WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a new report on community impacts when highway-rail grade crossings are blocked by standing or slow-moving freight trains.
The study found that in addition to general motorist inconvenience or impediment of commercial activities, the most serious consequence of blocked crossings is when emergency response vehicles are hindered in trying to reach victims of medical emergencies.
The report describes why crossings may be blocked by trains as well as a wide range of solutions currently used by communities and railroads to alleviate such bottlenecks. It also emphasizes the critical importance of railroads and affected communities working cooperatively to remedy recurring blocked crossing situations and notes the FRA’s willingness to aid their efforts, as needed.
The report was required by SAFETEA-LU and can be found at http://railfanning.org/library/reports/blocked_crossings_emergency_response.pdf.