carrier for 


repairs.





Advance Signs and Pavement Markings





Standards for advance signs and pavement markings are found in 


the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  


The local agency, as previously recommended by the Work Group, 


should be the agency responsible for pavement extending to the 


crossing material at the 








edge of the ties, traffic controls on the approach, pavement 


markings, and all signs except the crossbuck and/or signal 


assembly.  Figure II-11 depicts the typical railroad advance 


warning signs as specified by the Texas MUTCD.  Figure II-12 


shows the railroad crossing (crossbuck) sign, flashing light 


signal, and automatic gate typically used at grade crossings.





The crossbuck assembly consists of the crossbuck, a multitrack 


sign if appropriate, and the "exempt" sign if required.  The 


exempt sign informs drivers of special vehicles, transit buses, 


school buses carrying children, or vehicles carrying hazardous 


materials that a stop is not required except when railroad 


equipment is approaching or occupying the crossing.





The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 


(ISTEA) legislation has added revisions to the  Texas MUTCD to 


allow the use of STOP signs or YIELD signs at railroad 


crossings.  When adequate sight distance cannot be maintained at 


a passive grade crossing, stop signs are an effective 


countermeasure.  The signs can be posted at any highway-rail 


grade crossing without automatic traffic control devices with 


two or more trains crossing per day.  





For other crossings with passive protection, STOP or YIELD signs 


may be used after need is established  by a traffic engineering 


study.  The study should take into consideration such factors 


as: volume and character of highway and train traffic, adequacy 


of stopping sight distance, crossing accident history, and need 


for active control devices.  For all highway-rail grade 


crossings where STOP and YIELD signs are installed, STOP AHEAD 


or YIELD AHEAD advance warning signs shall also be installed.





As shown in the Highway & Rail Safety Newsletter of June 1993, a 


memorandum by the FHWA and the FRA Administrators to their 


Regional offices provides guidance on the selection of 








highway-rail grade crossings for the installation of STOP and 


YIELD signs.  Research by FHWA and FRA indicates that under 


pertinent circumstances STOP signs may be significantly more 


effective in preventing highway-rail collisions than crossbucks 


alone.  However, both agencies recognize that other highway 


traffic safety concerns must be considered when determining 


proper signage at individual locations.  Also, it has been shown


that there is low motorist recognition and understanding of the 


crossbuck as a traffic control device alone and that 


supplementary signage at crossings not equipped with automated 


warning devices should be considered.  





FHWA and FRA recommend that the following general factors be 


considered when reviewing a crossing for possible STOP or YIELD 


sign installation:


  .  Volume, type, and speed of highway traffic;


  .  Frequency, type, and speed of trains;


  .  Number of tracks;


  .  Intersection angles;


  .  Adequacy of stopping sight distance;


  .  Need for automated warning devices; and


  .  Crossing accident history.





The agencies recommend that the following specific factors be 


applied in determining first priority with respect to new STOP 


sign installations.





Fundamental indications:  It is recommended that the following 


considerations be met in every case before a STOP sign is 


installed:


1. Local and/or State police and judicial officials will commit 


   to a program of enforcement no less vigorous than would apply 


   at a highway intersection equipped with STOP signs.








2. Installation of a STOP sign would not occasion a more 


   dangerous situation (taking into consideration both the 


   likelihood and severity of highway-rail collisions and other 


   highway traffic risks) than would exist with a YIELD sign.





Positive indications:  Any one of the following conditions 


indicate that use of STOP signs would tend to reduce risk of a 


highway-rail collision.  It is recommended that the following 


considerations be weighed against the contra-indications below:


1. Maximum train speeds equal or exceed 30 mph (a factor highly 


   correlated with highway-rail accident severity).


2. Highway traffic mix include buses, hazardous materials 


   carriers and/or large (trash or earth moving) equipment.


3. Train movements are 10 or more per day, 5 or more days per 


   week.


4. The rail line is used by passenger trains.


5. The rail line is regularly used to transport a significant 


   quantity of hazardous materials.


6. The highway crosses two or more tracks, particularly where 


   both tracks are main tracks or one track is a passing siding 


   that is frequently used.  If Federal-aid funds are used in a 


   highway-rail grade crossing improvement project with multiple 


   main line tracks, gates and flashing lights are required (23 


   CFR 646.214).


7. The angle of approach to the crossing is skewed.


8. The line of sight from an approaching highway vehicle to an 


   approaching train is restricted such that approaching traffic 


   is required to substantially reduce speed.





Contra-indications:  Factors to be weighed in opposition to STOP 


signs:


1. The highway is other than secondary in character.  


   Recommended maximum of 400 ADT in rural areas, and 1,500 ADT 


   in urban areas.  (If any of the positive indications apply to 








   a crossing with traffic counts in excess of these levels, 


   strong consideration should be given to installation of 


   automated warning devices). 


2. The roadway is a steep ascending grade to or through the 


   crossing, sight distance in both directions is unrestricted 


   in relation to maximum closing speed, and the crossing is 


   used by heavy vehicles.  A crossing where there is 


   insufficient time for any vehicle, proceeding from a complete 


   stop, to safely traverse the crossing within the time allowed 


   by maximum train speed, is an inherently unsafe crossing that 


   should be closed.





Although STOP and YIELD signs are permissible traffic control 


devices within established conditions or warrants, proper use at 


grade crossings is critical to improving the motoristís 


understanding of the message that is displayed.  As reported in 


the December 1994 issue of The Highway & Rail Safety Newsletter, 


a study of STOP signs in Alabama and Georgia by Archie Burnham 


reported that 82 percent of the drivers were confused of semi-


confused by the STOP signs at railroad-highway grade crossings. 


 Burnham found that of 862 vehicles 18 percent came to a full 


stop, 50 percent made a slow rolling stop, and 32 percent did 


not stop at all.  Based upon these observations Burnham 


concluded that "one of the most widely recognized and often 


overlooked traffic safety axioms is the principle that over use 


provokes abuse.  For a traffic control sign, signal, or pavement 


marking to be of value it must not be overused."





Regarding protection devices for signs and signals, FHWA revised 


the railroad-highway crossing guidelines.  Guardrails are not 


recommended to shield warning device supports because a vehicle, 


if struck by a train, could strike the guardrail and be 


redirected towards the train.  A circular metal beam guard fence 


is allowed to shield warning signals under appropriate 


circumstances.





Pavement markings refers to markings applied or attached to the 


surface of a roadway for the purpose of regulating, warning, or 


guiding traffic.  The markings in advance of a grade crossing 


shall consist of an "X", the letters "RR", a no passing marking 


(2-lane roads), and certain transverse lines.  Identical 


markings shall be placed in each approach lane on all paved 


approaches to grade crossings where grade crossing signals or 


automatic gates are located, and at all other grade crossings 


where the prevailing speed of highway traffic is 40 mph or 


greater.





Fencing





Fencing that encloses the railroad right-of-way may be used to 


restrict access.  It can be an effective deterrent to 


indiscriminate use, according to FHWA, if placed on one side of 


the right-of-way with its height from four to eight feet.  One 


of the three main objections to fencing is the cost which may be 


in excess of $100,000 per mile for chain link fencing, according 


to local rail carriers.  Secondly, according to the FHWA 


Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook, it does not bar 


pedestrian entrances at crossings.  Finally, maintenance costs 


would be another budget consideration for either party.





The absence of fencing at railroad rights-of-way would not 


implicate a city for potential tort liability. 


Therefore, the Task Force recommends that fencing in urban areas 


be considered a site-specific issue, studied and negotiated with 


the affected railroad operators and the local government.





Grade Crossing Materials





Several general guidelines are discussed in this section to 


assist a city in determining a crossing surface management 


process.  These guidelines may help to define the most 


appropriate grade crossing surface for a specific site.  The 


Railroad Maintenance Work Group concurs cities may request the 


railroads to upgrade the standard timber crossings.  Asphalt and 


timber crossings are 








the most common surface materials and represent over 80 percent


of all public crossing surfaces in Texas.  It has been found 


that asphalt crossings and timber crossings have the shortest 


expected life span.  Asphalt and timber crossings are specified


for crossings with very low ADTs but may range up to 7,500 ADT 


without heavy truck traffic and still be cost effective.





