FRA grade-crossing workshop to help prioritize research needs

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is planning a workshop this summer to tackle a critical rail safety element: grade crossings.

The FRA’s Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety workshop will be held Aug. 15-17 at the Westin Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. FRA says the workshop “will bring together national and international subject matter experts to identify and prioritize specific research needs related to highway-rail grade crossing safety.”

The planned agenda will cover five areas including engineering/technologies, enforcement, community outreach/education, hazard management and human factors. FRA anticipates attendees from federal, state and local governments, as well as railroad, labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations and consultants.

Workshop participants will identify and share existing industry best practices and explore new grade-crossing abatement and mitigation strategies that the rail industry can adopt to reduce the number of grade-crossing incidents and fatalities.

The workshop format will consist of presentations for each topic area followed by attendees participating in breakout sessions to further discuss research needs from their varied perspectives. The ideas generated in these breakout sessions will be shared with the entire group of attendees in a wrap-up session. Results will be documented in a published report available on the FRA website.

FRA says the workshop continues the conversation had at the 2009 Research Needs Workshop for Highway-Rail Grade Crossings and Trespass. The report from the 2009 conference, Third Research Need Workshop on Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention: Volume I – Summary of Results, can be found here.

More information on the August workshop including registration information is available through the FRA’s website.

Categories: C&S, Class 1, Commuter/Regional, Intercity, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training, Shortline/Regional, Yards & Terminals