Rail Grade Crossing Safety report identifies new project selection model
The safety of road users at Minnesota's 4,000-plus railroad grade crossings has improved in recent decades. In the early 1990s, over 100 automotive crashes per year occurred at rail crossings in Minnesota. Currently, the state records about 45 crahses per year, of which five involve fatalities. MnDOT oversees crossings on all roadways, though only 5 percent of crossings are on state highways.
Investigators created a new model for selecting railroad grade crossings for safety upgrades. The risk-based strategy, adapted from MnDOT's innovative approach to highway safety, allowed MnDOT to create a rail crossing upgrade plan based on risks of injury and death at crossings throughout Minnesota. See Rail Grade Crossing Safety Project Selection report or take a look at the report summary to learn more.
Ask a Trooper: Railroad crossing safety
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Neil Dickenson covers the topic of railroad crossing safety in the International Falls Journal guest column. Read the full story to learn more about how to prevent collisions with trains.
Agencies collaborate to teach public about rail safety in Winona area
At a recent rail safety event, Minnesota Operation Lifesaver, Canadian Pacific, Amtrak, Union Pacific Police and Winona Police worked together to raise awareness of railroad dangers and enhance safety around railroad tracks and crossings.
See videos and coverage of the event by the following media:
Safety improvements, education help bring rail crossing fatalities, crashes down in 2015
Vehicle-train fatalities and crashes at public railroad crossings in 2015 were the second lowest since 1970, according to the Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations’ rail section.
Four people died at railroad crossings in 2015 in three separate crashes, said Tom Gellerman, rail grade crossing data manager. Thirty-two crashes occurred last year with 19 reported injuries. An additional three people were killed in trespassing incidents. Transit crashes are not included in the numbers.
Each year, MnDOT improves safety at grade crossings by installing or upgrading 25 to 30 active warning devices, spending $20 to $30 million annually. Learn more.