The main objective of this research is to reduce the number of crashes between vehicles and trains at low-volume passive highway-rail at grade crossings by developing a revised safety index and warrants for active warning devices in the state of Texas. The research is focused only on low-volume crossings because most high-volume crossings in the state of Texas have already received improvements in terms of traffic control devices as the existing Texas priority index prioritizes high-volume crossings.
This technical paper will describe and provide the most up-to-date preliminary results for warrants of the first year study in a two year Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) 0-6642 project called “Developing Warrants for Active Warning Devices at Low-Volume Highway-Rail Grade Crossings.” In order to prioritize the crossings that meet warrants a priority index should be used. The current Texas priority index places more emphasis on high-volume crossings with crash history and it doesn’t include several important variables. In order to address the issues of the current Texas priority index a new Texas Passive Crossing Index was developed based on a different concept — instead of using numeric thresholds, cumulative percentiles of the relevant variables are used.