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Improved Railway Road Design for Heavy Vehicles

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Publication no: AP-R549-17 Pages: 86
Published: 22 August 2017


This report identifies road design improvements to better cater for the safe passage of heavy vehicles through railway level crossings.

Crashes involving heavy vehicles have been identified as a major safety issue in Australia and New Zealand with the volume of heavy vehicles expected to significantly increase over the next five to 10 years.

An analysis of heavy vehicle crashes at railway level crossings across Australia and New Zealand found that many locations did not have warning signs installed to the standards at the time of the crash, sight distances for approaching vehicle drivers were obstructed by development on abutting properties or vegetation, and delineation was poorly maintained.

Several opportunities for improvements were identified, principally to guidance on applying the sight lines and sight distances for a range of approaches, particularly on curved roads. Other improvements suggested include the addition of a short stacking warning sign and improving delineation by having all road approaches sealed to enable pavement markings, such as RAIL X and edgelines.


Table of Contents

Summary
Contents
1. Introduction
2. Literature Review
  • 2.1 Crash History
  • 2.2 Traffic Controls
  • 2.2.1 Australia
  • 2.2.2 New Zealand
  • 2.2.3 United State of America
  • 2.2.4 United Kingdom
  • 2.3 Heavy Vehicle Acceleration and Deceleration
  • 2.4 Assessment Modelling
  • 2.5 Key Findings
3. Road Design Guidance
  • 3.1 Standards Australia
  • 3.1.1 Vehicle Types
  • 3.1.2 Sight Distance
  • 3.1.3 Curved Approaches
  • 3.1.4 Road/Rail Proximity
  • 3.1.5 Vehicle Parameters
  • 3.1.6 Warning Signs
  • 3.1.7 Pavement Markings
  • 3.2 Austroads Guide to Road Design Part 4
  • 3.2.1 Sight Distance
  • 3.2.2 Road/Rail Alignments
  • 3.2.3 Curved Approaches
  • 3.3 New Zealand
  • 3.3.1 Sight Distance
  • 3.4 Austroads Guide to Traffic Management Part 6: Intersections, Interchanges and Crossings
  • Traffic travelling toward a road intersection
  • Turning traffic from a road intersection
  • 3.5 Key Findings
4. Crashes at Level Crossings
  • 4.1 Level Crossings
  • 4.2 Crash Trends
  • Heavy vehicle railway level crossing crashes
  • Trends in heavy vehicle crashes
  • 4.3 Crash Analyses Case Studies
  • 4.3.1 Victoria
  • 4.3.2 New Zealand
  • 4.3.3 Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model (ALCAM) Data
  • 4.3.4 Australian Transport Safety Bureau Rail Safety Investigation Reports
  • 4.4 Conclusions
5. Site Investigations
  • 5.1 Sites for Analysis
  • 5.2 Site Analysis
  • 5.3 Key Findings
  • 5.3.1 Sight Distance
  • 5.3.2 Intersection Angle
  • 5.3.3 Curved Approaches
  • 5.3.4 Road/Railway Proximity
  • 5.3.5 Warning Signs
  • 5.3.6 Delineation
  • 5.3.7 Signal Operation
6. Remedial Design Treatments
  • 6.1 Design Treatments
  • 6.1.1 Control Device Selection
  • 6.1.2 Sight Distance
  • 6.1.3 Reducing Approach Vehicle Speeds
  • 6.1.4 Road/Railway Intersection Angle
  • 6.1.5 Speed on Curved Unsealed Pavement Approaches
  • 6.1.6 Road/railway Proximity
  • 6.1.7 Advance Warning Signs
  • 6.2 Other Treatments
  • 6.2.1 Signal Operation
  • 6.2.2 Sealing Approaches and Delineation
  • 6.2.3 Train-Activated Warning Signs
  • 6.2.4 Rumble Strips
  • 6.2.5 Maintenance Programs
  • 6.2.6 Communication Systems
  • 6.3 Conclusions
7. Suggested Amendments to Standards and Guides
  • 7.1 AS 1742.7:2016
  • 7.1.1 Control Device Selection
  • 7.1.2 Curved Approaches
  • 7.1.3 Sight Distance
  • 7.1.4 Design Vehicle
  • 7.1.5 Road/railway Proximity
  • 7.1.6 Warning Signs
  • 7.1.7 Sealing Road Approaches and Providing Delineation
  • 7.2 Guide to Road Design Part 4
  • 7.2.1 Sight Lines
  • 7.2.2 Road/rail Proximity
  • 7.2.3 Design Vehicle
  • 7.2.4 Sealing Road Approaches and Delineation
  • 7.3 Other Improvements
  • 7.3.1 Management and Operations
References
Appendix A ALCAM Variables
  • A.1 ALCAM Risk Score
  • A.2 Characteristics
  • A.3 Mechanisms
  • A.4 Controls
  • A.5 Likelihood Factor, Exposure and Consequence Factor
Appendix B Australian Transport Safety Bureau Report Summary
  • B.1 Table of Contents for One Incident Report
  • B.2 Summary from Incident Report
  • B.2.1 What Happened
  • B.2.2 What the ATSB Found
  • B.2.3 What's Been Done as a Result
  • B.2.4 Safety Message
Appendix C Site Investigation Details
  • C.1 Site 1: Salisbury Interchange on Park Crescent, Salisbury, SA
  • C.2 Site 2: Salesyard Road, Benalla, Vic.
  • C.3 Site 3: Fountain Head Road, Ban Ban Springs, NT
  • C.4 Site 4: Barpinda-Poorneet Road, Wingeel, Vic.
  • C.5 Site 5: Olympic Highway, Illabo, NSW
  • C.6 Site 6: Quarry Road, near Darwin, NT
  • C.7 Site 7: Magpie Drive, Tailem Bend, SA
  • C.8 Site 8: Lismore-Skipton Road, Lismore, Vic.
  • C.9 Site 9: Murray Valley Highway, near Kerang
  • C.10 Site 10: Tallabung-Back Creek Road, near Forbes, NSW
  • C.11 Site 11: Moloney Road, Virginia, SA
  • C.12 Site 12: Stirling Street, Birkenhead, SA
  • C.13 Site 13: Aerodrome Road, Mundoo, Qld
  • C.14 Site 14: Pettavel Road, Mount Moriac, Vic.
  • C.15 Site 15: Rileys Road, Woodvale, Vic.
  • C.16 Site 16: Tullamore-Narromine Road, Narromine, NSW

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