In response to increasing concern about railroad grade crossing safety, the Federal Railroad Administration and Department of Transportation issued Safety Advisory 2010-02 recommending in part “...that railroads conduct comprehensive joint inspections of highway traffic signal pre-emption interconnection with State and local highway authorities...” 2010-02 also recommends recording devices at interconnected highway-rail grade crossings.

This paper addresses a method to facilitate these goals by enabling the highway authority to independently verify that rail equipment is functioning properly, and just as importantly, enabling the railroad to independently verify that the highway traffic signal equipment is providing adequate clearance time in advance of the arrival of the train in the crossing. The method involves adding two circuits between the rail equipment and the traffic signal equipment: a crossing island circuit, and a start of the traffic clearance phase indicator from the traffic signal to the rail equipment. This system has been implemented at two intersections in Portland, Oregon, with plans for further implementation.

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