Evaluation of Grade Crossing Hazard Ranking Models

Grade crossing safety is one of the primary missions of the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC). 55% of Ohio's 5,800 public grade crossings are now equipped with modern lights and gates, and a total of 115 grade crossings have been closed since the year 2000. In Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, a total of $47.7 million was invested in 153 safety projects throughout the state. As a result, grade crossing accidents, fatalities, and injuries have been reduced to a record 10-year low, through 2012. The State of Ohio has for many years been using the FRA/Ohio Formula to develop a hazard ranking index for all Ohio public crossings, which serves as the basis for selecting most of Ohio's active warning device projects. This index is supplemented by an in-field diagnostic review to assess grade crossings. As ORDC continues to move forward with crossing upgrades, the project selection process has become more nuanced. The FRA/Ohio Formula provides one perspective in making safety investments, but the need for additional project selection resources has become apparent. The goal of the project is to provide a better understanding of the hazard ranking formulas currently in use. The selected project consultant will conduct a preliminary overview of hazard ranking formulas, identifying and reviewing the most commonly used formulas. This will include an investigation into Ohio's current use of the FRA/Ohio Formula as well as Ohio's current grade crossing programs and issues. ORDC, in conjunction with Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, will then select a list of hazard ranking methodologies for additional consideration. This will include a combination of survey documents and interviews with practitioners of other formulas. This, along with a detailed evaluation of the selected formulas, will help ORDC determine what data is needed to effectively operate each formula, the availability of required data, and the effort required to gather additional data. This project will increase knowledge of the available crossing hazard ranking methodologies, which benefits the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) by enhancing safety and providing additional resources to guide project selection. ORDC seeks to continue the downward trend of railroad crossing accidents. Though accidents are at an all-time low, nearly 3,000 crossings in the State lack active warning devices. Additional hazard ranking resources, supplemented by field reviews, will help ensure that wisely chosen safety interventions continue to occur at the State's most hazardous crossings.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Ohio University, Athens

      Athens, OH  United States  45701
    • Project Managers:

      Burns, Tom

    • Principal Investigators:

      Sperry, Benjamin

    • Start Date: 20150715
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20160515
    • Source Data: RiP Project 40074

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01570214
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: 27180, 135243
    • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jul 21 2015 1:00AM