The Florida Department of Transportation completed a materials 


selection handbook in 1984 to develop criteria for the selection 


of crossing surfaces.  The expected life of each surface type 


was reduced proportional to an increase in ADT, percentage of 


trucks related to total traffic, multiple track spacing, and 


gross train tonnage.  The annualized cost was then determined 


based on costs per linear foot and surface type as shown in 


Figure II-13.  Listed below are several key factors, not 


specifically ranked in any order, that should be considered in 


determining an appropriate grade crossing surface:





  .  Highway Traffic/Functional Classification - The volume and 


     capacity, vehicle type, and speed of the highway traffic 


     affects the loading the crossing surface must suport


  .  Special Vehicles - Crossings used regularly by special 


     vehicles, (e.g. school buses, transit buses, hazardous 


     material carriers) should be given very careful 


     consideration


  .  Railroad Traffic/Track Classification - The number of 


     trains, train type and train speed as well as the weight 


     and size of the rail affects the loading that the subgrade 


     and supporting track will bear


  .  Expected Service Life of Crossing Surface - Dependent on 


     adequate ballast tamping and butting onto the crossties 


     with replacement of the weak crossties


  .  Accident History - Particularly accidents related to the 


     condition of the surface


  .  Costs - Initial construction cost, replacement cost, and 


     maintenance cost


  .  Engineering Judgment








The life of a crossing surface depends on the volume and weight 


of the highway and rail traffic.  The highway traffic not only 


dictates the type of grade crossing surface to be installed, but


obviously has a major influence on the life of the crossing.  


The deterioration of the riding quality of a crossing surface 


results in increased vehicle operating cost, hazards and 


inconvenience to highway traffic.  Rail traffic also contributes


to the deteriorating effect on the service life of the crossing


in that it causes the need to repair or replace the highway-rail


crossing surface.  Railroad traffic damages the crossing surface


through vibration or uplift in front of the wheels reducing the 


life by 5 to 50 percent depending on the surface type.





If cities maintain road facilities with traffic volumes greater 


than 5,000 ADT and prefer to upgrade the standard timber 


crossing provided by railroads, the Railroad Maintenance Work 


Group concurs that railroads will install the upgraded crossing 


materials if the local agency purchases the materials on a 


negotiated labor cost basis.  On state maintained highways, 


TxDOT specifies timber surface materials for a crossing for 


vehicle traffic less than 2,000 ADT.





The two principal high-quality crossing materials used in Texas 


are the rubber or concrete panels. For railroad-highway 


crossings on the state maintained roads, TxDOT uses concrete or 


rubber panels for crossing materials for grade crossings with 


vehicle traffic greater than 2000 ADT. These materials provide 


a durable, smooth riding surface with a long-lasting surface 


life.  Most railroads prefer full depth crossings without shims


in main or branch line applications.  Some railroads are 


adopting concrete panels as their standard crossing surface 


material.





One of the principal "high-type" crossing surface materials is 


the rubber panel.  This type of crossing surface consists of 


molded rubber panels usually steel-reinforced with a patterned, 


anti-skid surface.  The panels can be removed or replaced for 


track maintenance.  The rubber panels 








are made in versions that are either full-depth or shimmed to 


the correct surface height. Rubber was marginally preferred over


concrete panels because of its lower annualized cost due to its 


high service life.  Prices of crossings constructed in 1989 from


100 percent virgin rubber ranged from $175-$275 per track-foot, 


according to local city engineers.  Further information 


concerning virgin rubber indicates it has the added advantage 


of being quiet in noise-sensitive areas.  The Louisiana 


Department of Transportation and Development also had a high 


preference for rubber crossings according to the FHWA 


Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Material Selection Handbook.





Currently, some railroads are installing prefabricated concrete 


panel crossings on all main lines and selected spur tracks.  


Some prefabricated concrete panel crossings in the Western 


states have lasted more than 15 years.  Prices of crossing 


materials vary from $90-$175 per track-foot for prefabricated 


concrete.  In a comparison with 100 percent virgin rubber, 


concrete proved to be more cost efficient in maintenance fees.  


The prefabricated concrete panels generally withstand normal 


rail maintenance better than rubber which is often damaged. 


Poured-in-place concrete is not recommended because it can cause 


track access problems for railroad companies during routine 


track maintenance operations.





The Work Group recommends that 100 percent virgin rubber or 


prefabricated concrete materials be utilized for crossings with 


more than 5,000 ADT or heavy truck traffic greater than 


10 percent of the total traffic.





Reflectorized Tape and Illumination


The Texas House Bill (H.B.) 2681 of 1991 mandated that every 


grade crossing currently without active warning devices have 2" 


- 4" reflectorized tape installed on the support post and back 


of 








every single-sided crossbuck sign.  This law requires TxDOT 


to be responsible for this portion of the crossbuck assembly.  


TxDOT representatives have the option of installing the material 


with their crews or supplying to local governments the 


reflectorized tape for local staff installation.  Any 


replacement of crossbucks will be completed by the rail carrier 


with new double-sided reflectorized crossbuck signs.  These will 


ultimately phase out single-sided crossbucks with reflectorized 


tape on back.  Backing up the far-side crossbuck with another 


reflective crossbuck and reflectorized support post has two 


important advantages.  First, it provides redundancy to assist 


drivers in detecting the crossing.  Second, it will reflect 


vehicle headlights back through the gaps between the rail cars. 


 The on-off effect creates a strobe light (flicker) similar to 


an active warning device.





If reflectorization has not reduced accidents, the Railroad 


Maintenance Work Group recommends the adoption of crossing 


illumination guidelines for crossings involving nighttime 


railroad operations or crossings with nighttime train-vehicle 


accidents as described in the FHWA Railroad-Highway Grade 


Crossing Handbook.  According to the Handbook, crossing 


illumination may be effective under the following conditions:





  .  night time train operations


  .  low train speeds


  .  blockage of crossings for long periods at night


  .  accident history indicating that motorists often fail to 


     detect trains or traffic control devices at night


  .  horizontal and/or vertical alignment of the highway 


     approach which does not allow the vehicle headlight to fall 


     on the train until the vehicle has passed the safe stopping 


     distance


  .  long dark trains (e.g., unit coal trains)


  .  restricted sight distance or stopping distance in rural 


     areas


  .  existing "humped" crossings where the large vertical grade 


     change of the approach lanes can allow oncoming vehicle 


     headlights to be visible under the train


  .  low ambient light levels





Recommendations for the placement and type of floodlights or 


luminaries are available in the FHWA Roadway Lighting Handbook. 


It is desirable to have at least two luminaries provided at the 


crossing, with one on each side of the track.  Mounting height 


should be between 30 and 40 feet. Illumination should be a 


distinctive color and distribution so that it clearly 


distinguishes the crossing amongst other street lighting.  In 


rural areas, some lighting should be directed down the track to 


light the sides of railroad cars.





Track Inspections





Railroad carriers are responsible for track inspections on a set 


schedule as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  


These nationwide safety regulations are solely based on track 


conditions, track curvature, superelevation, and roadbed 


conditions with different standards for six classes of tracks.  


The FRA monitors the rail operators' compliance with these 


maintenance and operating standards and appears to have the sole 


legislative authority to fine railroads if noncompliance occurs, 


according to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT).  This 


inspection procedure appears to have occurred based on the 


supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which specifies when 


federal law conflicts with state or local law, the federal law 


must control. Thus, a local city's inspection of tracks appears 


to have no enforcement validity unless the RCT inspects the 


track on the city's behalf.  A city's attempt at inspection has


been found as a restriction on railroad operations and would be 


in violation of interstate commerce, a concept that Congress 


hoped to encourage in the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970. 


The Work Group 








recommends that track inspections, where necessary on 


behalf of local governments, be coordinated with FRA or RCT 


officials.





Visual Obstructions





The clearance of visual obstacles at railroad-highway grade 


crossings for each sight triangle of the crossing's four 


quadrants is recommended by the Work Group as outlined in 


revised Railroad Commission of Texas regulations.  The RCT 


require vegetation control and permanent obstruction clearance 


for 250 feet as measured from the centerline of each crossing 


for public crossings equipped with crossbucks.  When the 


railroad right-of-way is fenced, compliance would be deemed if 


the vegetation is controlled up to two feet from the fence.  


"Vegetation" includes grass, bushes, shrubbery, and trees having 


a diameter of six inches or less.  "Public crossings" include an 


approach with at least one public roadway.





Obstructions also include trains, cars, or equipment standing 


closer than 250 feet from the centerline of any grade crossing 


equipped with passive warning devices.  Railroad operators in 


violation of this rule are subject to fines unless a closer 


distance could not be avoided.  Billboards and signs which are 


legally permitted by the state or a political subdivision are 


not necessarily permanent obstructions as long as they do not 


block the motorists' view of approaching trains, according to 


FHWA.  Permanent buildings in existence prior to the effective 


date of this ruling are exempt from this requirement.





