Effectiveness of Mitigation Methods and Signage in Reducing Railway Trespassing Events

Railroad right-of-way trespassing is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in the United States. Previous literature proposes that accidental and intentional trespassing events are highly preventable and various engineering, education, and enforcement countermeasures have been implemented. However, these pedestrian-train collisions continue to occur, suggesting benefits could be realized from further analysis of public perceptions relating to railroad rights-of-way. The overall goal of this project is to identify gaps in knowledge between public perception and mitigation methods used to minimize railroad right-of-way trespassing. This will be accomplished by (1) Synthesizing current methods utilized to prevent railroad right-of-way trespassing; (2) Identifying public perceptions of safe and permissible railroad right-of-way crossing behaviors; and (3) Evaluating comprehension of messaging on signs relating to railroad right-of-way trespassing prevention. A literature review will be conducted to compile a list of countermeasures, which will be used to inform the development of a survey. The survey will capture how road users interpret messaging/mitigation methods at their location under various contexts, and how the use of these countermeasures may divert behavior to more unsafe actions in other locations. The results of this study will better inform efforts to mitigate railroad right-of-way trespassing, and as a result, improve safety.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $33000
  • 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:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Colorado State University

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Campus Delivery 1372
    Fort Collins, CO  United States  80523
  • Principal Investigators:

    Miller, Erika

  • Start Date: 20211217
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-681

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01832692
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 18 2022 4:36PM