App aims to improve grade crossing safety

Written by Mary Beth Luczack, Executive Editor, Railway Age
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Elmwood Park, Ill., is looking to build an underpass at Grand Avenue to eliminate a dangerous grade crossing.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

Transportation technology firm TRAINFO has introduced an app that provides drivers with predictive highway-rail grade crossing blockage information so they can avoid traffic delays and safely approach crossings.

TRAINFO technology shares “when, where, and for how long a crossing will be blocked up to 30 minutes before the blockage occurs,” according to the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company. This information can also be integrated into roadside signs, traffic signal management systems and emergency dispatch software.

“Nearly 60% of collisions are at rail crossings already equipped with flashing lights, bells and gates, and 25% are caused by impatient drivers violating these warning devices,” Co-founder and CEO Garreth Rempel said. “At TRAINFO, we believe new technologies, such as this app, are urgently needed to save lives.”

The app is available for beta-testing this month.

As part of a new research project, FRA’s Office of Research Development & Technology (RD&T) has contracted TRAINFO to develop a model to identify the risk of first responders being exposed to active rail crossings and to quantify benefits of live rail crossing data in the overall emergency response process.

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