Railroad companies are responsible to bring their right-of-way 


vegetation into compliance.  However, a variance may be applied


for by rail carriers concerning nonconforming vegetation and 


permanent obstructions under the current RCT regulations.  


Clearing brush or weeds from a 








grade crossing provides adequate sight distance at a crossing 


and can also provide a better preview of the crossing for 


approaching drivers.





The Texas Department of Transportation sponsored a research 


report in 1994 through the Texas Transportation Institute to 


study the impact of sight distance as an additional variable to 


the Texas Priority Index for railroad-highway grade crossings.  


The report, by Fambro, Klaver, and Cooner, evaluated both sight 


distance as criterion for ranking railroad-highway grade 


crossings for improvement.  In studying train involved accidents 


over a five year period, Fambro found that sight obstructions 


could have been a contributing factor nearly 50 percent of the 


time and that the majority of passive railroad-highway grade 


crossings have at least one sight obstruction.  The research 


report recommends the use of a sight distance variable to help 


TxDOT engineers identify those crossings most in need of 


improvement.  TxDOT will evaluate the findings of this report 


and may incorporate some or all of the recommendations into 


practice in the Texas Priority Index.





CROSSING RELOCATIONS, CONSOLIDATION OR CLOSURE





The Federal Railroad Administration has set a national goal to 


close 25 percent of the nationís highway-rail grade crossings by 


the year 2000.  Texas, with almost 20,000 highway-rail grade 


crossings, has the highest number in the nation.  Reducing the 


number of crossings through relocation or rerouting of the 


highway, or closure of the highway crossing represent "low cost" 


safety improvements.  Crossing consolidation is desirable when 


there are many redundant crossings in a particular jurisdiction. 


 Closure of a crossing may be required when the grade crossing 


is angled in such a way that the sight distance is restricted.  


Additionally, any restricted or obstructed sight distance that 


cannot be corrected for the motorist approaching a railroad 


grade crossing will warrant closure.








The number of crossings needed to carry highway traffic over a 


railroad in a community is influenced by many of the 


characteristics of the community itself.  A study of highway 


traffic flow should be conducted to determine origin and 


destination points and needed highway capacity.  Access issues 


must be studied to determine the impact on emergency vehicles, 


ambulances, fire trucks, and police.  Thus, optimum routes over 


railroads can be determined. Highway operation over several 


crossings may be consolidated to move over a nearby crossing 


with flashing lights and gates or over a nearby grade 


separation.  Alternative roates should be within a reasonable 


travel time and distance from a closed crossing.  The alternate 


routes should have sufficient capacity to accommodate the 


diverted traffic safely and efficiently.





The 1986 Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook suggests that 


by using a systems approach several crossings in a community or 


rail corridor could be improved by the installation of traffic 


control devices while other crossings are closed.  However, the 


various factors that should be considered to identify those 


crossings that should be closed are difficult to establish. 


Currently, there are no Federal restrictions or standards on how 


many or what types of crossings should be consolidated within a 


given area.  The following criteria, taken from the 1994 FRA 


report Rail-Highway Crossing Safety Action Plan Support 


Proposals, have been found useful for selecting crossings for 


consolidation:





1. Consolidate crossings where there are more than four per mile 


   in urban areas, and one per mile in rural areas and an 


   alternate route is available.


2. Consolidate crossings which have fewer than 2,000 vehicles 


   per day and more than two trains per day and an alternate 


   route is available.


3. Eliminate crossings where the road crosses the tracks at a 


   skewed angle or where the track is curved.








4. Link construction work with eliminations.  This linkage will 


   be especially important when upgrading rail corridors for 


   high speed trains.


5. When improving one crossing (by grade separation or 


   installation of automated warning devices), consider 


   eliminating adjacent crossings and rerouting traffic from 


   these crossings to the improved crossing.


6. For every new crossing built, consolidate traffic from two or 


   three other crossings.


7. Eliminate complex crossings where it is difficult to provide 


   adequate warning devices or which have severe operating 


   problems (e.g., multiple tracks, extensive switching 


   operations, long periods blocked, etc.).





The 1994 Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings: A Guide to Crossing 


Consolidation and Closure by the Federal Railroad Administration 


provides useful information agencies to assist them in grade 


crossing consolidation projects.  The Guide addresses the issue 


of local opposition crossing closure.  The Guide offers 


strategies to win local support based on actual crossing 


consolidation projects.  Past experience shows that even when 


communities support crossing consolidation, they may oppose 


proposed changes in traffic patterns.  In these cases, "trade-


offs," such as upgrading other crossings in the area of the 


targeted closure, have been successful.





TEMPORARY CROSSING CLOSURES





It is recommended by the Railroad Maintenance Work Group that 


cities or counties be given five working days notice by the 


railroad operator for partial or full street closures due to 


maintenance or rehabilitation of the railroad crossing unless an 


emergency situation prevails.  This notice will allow local 


governments to coordinate detour routes if warranted.  It is 


also the recommendation of this Work Group that any work area 


traffic control be coordinated between the local government and 


the railroad.








BICYCLE CROSSINGS





Bicycle paths across railroad tracks present several special 


problems.  There are some relatively simple and cost-effective 


treatments available for the problems cyclists encounter at 


railroad grade crossings.  The reduction of lane width at a 


crossing can affect passage of bicycles across the tracks.  The 


1986 Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook specifies that the 


crossing should be sufficient to extend at least one foot beyond 


the edge of the highway pavement, including any paved shoulders 


on the highway approaches to the crossing.





Also, depending on the crossing angle (the skew of the tracks in 


comparison with the bikeway or traveled lane) and the condition 


of the tracks, a cyclist may lose control of the vehicle if a 


wheel becomes trapped or violently redirected in the flangeway. 


 The surface materials and the flangeway depth and width must be 


examined to determine if the crossing is safe for the cycling 


public.  The more the crossing deviates from the ideal 90-degree 


crossing, the greater the potential for a cycle wheel to be 


trapped or violently redirected in the flangeway.  If the 


crossing angle is less than 45 degrees, engineers should 


consider widening the bikeway to allow sufficient width to cross 


the tracks at a safer angle.  Maintenance personnel should 


preserve the crossing surface to be as smooth and level as 


possible in order to provide for the safest passage for the 


cyclists. 





Another potential problem exists in the communication of an 


approaching train to the cyclists at actively controlled 


railroad-highway grade crossings that use flashing lights.  The 


Handbook recommends the use of a crossing bell to supplement 


other active traffic devices to help alleviate the detection 


problem sometimes encountered by cyclists.  The Handbook goes on 


to say that other than smooth surface treatments, there are no 


special controls for these special vehicles. 








However, if a bicycle trail crosses tracks at-grade, the 


bicyclist should be warned of this with suitable markings and 


signs.





AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT





The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establishes 


accessibility standards for new construction and alterations of 


state and local government facilities covered by the ADA.  One 


small part of the Interim Final Rule published by the 


Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 


relates to railroads.  Section 14.2.1 of the Accessibility 


Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities sets out minimum 


requirements for new construction of public sidewalks.  Among 


other things, the interim rule specifies: "Where public 


sidewalks cross rail systems at grade, the surface of the 


continuous passage shall be level and flush with the rail top at 


the outer edge and between the rails.  The horizontal gap on the 


inner edge of each rail shall be the minimum necessary to allow 


passage of wheel flanges and shall not exceed 2 1/2 inches 


maximum."  The effective date of this rule was December 20, 


1994. 





TOLL-FREE NUMBER IN TEXAS FOR REPORTING CROSSING SIGNAL PROBLEMS





The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducts a crossing 


signal reporting procedure for the public in Texas.  The 


provision of a toll-free number permits any person to report any 


problem or malfunction with a railroad-highway signalized grade 


crossing on the state or federal highway system.  Analysis of 


logged calls by the Railroad Commission of Texas and the DPS has 


primarily indicated problems with improper signal operation, 


excessive crossing delays for motorists, and poor crossing 


conditions.  





Every signalized railroad-highway grade crossing has a sign 


showing both an identification number and toll-free telephone 


number for reporting safety problems.  Figure II-11 shows the





 


standard malfunction warning sign which is designated under the 


MUTCD as the R15-4 sign.  The identification number is a unique, 


six-digit code number that identifies itsí location and which 


railroad has maintenance responsibility.  The DPS crossing 


safety telephone number is 1-800-772-7677 and is attached to 


metal signal posts at the crossings.  When the public is 


reporting a problem, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 


crossing number, together with any alphabetic characters, should 


be given to the answering DPS dispatcher.





