At grade crossing evaluation for city of Lafayette : Indiana high speed rail project

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Park, Joo-Hyun
Parker, Francis H. (Francis Haywood), 1938-
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Thesis (M.U.R.P.)
Department of Urban Planning
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According to federal safety regulations, high-speed rail operations on Indiana corridors could eventually result in train speeds up to 110 mph. In creating a high-speed rail corridor in a growing state such as Indiana, a greater exposure of vehicles to trains and higher train speeds will impact safety.In the City of Lafayette, Indiana, there are nine public and eight private at grade crossings, and technical improvement of the grade crossings is expected to adapt high speed passenger rail without rerouting the existing passenger railroad and building a new train station. The purpose of this paper is to define current grade crossing warning systems and safety measures, and prepare improvement of the nine public grade crossings and eight private crossings in Lafayette area for high speed rail, while reducing the risk to both rail and highway users.This study develops a risk-based approach for assessing the implications of higher train speeds on highway-railroad grade crossing safety to best reduce this risk. While it is reasonable to assume that increasing train speed at any individual crossing will increase the risk to train and highway vehicle occupants, the magnitude of this increase, especially relative to the risk at other crossings, is less clear. With limited resources to apply to grade crossing improvements, it is important that the available funds be spent where they will do the most good. This analysis shows where opportunities for greatest improvements are located.