Technical Reports

The Use of Illumination of Railroad Grade Crossings to Reduce Collision Risks

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 1995
AUTHOR: Norman Knable
SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems
KEYWORDS: Accident Reduction, Traffic Law, Vehicle Collision
ABSTRACT: An assessment of the requirements for illumination at a railroad grade crossing reveals two principal needs: the need to illuminate the sides of railroad cars by in-place lighting at the crossing so that they can be recognized by a motorist at a stoppable distance, and the need to provide characteristic lighting of the horizontal crossing area for the purpose of forewarning the motorist of the approach to a crossing. This paper examines the problem of determining the illumination required for recognizing railroad cars, and presents recommendations for illumination standards and compliance verification. It includes some designs, using available equipment, which can provide the necessary illumination. It also estimates the cost of lighting installations where electrical power is available and makes some observations on the utility of using stored energy packages where electric power is not available.