Cities can participate in this DPS signage program for 


signalized crossings.  The typical cost of these signs is 


approximately $15 with railroads offering to install these signs 


or supervise their installation on existing railroad signal 


posts if the city is willing to pay for the materials.  The RCT 


has confirmed that funding and installation are available from 


TxDOT District offices for any public rail-highway crossing with 


railroad signals.  The local jurisdiction having road authority 


should contact the appropriate TxDOT District office and 


railroad company to arrange for funding and installation of the 


signs.





The Railroad Maintenance Work Group recommends that where local 


funds permit, city governments at their discretion arrange for 


U.S. DOT inventory number signs or stencils to be placed on 


signal posts at grade crossings.  The signs' manufacturing costs 


would be absorbed by the city and installation arranged through 


the railroad operator.











	              III.  OPERATIONS





Railroad operations include items of mutual concern for local 


government officials, the general public, and the railroad 


operators.  The issues can be summarized into economic, safety, 


and environmental considerations.  For the North Central Texas 


area, local governments and railroad representatives have 


identified seven major issues as follows:





  .  speed restrictions


  .  size restrictions


  .  blocked crossings


  .  railroad noise related to adjacent land uses


  .  motorist education


  .  responsibilities of motorists at grade crossings


  .  police enforcement at activated warning device grade 


     crossings





Recommendations for these selected items are presented by the 


Railroad Operations Work Group to the Railroad Coordination Task 


Force for inclusion as regional operation guidelines for rail 


corridors.





SPEED RESTRICTIONS





Historical Development





Historically, railroads came to the centers of existing 


communities because the communities wanted them to enter and 


provide transportation between them and the rest of the country. 


 In sparsely populated areas, cities were built up around 


railroads.  In today's environment, especially with high 


vehicular traffic, conflicts have arisen over the railroads' 


location in urbanized areas.








From the community and motorists' viewpoint, the railroad is 


currently a dividing force providing safety hazards, vehicular 


delays, congestion, potential emergency vehicle response time 


delays, and blocked street crossings.  The resulting frustration 


encourages impatient motorists to run through closed automatic 


gates when trains are in dangerous proximity.  Thus, some 


communities have imposed railroad speed restrictions in the 


interest of public safety.





From the rail carriers' perspective, arbitrary speed 


restrictions are undesirable because of the delays and fuel 


costs incurred for trains slowing to pass through the community. 


It makes the railroads less competitive because lower train 


speeds and higher costs enable the airline and trucking industry 


to attract a larger percentage of the transportation market.  


However, the prevalent central city location still proves 


advantageous for the railroads.  The rail corridors can also 


provide easements for utility companies and fiber-optic 


communication services to enter the central cities.





Historically, municipal speed restrictions for railroads did not 


occur in great numbers until the late 1890s when the number of 


crossings and number of rail/motor vehicle accidents increased 


because of the conflicting surface transportation modes.  


Initially, many states and cities demanded that the railroads, 


who were responsible for the crossings, take immediate action to 


eliminate hazardous crossings.  Numerous laws, ordinances, and 


regulations were adopted to enforce these community demands, but 


there was neither regulation uniformity, a division of 


responsibilities, nor an allocation of costs.





Existing Railroad Operating Speeds





Existing railroad operating speeds in the Dallas-Fort Worth 


region are governed by the FRA track class standards, 


maintenance standards, and individual railroad operating 


policies which may 








adopt existing city railroad ordinances.  A summary of city 


railroad ordinances for Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand 


Prairie, Irving, Garland, and Farmers Branch are shown in Figure


III-1.  Tabulated FRA track classes and related maximum 


allowable operating speeds are shown in Figure III-2.  Several 


city ordinances illustrate the diversity between their allowable 


train operating speeds and the FRA maximum allowable operating 


speeds in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.  For instance, the 


Dallas ordinance allows crossings with passive warning devices 


to have limited speeds of 10-25 mph while Farmers Branch allows 


40 mph citywide.





Federal Court Judgments





In order to give some legal context to the differences in 


current railroad operating speeds, a review of case law is 


appropriate.  In 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 


precedent-setting case of New York and Northeastern Railway vs. 


Town of Bristol, upheld the constitutionality of a Connecticut 


statute that required railroads to pay 75 percent of the costs 


to improve or eliminate crossings where the highway was in 


existence before the railroad.  In addition, if the road was 


constructed after the railroad, the railroad was still required 


to pay 50 percent of such costs.  This so-called "Senior-Junior" 


principle was followed by the courts in several other states to 


determine the railroads' responsibilities.





Until 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court adhered to the position that 


a railroad company should allocate a portion or all of the 


expense for the construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, or 


elimination of public railroad-highway grade crossings.  This 


was partially due to the dominance and financial status of the 


railroads during the first three decades of this century.  


However, funds from federal industrial recovery acts provided 


monies for separation of the railroad-highway grade crossings 


and installation of rail crossing traffic control devices.  By 


this time, the public attitude 








shifted, and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, according to the


Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook, reflected:





    The railroad has ceased to be the prime instrument of 


    danger and the main cause of accidents.  It is the railroad 


    which now requires protection from dangers incident to 


    motor transportation.





Precedence of Federal Railroad Administration Track 


Classification





The enactment by Congress of the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 


1970 was intended to provide uniform, nationwide railroad safety 


standards.  Authority for individual states to further regulate 


railroads was given only under special circumstances.  Congress 


sought to eliminate the undue burden on interstate commerce and 


railroads by limiting state and local administrative and 


judicial systems in several areas affecting rail operations.  


Pursuant to the Act, the FRA adopted train operating speeds in 


conjunction with the adoption of track, roadbed, and signal 


standards.  The FRA established train speeds between 10 and 110 


mph as summarized in Figure III-1.  In Baltimore and Ohio 


Railroad Company vs. the City of Piqua, Ohio, a federal court in 


1986 held that a city's attempt to establish railroad operating 


speeds below FRA standards was preempted by federal law and 


therefore invalid.  Railroads are willing to cooperate with 


different levels of government to institute safe and practical 


train speeds, motor vehicle speeds, traffic control devices, and 


adequate sight distances to reduce railroad and highway crossing 


hazards.





Amtrak has worked with local governments on a railroad corridor 


upgrade program to raise operating speeds of the FRA Class 4 


main line between Dallas and Houston.  Selected crossings are 


being upgraded by standard federal rail-highway crossing safety 


improvement matching funds.  They have been successful in 


revising operating speeds in conjunction with the counties of 


Dallas and Carson, plus the cities of Ennis, Wilmer, Palmer, 


Hutchins, and Houston.  Houston currently has passenger train 


operating speeds of between 30 and 60 mph.








State Intervention for Local Crossing Hazards





Allowance was made for state intervention on behalf of cities 


such that, "A state may adopt or continue to enforce an 


additional or more stringent law, rule, regulation, order, or 


standard relating to railroad safety when necessary to eliminate 


or reduce an essentially local safety hazard, when not 


incompatible with any federal law, nor creating an undue burden 


on interstate commerce." 


This judgment was made in the precedent-setting case of Sisk vs. 


National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), 647 Federal 


Supplement 861 (Federal District Court, Kansas, 1986).





The case further argued that the supremacy clause in the United 


States Constitution established that when federal law conflicts 


with state or local law, the federal law must control.  However, 


Congress did allow the states to act on behalf of cities 


concerning local railroad hazards to reduce train operating 


speeds due to, for example, problems with sight distance, road 


geometry, proximity of school children, school bus routes, or 


emergency vehicle routes.  The RCT supports this judicial 


position of state intervention on behalf of local cities at 


unprotected crossings and is recommending that modifications to 


railroad speed limits be achieved on a site-specific basis in 


conjunction with the Commission and the affected rail operator.





Harmonic Oscillation





Documentation from the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), 


entitled A General Overview of Railroad Safety in Texas, states 


that for railroad operating speeds between 12 and 25 mph, 


harmonic oscillation or car rocking can occur with a potential 


for derailment, particularly along extended portions of track at 


a lower speed range.  Consideration should be given to this 


problem, according to the Work Group, before any new railroad 


speeds below 25 mph are adopted.








Accident Data





The national office of the FRA in Washington, D.C. publishes 


accident statistics annually.  Those statistics and others 


utilized in accident analysis according to the FHWA, should be 


surveyed over a minimum three- to five-year period to determine 


trends, such as those necessary in before-and-after crossing 


improvement studies.  TxDOT analyze a five-year period of train-


involved accident statistics reported to the Texas Department of 


Public Safety when determining which crossings are eligible for 


site diagnostics and FHWA crossing safety upgrade funds.





