Railway Highway Crossing Program Resources
Federal Aid Essentials video describing the Section 130 – Rail Highway Crossings Program (5:46) including an overview of requirements that State DOTs and local agencies must follow when utilizing Section 130 funds. Additional videos on the Federal-Aid Highway Program and a variety of project requirements can be found at the FHWA Federal Aid Essentials Video Library.
Highway-Rail Crossing Handbook, Third Edition [HTML] [PDF, 19.5 MB] (FHWA and FRA, 2019) –
The Highway-Rail Crossing Handbook, Third Edition is an information resource on prevalent and noteworthy practices as well as adopted standards relative to highway-rail grade crossings. The Handbook provides general information on highway-rail crossings, characteristics of the crossing environment and users, and physical and operational changes that can be made at crossings to enhance the safety and operation of both highway and rail traffic at crossings. This Handbook supersedes the Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook–Revised Second Edition published in August 2007. The Third Edition includes a compendium of materials that were included in the previous version, supplemented with new information and applicable regulations at the time of the update. The Handbook also supersedes the Guidance on Traffic Control Devices at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (USDOT, 2002) as it has been incorporated into the Handbook.
Railway-Highway Crossings Program Stakeholder Input Summary (FHWA, 2020) – This study of the Section 130 program assesses nationwide crash trends over a 10-year period and gathers input from a sample of Section 130 stakeholders regarding their experience with program requirements.
Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Action Plan and Project Prioritization Noteworthy Practices (FHWA, 2016) – State highway-rail grade crossing action plans identify specific solutions for improving safety at crossings; focus on crossings that have experienced multiple accidents or at high risk for such accidents; and cover a five-year time period. FHWA and FRA developed this model grade crossing action plan for States that wish to update existing State Action Plans or develop a new State Action Plan to address grade crossing safety.
BIL Railway Highway Crossing Program Fact Sheet (FHWA) – This resource provides a high-level overview of the Railway-Highway Crossings Program provisions under the BIL. Jan 2022
Highway/Rail Grade Crossings Information Resource Center (TRB, ongoing) – This website provides a gateway to information and resources pertaining to the safety and other affected characteristics (including economic considerations, traffic flow and delay, and countermeasures) of both highway and rail traffic at points where they intersect at grade, including the proximate surrounding environment such as rail transit facilities.
Recording Devices for Interconnected Grade Crossing and Intersection Signal Systems: An Informational Report (FHWA, 2012) – This resource provides technical information to assist highway agencies and railroads with integrating effective event recording devices within interconnected/preempted highway-rail grade crossing signal systems. It is intended for those agencies installing new systems as well as those retrofitting existing systems.
Driver Behavior at Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings: A Literature Review from 1990-2006 (FRA, 2008) – This document reviews research addressing driver behavior at highway-railroad grade crossings to understand decisions and actions at these crossings to develop better countermeasures to discourage dangerous driving behavior. Updates 1990 literature review Driver Behavior at Rail-Highway Crossings.
Compilation of State Laws and Regulations Affecting Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (FRA, 2014) – This resource provides overview of various State laws and regulations concerning every aspect of the regulation of highway-rail grade crossings and driver behavior at those crossings. It covers all fifty States and the District of Columbia.
FHWA-FRA Joint Webinar Series
View recordings of the previous webinars:
- June 20, 2017 on State Action Plans and the Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Action Plan and Project Prioritization Noteworthy Practices guide (1:13) [Note: if using Microsoft Internet Explorer and file is blocked by the system administrator, save file to computer or open using another browser.]
- October 18, 2017 on Grade Crossing Inventory reporting requirements, inventory systems and data. Due to technological difficulties, audio was not available but script can be read in Closed Captioning. (1:15)
- January 25, 2018 on the Section 130 Program including Federal overview and two State DOT programs. (1:31)
- April 25, 2018 for a demonstration of FRA's GXDash! Collision Dashboard and overview of the FHWA MUTCD Part 8 and ENS (Emergency Notification System) Signs. (1:23)
- July 26, 2018 on Pedestrian Crossing Treatments (1:30)
- November 1, 2018 on Quiet Zones (1:24)
- January 30, 2019 on Agency Coordination (1:20)
- April 17, 2019 on Autonomous and Connected Vehicles at Rail Crossings (0:58)
- July 17, 2019 on Blocked Crossings (1:18)
- January 22, 2020 on Rail Crossing Safety Education Programs and Outreach Efforts (1:00)
- April 1, 2020 on State Action Plans. Closed Captioning was not available but please download a transcript here. (1:29) [Transcript, 263 KB]
- July 29, 2020 on Innovation Technology (1:25)
- October 14, 2020 on Interconnection and the OH experience. Due to technological difficulties, audio is not available and Closed Captioning is not available for first 18 minutes. Script can be read in Closed Captioning at that point. (1:15)
- February 3, 2021 on Interconnection and Connectivity
- June 23, 2021 on Federal Funding Resources for Railway Highway Projects (1:06)
- October 20, 2021 Noteworthy Rail Researching Projects and Practices joint webinar
- March 16, 2022 Rail Highway Crossing Technical Analysis
- July 20, 2022 Updated Railway-Highway Crossings Program (RHCP) Guidance under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
- October 19, 2022 on Rail Crossing Assessment Programs and Diagnostic Reviews
- March 7, 2023 on Rail Highway Crossing Federal Funding and Positive Train Control
- August 9, 2023 on Rail Crossing Maintenance Agreements
State and local agencies are implementing data-driven practices to successfully address highway-railway crossing safety planning, implementation, and evaluation challenges. These noteworthy practices can help streamline project development and implementation, improve coordination with rail partners, and utilize funding effectively – with the goal of reducing roadway fatalities and serious injuries. Flyers on case studies highlighting these noteworthy practices can be downloaded here:
- Improving Pedestrian Rail-Crossing Safety with Hinged Pedestrian Gate Skirts
- Collaboration to Effectively Implement Railroad Crossing Safety Projects: Success Stories from Nevada and Louisiana
- State Programs Fund Rail Crossing Safety Improvements
- Education Efforts to Reduce Railway Fatalities: An Abundance of Innovative Resources and Ideas
- Diagnostic Reviews for Rail-Highway Crossings: Effective Partnering in California
- Using Traveler Information to Mitigate Blocked Rail-Highway Crossings: Local Approaches to Signing Lead to Success
- Empowering the Community to Achieve Consensus: Rail Corridor Crossing Consolidation and Safety Improvement Project in Missouri
The FHWA Office of Safety is collecting and making these practices available in the Roadway Safety Noteworthy Practices Database. For more information, visit the Safety Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building website.
- FHWA Freight Management and Operations Program
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
- U.S. House of Representatives, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Railroads
- U.S. Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Surface Transportation Subcommittee
Rail-Highway Stakeholder Groups
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
- American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association
- American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
- Association of American Railroads
- Operation Lifesaver