TS-51 Improving Safety of Railroad Crossings & Light Rail Systems (online)

Please Note:   This is an online class

Class Information

Instructor Information

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CEUs:  CEUs: 0.40


This course grants 0.4 CEUs and 4.0 CMs. (AICP CMs pending approval)


This online course takes a look at recent studies on how to improve safety at railroad highway crossings and reduce vehicle-train collisions. The first session will also focus on motorized users, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists who have to cross highway rail crossings on a regular basis. Information will be shared from recent publications including the Highway Rail Crossing Handbook Third Edition and presentations on railroad corridors where speakers from the railroad industry, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) addressed railroad crossing safety and discussed some of the topics listed in the course outline. The second session will focus on light rail systems and their impacts on the operation of streets that they have to cross or share with other motorized traffic. The course will address how best to blend motorized and train traffic as well as handle pedestrians that cross light rail tracks on a regular basis so as to minimize conflicts and collisions. The presentation will be updated to include information from the Highway Rail Crossing Handbook Third Edition where it specifically addresses light rail operations.

Click here for a detailed outline.

Topics Include

  • Current data on fatalities at Highway Rail Crossings
  • Driver behavior at railroad crossings, especially blocked crossings
  • Benefits from conducting rail crossings diagnostics
  • Updates from the Highway Rail Crossing Handbook Third Edition
  • Proven treatments for reducing crashes at rail crossings
  • Rail preemption sequence and timing of traffic signals
  • Design of pedestrian and bicycle crossings across train tracks
  • Highway rail crossing requirements of the CA MUTCD
  • Examples of light rail alignments and configurations
  • Relevant Light Rail Updates from the Highway Rail Crossing Handbook Third Edition
  • Pros and cons of the various light rail alignment and configuration options
  • Light rail station location, access, and other considerations
  • Impact of light rail on street operations and crash patterns
  • Treatments for pedestrian and bicycle crossings in light rail systems
  • Light rail operations at roundabouts
  • Light rail operations at Diverging Diamond interchanges

What you will learn

Students will obtain a rich source of technical information to help them select appropriate safety improvement options and make better decisions about how to reduce collisions at railroad-highway grade crossings and light rail systems that operate on public streets in non-exclusive rights of way.

Who should attend

This course is intended for planners, engineers, and public safety personnel in municipal, county, and state agencies with responsibility for the design and operation of traffic control devices at or near railroad highway crossings as well as light rail systems that operate on public streets which are shared with other road users. Certified planners who need AICP CM credits will be awarded 4.0 credits for this online training course. Return to Course Listing

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