Analyzing the Texas region in particular, grade crossing 


accidents between 1980 and 1988 are categorized by 


train-involved and nontrain-involved accidents occurring at 


crossings with active (automatic gates or flashers) and passive 


(crossbuck) warning devices.  Figure III-3 illustrates the total 


number and percentage of Texas railroad accidents.  Over 


40 percent of the crossing accidents occur at active warning 


devices and are nontrain-involved collisions.  This indicates 


that drivers are confused over what the railroad signs and 


signals really mean, especially for the younger and older adult 


population, according to TTI.  In detail, 3904 or 58 percent of 


total train-involved accidents occur at active warning device 


crossings.  The data also suggests that fatality rates are 


correlated to age groups, not only of young adults from 15 to 29 


years but older adults of 75 years of age or higher.  Both have 


significantly higher fatality rates compared to the general 


population, as shown in Figure III-4.  Currently, no "train 


miles of travel" data are available from the national FRA 


database to normalize accident rates as a function of train 


speeds.





Recommendations





Federal court cases indicate FRA track standards supersede other 


speed restrictions set by a state or city.  The exception would 


be for site-specific local factors such as obstructed sight





 


distances or schools in close proximity to rail corridors.  At 


that point, the state on behalf of the city can institute more 


stringent railroad operating speed standards if warranted.





The Railroad Commission of Texas recommends that communities and 


railroads try to resolve the grade crossing problem and then 


only consider speed restrictions on a corridor-wide basis.


If a certain grade crossing problem continues, then railroads 


may adopt railroad speed restrictions mutually agreed upon 


during negotiation with railroad operators on a limited 


site-specific basis.





Harmonic oscillation between 12 and 25 mph is also a technical 


issue to consider when seeking railroad speed limits.  The 


rocking of trains which may occur at that speed range can derail 


trains, especially over extended portions of track.





Reconsidering accident data which indicates that rail accidents 


at grade crossings occur more with younger and older members of 


the adult population, education targeted at these age groups may 


be very cost effective.





Considering these four factors, the Work Group recommends that:





  .  any existing city train speed ordinances be repealed, and


  .  railroads make available FRA track classifications for its 


     tracks.





SIZE RESTRICTIONS





According to the judgment in the law case of Southern Pacific 


Company vs. State of Arizona (325, U.S. 761) in the Federal 


Supreme Court in 1945, any attempt by a state (and therefore any 


lesser governmental entity) to limit the length of trains is an 


unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.  The express 


policy of Congress was to promote an "economical national 


railroad 








system."  The Task Force therefore considers that train size


restrictions in local ordinances appear legally unenforceable 


and recommends procedures to shorten train lengths relative to 


blocked crossings be discussed with the railroads.  FHWA 


railroad-highway crossing safety funds could be employed 


for grade-separated structures in this situation, and certain 


rail carriers will offer to provide funding given the accident 


and derailment history of the crossing.





BLOCKED CROSSINGS


A number of cities within their railroad ordinances have a law 


which disallows the blocking of grade crossings for more than 


five consecutive minutes by a standing train.  This is based on 


Article 6701d-5 from Vernon's Annotated Texas Civil Statutes 


which states:





	"An officer, agent, servant, or receiver of any railway 


         corporation who willfully obstructs for more than five 


         minutes at any one time any street, railway crossing, 


         or public highway by permitting their train to stand on 


         or across such a crossing shall be fined not less than 


         five nor more than one hundred dollars."








This law was made effective in 1921 during the 37th Texas 


Legislative session.  Given the number of tracks and switches in 


urban areas which could potentially be blocked, jurisprudence 


would apparently determine whether a "willful" blockage of a 


crossing occurred.  "Considering that urban areas with two grade 


crossings per mile are not unusual and train lengths can range 


from 5,000 to 7,000 feet, then potentially three grade crossings 


could be blocked from a single train."





Track circuitry involving either motion detector track circuits 


or constant warning-time devices can improve motorist crossing 


delays.  When trains approach crossings at variable speeds or 


have significant switching movements, the constant warning time 


device uses an electronic system to ensure a 20- to 25-second 


warning device activation time regardless of the train speed on 


the approach.  If the train stops before the crossing, the 


signal is deactivated.  The cost of a constant warning time 


device ranges from $11,500 to $14,000 plus from $9,000 to 


$11,000 extra to install it








compared to a motion detector.  Motion detector track circuits 


utilize audio frequencies to detect when a train stops on the 


approach or moves away from a crossing.  The crossing warning 


system is then deactivated if the train is within normal 


approach limits.





Grade crossing accident research reported in the November 1989 


issue of Highway and Rail Safety Newsletter by the Canadian 


Institute of Guided Ground Transport indicated that critical 


incidents result from the following conditions at the crossing:





  .  unduly long warning times


  .  long occupancy times of the crossing by some trains


  .  false alarms due to a signal malfunction or a signal 


     placed in a fail safe status





The researchers considered those events as precursors to the 


tendency of drivers to deliberately violate the signals.  Their 


analysis of video recordings indicated 25 percent to 33 percent 


of drivers were not aware that they are approaching a crossing. 


 Other drivers incurred an "unobeyable signal problem" where the 


signals flash and the driver was unable to stop the vehicle in a 


safe and comfortable manner.  Finally, approximately 60 percent 


of the drivers had a speed variance approaching the crossing 


where motorists either increased or decreased their speed thus 


increasing the incidence of collisions at crossings involving no 


train:  either rear-end or front-end collisions with other 


vehicles resulted.





The researchers concluded that for safety purposes at crossings, 


the drivers' decision to disobey the signal will be smaller if 


warning times are kept short including the time that moving 


trains occupy the crossing (that is when trains are short and 


move fast).  They concluded efforts toward risk control, short 


of grade separation, should include:





  .  increasing crossing conspicuity,


  .  reducing occurrence of unobeyable signals,


  .  improving smoothness of crossing surfaces,


  .  eliminating false alarms and excessively long warning 


     periods, and


  .  reducing total duration of signal activation.





Warrants and guidelines for these predictors have currently not 


been developed.





The University of Tennessee Transportation Center has found that 


experimental four-quadrant gate systems reduce the number of 


gate violations to almost zero.  With the two-quadrant gate 


system, one or more motor vehicles drove around closed gates 


during 84 out of 100 train arrivals. 


The experimental four-quadrant gates are not contained in the 


Texas MUTCD, although the regular gate locations with a center 


median prevents motorists from driving around activated gates.  


The experimental four-quadrant gate system reduced 260 motorists 


per 100 trains from driving around gates to zero.  The gates 


also reduced vehicles crossing between 10 to 20 seconds from 


train arrival to zero.  During the testing period, no motorist 


was trapped on the tracks, emergency vehicle operation was not 


impaired, no unreasonable delays were created for the motorist, 


no public complaints were received, and retrofitting crossings 


with two extra gates was not difficult.





Researchers at the University of Tennessee recommend the 


following crossings for four quadrant gates:





  .  crossings on four-lane undivided roads


  .  multitrack crossings where the distance between tracks is 


     greater than the length of a motor vehicle


  .  crossings without constant warning time devices where 


     train times are long and variable








  .  crossings where there are hazardous materials trucks, 


     transit buses, school buses, or high-speed trains


  .  crossings with consistent gate arm violations or 


     continuing accidents





Appraising the likelihood of this occurrence, the Railroad 


Ordinance Work Group has recommended the following:





  .  as mentioned earlier, blocked crossings be analyzed from a 


     corridor perspective


  .  motion detectors or constant warning-time track circuits 


     be utilized as appropriate for crossings with heavy 


     switching operations or variable train speeds to minimize 


     warning device activation time


  .  guidelines for grade separations, described in the 


     Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Handbook be adopted with 


     encouragement of city initiatives to secure FHWA crossing 


     safety improvement funds and matching funds from railroads





RAILROAD NOISE RELATING TO ADJACENT LAND USES





The FRA regulates train noise by standards published in the CFR. 


 For example, locomotives manufactured prior to 1981 can have 


allowable "A-weighted" noise decibel levels of 96 dBA maximum 


when trains are in motion (fast).  Locomotives manufactured 


after December 1980 can have allowable noise levels of 90 dBA 


maximum when trains are in motion (fast).





Additional noise regulations for switcher locomotives 


manufactured on or before December 31, 1979, which operate in 


yards, are also available in the CFR.  When stationary 


locomotive noise exceeds the receiving property limit of 65 dBA 


as shown in Appendix B, the locomotives are considered in 


noncompliance.  This situation will trigger a 30-meter or less 


noise level test on 








receiving properties.  Overall, FRA enforcement efforts focus on


abatement procedures that will achieve a reduction of receiving 


property noise levels to less than 65 dBA.





