Developing a Safety Management System Including Hazardous Materials for Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (HRGC) in Region VII

Collisions between highway vehicles and trains have been one of the greatest sources of injuries and fatalities in the railroad industry. At highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs), accidents tend to be more severe compared to accidents reported at non-HRGC locations. HRGCs continue to be of major concern despite an ever-increasing focus on improved design and engineering practices. The project will start with preparing a comprehensive data base. Specifically, the data will include (1) HRGC crash with specific coordinates, (2) HRGC inventory data, (3) traffic operations data, and (4) freight volume data from both a railroad and a highway perspectives. These data will be obtained from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the four state Department of Transportation (DOTs), i.e., Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, and the Class 1 railroads operating in Region VII. Second, prediction models for HRGC crashes using both traditional deterministic models (the current practice) and the stochastic machine learning models will be calibrated and validated. This study will include estimating the risk of hazardous materials being released into the surrounding areas as a result of a crash. Finally, a prototype HRGC safety management system (SMS) will be developed. The prototype will be tested using Nebraska’s crash data and first implemented for Nebraska. The prototype SMS structure will be designed so that it can be adopted readily by state DOTs in Region VII and across the United States. The benefits of this project will be to improve the quality of the information provided to decision-makers and enhance the statewide safety management of HRGCs. In particular, the development of SMS can assist HRGC managers in taking proactive, instead of reactive, actions to risk situations they face. It will also allow Emergency Management System personnel to understand the risk of HRGC crashes and associated risk of hazardous goods releases in their jurisdictions.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $217,792
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Mid-America Transportation Center

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln
      2200 Vine Street, PO Box 830851
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0851
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Nebraska, Lincoln

      1400 R Street
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68588
    • Principal Investigators:

      Zhao, Li

      Khattak, Aemal

    • Start Date: 20200901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220228
    • Actual Completion Date: 20220228
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
    • Source Data: RiP Project 91994-75

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01766147
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747107
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 26 2021 11:27AM