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Do you think all railroad crossings should be replaced with overpasses

  1. Nov 14, 2016 #1
    do you think all railroad crossings should be replaced with overpasses? i do. there are times when emergency vehicles take longer to get to people because they have to wait for a train.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2016 #2


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    It depends on a few factors:

    1) How often are emergency services delayed by rail crossings?
    2) When a delay occurs how severe, on average, are the consequences?
    3) What are the costs associated with building an overpass (financial, legal, social etc)?
    4) What alternative measures exist for bypassing railway crossings and what are their associated costs?

    All of those are going to need some research. Do you know of any studies looking into the problem? It would surprise me if there weren't any, emergency services in my country at least are constantly scrutinised from a statistical standpoint.

    Speculating now I would expect that there is little to no benefit in many cases, perhaps because delays are so rare and consequences so small that the money required to build an overpass would generate a better medical ROI if invested elsewhere (e.g. buying an extra ambulance/patrol car/fire engine/life boat/mountain rescue helicopter).
  4. Nov 14, 2016 #3


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    That would be rather impractical, especially where grade crossing pass close to road/highway intersections. Rather, it would be more practical to dispatch an emergency vehicle from the other side of the tracks.

    Is one referring to urban/suburban areas, or ALL grade crossings?
  5. Nov 14, 2016 #4
    yeah, it would be extremely difficult to replace all railroad crossings. there's so many of them. if a railroad crossing blocks the only entrance to a neighborhood, i think it should be replaced with an overpass.
  6. Nov 14, 2016 #5


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    You're on a science forum remember, "I think" should always be qualified. Have you looked into this and tried to find if there are any studies on the topic?
  7. Nov 14, 2016 #6


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    The main problem with road/rail level crossings is that they create a location where road and rail vehicles are inevitably going to crash into each other . In 200 years of railway development no-one has ever really solved this safety problem .

    Manned gated level crossings as used on the old uk rail system were probably the safest . The signalman did not set the signals allowing trains to pass until he/she had actually closed the gates and checked that there were no road vehicles blocking the line .

    Modern practice on new high speed lines is to eliminate all level crossings and to provide bridges or underpasses for the road traffic .
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  8. Nov 14, 2016 #7


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    Without any statistics, there is no way to discuss this other than meaningless speculation, so thread is closed.
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