The ICC also has involvement with railroad noise control as a 


part of its environmental impact process.  If a railroad project 


involves either new rail line construction, a discontinuance of 


passenger trains, or certain rail mergers causing heavier train 


traffic (usually 50 percent greater train traffic or eight 


trains per day) on new, existing, or adjacent lines, the ICC's 


noise rules would apply as written in 49 CFR, Part 1105.  Again, 


the preliminary investigation would need to find environmentally 


significant decibel changes, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.27 for 


the Ldn measure = 65 dBA for moving trains.





An example of noise contours indicates that one loaded and one 


empty coal unit train (over 100 cars totaling 11,000 tons 


maximum) per day transporting approximately four million tons of 


coal annually during daylight hours would have an Ldn of 65 dB 


with a contour commonly extending approximately 50 feet from the 


centerline of the track.  Under a 12 million ton per year 


scenario, six trains (three loaded and three empty) would 


increase the Ldn of 65 dBA contour line to 190 feet from the 


track centerline.  This indicates that the Ldn of 65 dBA is a 


fair measure for noise intrusion into sensitive land-use areas 


depending on the extent of residential dwelling units and other 


affected facilities such as libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, 


and schools.  The Work Group recommends that railroad noise of 


moving trains over 65 dBA next to residential property be the 


trigger for further noise measurements as defined in the CFR and 


resolved by FRA procedures.








MOTORIST EDUCATION





Grade Crossing Safety Facts





Texas has recognized the importance of educating motorists of 


the potential hazards at highway-rail grade crossings by 


enacting legislation to include grade crossing safety training 


in all defensive driving classes taught in Texas.  In 1993 Texas 


had nearly 7 percent of the total national public and private 


grade crossings with over 10 percent of the nation's grade 


crossing accidents and 12 percent of the nation's fatalities at 


grade crossings, meaning that a disproportionate number of 


accidents occur in Texas.  Details about Texas train/vehicle 


accidents in 1993 indicate:





  .  52 percent occurred at signalized crossings,


  .  54 percent happened during daylight hours,


  .  61 percent involved train speeds of less than 29 mph,


  .  52 percent happened where the driver's view was 


        unobstructed,


  .  66 percent occurred in clear weather, and


  .  25 percent involved vehicles running into trains.





A 1982 study by Berg, knoblach, and Hucke proposed that the 


occurrence of a vehicle-train accident was the result of a 


recognition, decision, or action error.  The findings of the 


study, as summarized by Fambro, Klaver, and Cooner in 1994, 


revealed that about 80 percent of the accidents investigated at 


crossings with crossbucks involved errors of driver recognition 


and about 23 percent involved late recognition of a train that 


was already in the crossing.  The study identified the principal 


contributing factors to vehicle-train accidents at crossings as 


the lack of quadrant sight distance and low driver expectancy of 


train presence.  Further, the study revealed that nearly 


38 percent of the accidents investigated at crossings with 


flashing lights involved driver recognition errors.  Of these 


accidents the study showed that 81 percent of the drivers did 


not 








detect the signal when they were on the approach.  Apparently, 


motorists who are involved in grade crossing accidents often do 


not exercise proper caution and do not observe motor vehicle 


laws and will attempt to "run through" crossings even when the 


crossing gates are activated.





Local governments should note that Amtrak requires the 


assignment of signal department employees to investigate all 


reported signal malfunctions and the assignment of Amtrak police 


to be at the crossing until required inspections and repairs are 


completed on the signals.





Operation Lifesaver





A national nonprofit program called "Operation Lifesaver" is an 


active, continuous public information and education program to 


help prevent and reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities and 


improve driver performance at highway-rail grade crossings.  


Operation Lifesaver is needed because many drivers do not cross 


railroad tracks often enough to be familiar with the warning 


devices designed for their safety.  Driver inattention and 


impatience are the most common factors contributing to motor 


vehicle/train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings.  The 


majority of 486 collisions in 1993 in Texas occurred during 


clear weather at crossings with active warning signals during 


daylight hours by trains going less than 29 miles per hour.





Operation Lifesaver reminds you to Look, Listen, and Live when 


approaching highway-rail grade crossings.  Program emphasis is 


on the three Eís:





  .  Enforcement of existing laws governing highway-rail grade 


     crossings.


  .  Engineering highway-rail grade crossings to provide the 


     greatest safety by working with communities in their 


     efforts to provide additional warning devices.


  .  Education of the driving public about the inherent dangers 


     at highway-rail grade crossings.








To enhance highway-rail grade crossing safety, Operation 


Lifesaver endorses the concept of reducing the number of 


crossings through elimination, consolidation, grade separation 


and restricting the number of new crossings.





Operation Lifesaver offers films, information, and speakers upon 


request to schools, civic groups, shopping malls, the media, 


governments, corporate driver training courses, fleet vehicle 


drivers, and others.  If cities or counties are interested in 


improving their local grade crossing safety, this Work Group 


recommends that they contact the Texas Safety Association, a 


nonprofit organization which helps coordinate grade crossing 


safety education in Texas.  Their Austin telephone number is 


512/343-6525.  The Operation Lifesaver Coordinator for Texas may 


be reached at the above number or fax 512/343-0746.  The 


National Support Center for Operation Lifesaver, Incorporated 


may be reached toll free at 1-800-537-6224.





Legal Responsibilities of Motorists at Grade Crossings


Drivers are subject to fines by law enforcement officers at the 


Department of Public Safety (DPS) for violating laws stated in 


Article XI, Section 86 of Uniform Act in the Texas Motor Vehicle 


Laws regarding grade crossings.  The Act states:





    whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad 


    grade crossing, the driver of the such vehicle shall stop 


    within fifty (50) feet but not less than fifteen (15) feet 


    from the nearest rail of such railroad and shall not 


    proceed until he can do so safely when:





  .  a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device 


     gives warning of the immediate approach of a train,


  .  a crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives 


     or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage 


     of a train,


  .  a railroad engine approaching within approximately 1500 


     feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from 


     such distance and such engine by reason of its speed or 


     nearness to such crossing is an immediate hazard, or


  .  an approaching train is plainly visible and is in 


     hazardous proximity to such crossing.


 





Drivers must stop by law for flashing lights, bells, or gates.  


If for some reason the lights are flashing and no train is in 


sight, the driver should stop and look both ways, and then 


proceed when they are sure the track(s) are clear.





Police Enforcement at Activated Warning Device Grade Crossings





Law enforcement officials are being urged to write citations for 


any motorist or pedestrian who disregards activated grade 


crossing warning devices.  Operation Lifesaver has a program 


that invites law enforcement officiers to ride on locomotives in 


order to witness first hand what train engineers see everyday at 


highway-rail grade crossings where the motorists commonly fail 


to stop and remain behind activated warning devices such as 


gates or flashers.  Enforcement of existing laws governing 


highway-rail grade crossings pertains to driving past flashing 


signals, driving around automatic gates and flashers, failure to 


obey yield or stop signs, failure for special vehicles to stop, 


and failure to yield right-of-way to a train at a passively 


controlled highway-rail grade crossing.





Upon receipt of a railroad crossing warning system malfunction, 


the railroad shall take appropriate action as required by 49 


C.F.R. Part 234.  Until repair or correction of the warning 


system is completed, the railroad having maintenance 


responsibility for the warning system shall promptly initiate 


efforts to provide alternative means of warning highway traffic 


and railroad employees at the subject crossing.  The railroad 


must notify the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over 


the crossing that is capable of responding and controlling 


vehicular traffic at the crossing.  In many cases, the law 


enforcement agency is the first to know of a warning system 


malfunction through public reports before the railroad company.








The FRA has established regulations for warning system 


malfunctions at railroad-highway grade crossings.  If at least 


one uniformed law enforcement officer provides warning to 


highway traffic at the crossing, trains may proceed through the 


crossing at normal speed.  If an appropriately equipped flagger 


or crewmember of the train is available to flag highway traffic 


to a stop, the train may proceed through the crossing.  The 


regulations specify that a train may proceed at normal speed if 


there is a flagger for each direction of highway traffic or may 


proceed with caution through the crossing at a speed not 


exceeding 15 miles per hour if there is only one flagger or 


train crewmember to stop highway traffic.  Normal speed may be 


resumed after the train has passed through the crossing.  


However, the train may not pass if there is no law enforcement 


officer or flagger or train crewmember available to stop highway 


traffic.











