Technical Reports

Effect of an Active Another Train Coming Warning System on Pedestrian Behavior at a Highway-Rail Grade Crossing

  • 16
  • Jul
  • 2014
AUTHOR: Scott H. Gabree, Ph.D. and Marco daSilva
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-14/21
SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems, Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, Human Factors, Signal and Train Control
KEYWORDS: highway-rail, grade crossing, pedestrian behavior; second train, violations, enhancement, safety, Train Activations
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was interested in evaluating a type of grade crossing safety enhancement which alerts pedestrians at the crossing to the presence of a second train. The system chosen for this analysis, known as an Another Train Coming Warning System (ATCWS), consists of signage and an accompanying aural alert which is activated by the presence of multiple trains during gate activation. The ATCWS was installed at a crossing in Garfield, NJ, to assess the impacts of such a warning system on pedestrian behaviors during gate activations with multiple trains. Pedestrian violations were therefore tracked before and after the installation of the ATCWS. No difference was found in the number of violators during a second train activation before and after the installation of the ATCWS. However, small sample sizes and extreme weather during the data collection period indicate that further testing is necessary before strong conclusions about the effects of an ATCWS can be reached.

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