This research reviewed effective sighting distances at stop sign controlled level crossings. The project collected and analysed data that assessed both the sighting distance at which a train is first identifiable, and an estimation of the rate of approach (i.e. speed), in order to make an informed decision regarding whether it would be safe to proceed across the level crossing.
The findings from this research have now been adopted into the Australian Standard to ensure trains can be detected early enough, whichever vehicle you drive.
Originally published in Track & Signal May 2017. Written by John Anderson, Chairman of ACRI (above).
Picture this: You are stopped in a car at a stop sign at a level crossing. You have a long sight line and you see a train way off in the distance. It is moving, but it is not going at huge speed. So you put the car in gear and cross. You get across the track safely and some moments later the train crosses behind you. All well and good.
Now picture this. You are driving a B-double and you are stopped at the same stop sign. You can see 1.4 kms up the track. That is a long way, you think. You see a train that far away. It is moving. You think it is doing maybe 100km/h or 110km/h. So you move across.
In fact the train is doing 140km/h, as quite a few trains do. It is going to take just 6 seconds for that train to reach the crossing. Is there going to be enough time to get that B-double across the track safely?
Funding / Grants
- Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation
- Larue, Gregoire S., Filtness, Ashleigh, Wood, Joanne, Demmel, Sebastien, Naweed, Anjum, & Rakotonirainy, Andry (2016) Visual performance at passive level crossings with long sighting distances. In CORE2016: Conference on Railway Excellence, 16-18 May 2016, Melbourne, Vic.
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- Larue, Gregoire S., Filtness, Ashleigh J., Wood, Joanne M., Demmel, Sebastien, Watling, Christopher N., Naweed, Anjum, & Rakotonirainy, Andry (2018) Is it safe to cross? Identification of trains and their approach speed at level crossings. Safety Science, 103(1), pp. 33-42.
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