	              





	                APPENDIX A





     CONTACT NUMBERS FOR CITY OFFICIALS AND RAIL CARRIERS





Cities:





Arlington - Senior Traffic Engineer - 817/459-6371





Bedford - (no railroads within city limits)





Burleson - Director of Public Works - 817/295-1113





Carrollton - Director of Traffic and Transportation - 


            214/466-3050





Dallas - Director of Transportation - 214/670-4026





Denton - Emergency Management Coordinator - 817/473-1104





Euless - Emergency Management Coordinator - 817/685-1573





Farmers Branch - City Engineer - 214/247-3131





Fort Worth - City Traffic Engineer - 817/870-8055





Garland - Director of Traffic and Transportation - 214/205-2432





Grand Prairie - Assistant Director of Public Works - 


                214/660-8131





Greenville - Street Superintendent - 214/457-3153





Hurst - Traffic Engineer - 817/281-6160 x222





Irving - Director of Traffic and Transportation - 214/721-2646





Kaufman - (no railroads within city limits)





Mansfield - Fire Chief - 817/473-1104





Mesquite - Fire Marshal - 214/216-6267


	 - City Engineer - 214/216-6214





Mineral Wells - City Manager - 817/328-1211





North Richland Hills - Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator- 


               817/281-8393





Plano - Fire Chief - 214/578-7148





Richardson - Traffic Engineer - 214/238-4230





Rockwall - City Engineer - 214/771-1111








  CONTACT NUMBERS FOR CITY OFFICIALS AND RAIL CARRIERS (Cont'd)





Stephenville - City Administrator - 817/965-7887





Waxahachie - (no contact available)





Weatherford - Fire Chief - 817/594-5541





FRA - 817/334-3601 - Leon Sapp





Railroad Commission - 512/463-7116








Amtrak





Local Operations - Transportation Manager - (Fort Worth) 


                   817/334-0268





24-Hour Emergencies - (Mid-West Operations - Chicago) 


                     1-800-543-2409





Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company





Emergencies - Chief Dispatcher - (Euless) 817/868-3211





Maintenance - Asst. Supt. Maintenance - (Euless) 817/868-3091





Signals - General Supervisor of Signals - (Euless) 817/868-3054





Crossing Upgrades - Asst. Supt. Maintenance - (Euless) 


                    817/868-3091








Burlington Northern Railroad Company





Emergencies - Chief Dispatcher - (Springfield, MI) 417/864-2121





Track Maintenance - Superintendent of Engineering and 


                    Maintenance - (Fort Worth) 817/581-2450





Signals - Supervisor of Control Systems - (Fort Worth) 


          817/581-2454





Local Operations - Operations Terminal Superintendent - (Fort 


                   Worth) 817/878-7231





Crossing Upgrades - Engineer of Public Works - (Fort Worth) 


                    817/581-2460














  CONTACT NUMBERS FOR CITY OFFICIALS AND RAIL CARRIERS (Cont'd)





Cottonbelt Railroad Company





Emergencies - Chief Dispatcher - (Pine Bluff, AK) 501/541-1600





Local Office - (Carrollton) 214/434-7999 (answered 24 hours, 


except 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday) or 214/242-5320 during regular 


business hours





Track Maintenance - Roadmaster - (Mt. Pleasant, TX) 214/572-3301





Signals - Trainmaster - (Carrollton) 214/372-7465





Local Operations - Trainmaster - (Carrollton) 214/372-7465





Crossing Upgrades - Trainmaster - (Carrollton) 214/372-7465








Dallas Area Rapid Transit





Emergencies - Jack Campbell, DART Control Center - 214/828-6779





DART Transit Police Dispatcher - 214/828-8500








Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company





(see Union-Pacific which encompasses this old Missouri-Pacific 


line)








Operation Lifesaver





Phone - 512/343-6525


Fax - 512/343-0746








Southern Pacific Transportation Company





Emergencies - Chief Dispatcher - (Houston) 713/223-6262





Maintenance - Roadmaster - (Dallas) 214/372-4401





Local Operations - Area Engineer - (Dallas) 214/372-7553





Signals - Supervisor of Signals - (Dallas) 214/372-7457





Crossing Upgrades - Area Engineer - (Dallas) 214/372-7553














 CONTACT NUMBERS FOR CITY OFFICIALS AND RAIL CARRIERS (Cont'd)





Union Pacific Railroad Company





Emergencies - Chief Dispatcher - (Houston) 713/350-7581





Local Operations and Signals - Superintendent of Operations





	-(serving Dallas, Fort Worth, Greenville, Mesquite, Chico, 


           and Waxahachie lines)


	   817/878-4540 (7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)





	- (serving Denton County northward)


		817/878-4550 (7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)





	- (serving State Highway 80 East)


		214/236-2951 (7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)





	- (serving south line to Houston)


		713/350-7660 (7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)





24-Hour Local Operations - Manager of Train Operations





	-(serving U.P. Dallas, Fort Worth, Greenville, Mesquite, 


          Chico, and Waxahachie lines)	


          817/878-4546





	- (serving old MKT system)


	  214/651-6792





Track Maintenance - Manager of Engineering Maintenance





	- (serving Parker County westward)


	  817/878-4618





Track Maintenance - Manager of Engineering Maintenance





	-(serving Dallas, Fort Worth, Greenville, Mesquite, Chico, 


         and Waxahachie lines)


	 817/878-4614





	-(serving Denton County northward)


	 817/387-6213





	- (serving Rockwall County eastward)


	  214/236-2971





Crossing Upgrades - Manager of Public Projects -





	-(serving all North Central Texas areas)


	 214/463-6525


	 (Denison)








                             APPENDIX B





             FRA LOCOMOTIVE NOISE ENFORSEMENT POLICY








                            APPENDIX C





                             GLOSSARY








	APPENDIX C





	GLOSSARY











"A-Weighted" Noise Levels 


(dBA) - The weighting of sound 


which de-emphasizes lower and 


higher frequencies that are 


beyond the average human 


hearing range.





Accident Rate - 1)  The number 


of accidents, fatalities, or 


injuries divided by a measure 


of vehicle activity to provide 


a means of comparing accident 


trends through time.  2)  The 


number of accidents per 


crossing per year.





Ballast - Gravel, broken 


stone, or slag placed between 


and under the ties of a 


railroad to give stability, 


provide drainage, and 


distribute loads.





Bar Ditch - Can be used as a 


drainage channel that carries 


water runoff from the track 


structure and adjacent land; 


forms part of the regional 


storm water and storm sewer 


system.





Benefit-Cost Ratio - The 


economic value of the 


reduction in fatalities, 


injuries, and property damage 


divided by the cost of the 


accident reducing measure.





Branch Line - A secondary line 


of railroad usually handling 


light volumes of traffic.





Case Law - Law established by 


judicial decisions in 


particular cases, instead of 


by legislative action.





Civil Statute - An enactment 


made by a legislature for its 


citizens and expressed as a 


formal document.





Constant Warning Time Track 


Circuit - Warning devices that 


will sense train speed in 


approach section of crossings 


equipped with gates or 


flashers and select 


appropriate warning time.





Crosstie - The wooden or 


concrete support upon which 


track rails rest and which 


holds them to gauge and 


transfers their load through 


the ballast to the subgrade.





Decibels (dB) - The unit of 


measurement for sound 


intensity, with zero dB 


corresponding roughly to the 


threshold of hearing.





Exempt Sign - Informs drivers 


of vehicles for hire, school 


buses carrying children, or 


vehicles carrying hazardous or 


flammable materials that a 


stop is not required except 


when railroad equipment is 


approaching or occupying the 


crossing, or the driver's view 


of the sign is blocked.





Fines - Minute particles of 


rock resulting from pulverized 


ballast or other rock 


aggregate.





French Drain - A drainage 


trench filled to ground level 


with fragments of brick or 


rock.





Grade Separation - A crossing 


of two highways, or a highway 


and a railroad, at different 


levels.





Green Board - A permanent 


railroad sign which instructs 


an engineer to resume normal 


speed of the train.





Harmonic Oscillation - The 


rocking motion of a train at 


speeds of 12-25 mph hour due 


to loads on staggered rail 


joints occurring over extended 


distances.





Horizontal Alignment - The 


angle of a roadway as it 


intersects another road or 


rail line; 90-degree 


intersections are optimal for 


adequate sight triangles.





Ldn Noise Level - The average 


noise level of both day and 


night hours where the night 


level between 10 p.m. and 


7 a.m. is weighted an 


additional ten decibels (dB) 


to account for the increased 


effect of noise perceived 


during these hours.





Line-Haul - The movement of 


freight over the tracks of a 


railroad from one town or city 


to another town or city.








Main Line - The principle line 


or lines of a railway.





Main Track - A track extending 


through yards and between 


stations, upon which trains 


are operated by timetable, 


train order or both, or the 


use of which is governed by 


block signals or by 


centralized traffic control.





Motion Detector Track Circuit 


- Detects train movement with 


an audio frequency whereby if 


a train stops on approach or 


moves away from a crossing, 


the crossing warning system 


will be deactivated; often 


used for switching moves 


within normal approach limits.





Normalize - In statistics to 


create a normal bell-shaped 


curve showing a distribution 


of probability of a given 


event relative to an 


independent variable.





Precedent - An adjudged case 


or judicial decision that 


furnishes a rule or model for 


deciding a subsequent case 


that presents the same or 


similar legal problems.





Priority Index - A 


mathematical equation used in 


Texas to rank the hazard of an 


existing railroad grade 


crossing; it assists in the 


TxDOT determination of 


potential matching funding 


from FHWA Surface 


Transportation Program safety 


monies to be passed through to 


local authorities.





Pumping - The effect of poor 


drainage in the sub-ballast 


which causes mud to form, 


fouls the ballast, and allows 


the track to move vertically 


under heavy loads.





Railroad Line Miles - The 


aggregate length of road of 


line-haul railroads.  It 


excludes yard tracks, sidings, 


and parallel lines.  


Jointly-used track is counted 


only once.





Railroad Track Miles - Total 


miles of railroad track 


including multiple main 


tracks, yard tracks and 


sidings, owned by both 


line-haul and switching and 


terminal companies.








Railroad/Highway Grade 


Crossing - The general area 


where a highway and a railroad 


cross at the same elevation 


and includes the railroad 


right-of-way, roadway 


right-of-way, and roadside 


signs and facilities.





Pedestrian Crossing - A 


railroad- highway grade 


crossing that is used by 


pedestrians only.





Private Crossing - A railroad- 


highway grade crossing that 


includes a privately owned 


roadway utilized only by the 


owner's licensees and 


invitees.





Public Crossing - A railroad- 


highway grade crossing that 


includes a roadway under the 


jurisdiction of, and 


maintained by, a public 


authority on at least one side 


of the track.





Senior-Junior Principle - A 


concept where a division of 


responsibility occurs between 


two parties depending on who 


or which was in existence 


first.





Tort Liability - Any private 


or civil wrong by act or 


omission, such as an accident 


which occurs from a person's 


negligence.





Track - An assembly of rails, 


ties, and fastenings over 


which cars, locomotives, and 


trains are moved.





Double or Multiple - Two or 


more main tracks over which 


trains may travel in both 


directions.





Single - 1)  The main track on 


a roadbed having one main 


track upon which trains are 


operated in both directions.  


2)  In multiple track 


territory, the process of 


running all trains, regardless 


of direction on one track 


while the other track is 


temporarily out of service.











Traffic Control Device - A 


sign, signal, marking, or 


other device placed on or 


adjacent to a street or 


highway by authority of a 


public body or official having 


jurisdiction to regulate, 


warn, or guide traffic.





Traffic Control Device 


(Active) - Those traffic 


control devices activated by 


the approach or presence of a 


train, such as flashing light 


signals, automatic gates, and 


similar devices as well as 


manually operated devices and 


crossing watchmen, all of 


which display to motorists 


positive warning of the 


approach or presence of a 


train.





Traffic Control Device 


(Passive) - Those types of 


traffic control devices, 


including signs, markings, and 


other devices, located at or 


in advance of grade crossings 


to indicate the presence of a 


crossing but which do not 


change aspect upon the 


approach or presence of a 


train.





Traffic Markings - All lines, 


patterns, words, colors, or 


other devices, except signs, 


set into the surface of, 


applied upon, or attached to 


the pavement or curbing or to 


the objects within or adjacent 


to the roadway, officially 


placed for the purpose of 


regulating, warning, or 


guiding traffic.





Train Miles of Travel - The 


total amount of  distance each 


train travels in a given year.





Vertical Alignment - The 


vertical slope of pavement or 


other material to allow for 


drainage.





Wigwags - An early active 


warning device which operates 


with a red symbol swinging on 


a fulcrum.








                            APPENDIX D





                         LIST OF ACRONYMS








	                     APPENDIX D





	                 LIST OF ACRONYMS








AAR	- American Association of Railroads


ADT	- Average Daily Traffic (vehicular)


AREA	- American Railroad Engineering Association


CFR	- Code of Federal Regulations


DOT	- Department of Transportation


DPS	- Department of Public Safety


EPA	- Environmental Protection Agency


FARS	- Fatal Accident Reporting System


FHWA	- Federal Highway Administration


FRA	- Federal Railroad Administration


ICC	- Interstate Commerce Commission


NCTCOG 	- North Central Texas Council of Governments


NHTSA	- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


PI	- Priority Index


RCT	- Railroad Commission of Texas


TxDOT	- Texas Department of Transportation


TTI	- Texas Transportation Institute








REFERENCES








American Railway Engineering Association, American Railway 


Engineering Association Manual for Railway Engineering 


(Washington, D.C., 1988).





Environmental Protection Agency, Model Noise Control Ordinance 


(Washington, D.C., 1979).





Environmental Protection Agency, Noise:  A Health Problem 


(Springfield, Virginia (undated)).





Environmental Protection Agency, Protective Noise Levels - 


Condensed Version of EPA Levels Document (Springfield, Virginia, 


November 1978).





Federal Highway Administration, Office of Highway Operations, 


Demonstration Projects Division; Railroad Crossing Corridor 


Improvements: A Model Program Based on Field Reviews in Six 


States, Richard D. Powers, Report No. FHWA-DP-70, 1986)





Interstate Commerce Commission, "Merger - The Atchison, Topeka 


and Santa Fe Railway Company and Southern Pacific Transportation 


Company," Finance Docket Number 30400 (Springfield, Virginia, 


September 1984).





Interstate Commerce Commission, "Rail Line Construction - 


Manatee County, Florida - Environmental Assessment," Finance 


Docket Number 30482 (Springfield, Virginia, November 6, 1985).





North Central Texas Council of Governments, Transportation and 


Energy Department, "North Central Texas Local Railroad Ordinance 


Survey" (Arlington, Texas, January 1989).





North Central Texas Council of Governments, Transportation and 


Energy Department, Railroad/Roadway Grade Separation Needs 


Assessment:  A Benefit-Cost Ratio Model (Arlington, Texas, 


January 1988).





Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, Rail Planning Program for 


the North Central Texas Region, prepared for the North Central 


Texas Council of Governments (Arlington, Texas, January 1980).





Proceedings 1989 National Conference on Rail-Highway Safety, 


"Selecting the Most Cost Effective Grade Crossing Surface,"


David R. Burns, Railroad Industrial Engineering Consultant





Railroad Commission of Texas, "Visual Obstruction Rule," Texas 


Register 16 TAC Section 5.620, (17 May 1988, 2293-2294).





Texas A & M University, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas 


Rail System Evaluation:  A General Overview of Railroad Safety 


in Texas (College Station, Texas, August 1977).





United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway 


Administration, Railroad - Highway Grade Crossing Handbook 


(Springfield, Virginia, September 1986).








United States Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad 


Administration, Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Material 


Selection Handbook, Florida Department of Transportation, Bureau 


of Value Engineering and University of Florida, Department of 


Civil Engineering, (Tallahassee, Florida, 1984)





United States Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad 


Administration, Summary of the DOT Rail-Highway Crossing 


Resource Allocation Procedure - Revised (Springfield, Virginia, 


June 1987).





United States District Court, The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 


Company vs. City of Piqua, Ohio (Dayton, Ohio, June 30, 1986).





United States District Court, Sisk vs. National Railroad 


Passenger Corporation (Topeka, Kansas, November 12, 1986).





United States Government, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 


Title 49, Part 210.33, Operations Standards (Switch locomotives, 


load cell test stands, car coupling operations, and retards), 


Federal Railroad Administration, (Washington, D.C., October 1, 


1992).





United States Government, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 


Title 49, Part 213.9 except as provided in paragraph (b) and (c) 


of this section and 213.57, 213.59, 213.113 (a), and 213.137 (b) 


and (c), Federal Railroad Administration, (Washington, D.C., 


October 1, 1988).





United States Supreme Court, Southern Pacific Company v. State 


of Arizona (Arizona, June 18, 1945).





2nd International Symposium on Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing 


Research & Safety, Low-Cost Safety Improvements at Rail-Highway 


Crossings, John C. Glennon and James R. Loumiet, (Knoxville, 


Tennesse, December, 1992)








 











 





 








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