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FHWA Home / Safety / HSIP / Recording Devices for Interconnected Grade Crossing and Intersection Signal System

Recording Devices for Interconnected Grade Crossing and Intersection Signal Systems: An Informational Report

Appendix B: Highway Agency and Railroad Questionnaires

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Highway Agency Questionnaire

  1. What is involved in the process for the initial inspection of newly installed locations that have interconnected at grade rail and highway traffic signal control systems? Is there an approved checklist or required procedures that are required to be followed? If so, could you provide a sample of this checklist/test procedure? Is the rail carrier required to be present during initial testing and final deployment?
  2. Does your agency perform regularly scheduled preventative maintenance/testing of these rail / highway traffic control preemption facilities? If so, what are the time intervals that the maintenance/testing are preformed? If testing is performed, is there a written test procedure that the test personnel reference/used to perform the tests? If there are written test procedures, were they jointly co-authored by the railroad or assembled with input from the railroad? Are the results of the testing work recorded and copies maintained for future use?
  3. What, if any, special equipment is specified or installed in such facilities that are used to assist the agency in a preventative maintenance program?
  4. Are there any devices installed in these facilities that record events or system status elements which can be used to assist the agency in a preventative maintenance program? If yes, are these devices now required for all new installations? If yes, could you please provide the amount of use (number of grade crossings in the state versus the amount that have recording capability), the manufacturer and part numbers most commonly used recording devices?
  5. At a regularly scheduled maintenance/testing, what agencies are required to be in attendance? Are these additional agencies required to observe the testing and sign the inspection/test reports (if any)?
  6. Are your facilities remotely monitored? If yes, please describe method and operation of these remote monitoring facilities (example; operation control center, manned 24 hours per day)?
  7. Can you provide a description or standard plans that your state uses for the interconnection between rail and highway traffic signal control systems? (For example, two conductor, normally closed circuit activation)?
  8. Do any of your facilities currently have (or in the future may have) standby battery back-up systems to support critical functions within the facilities? If yes, is both the railroad and highway traffic signal control preemption circuitry supported by this electrical power back-up system?
  9. In addition to a rail preemption circuit, is there any other information/data currently being exchanged between rail and highway traffic signal control facilities at the field level?
  10. Does your agency have any future plans for modifying how rail and highway traffic signal control facilities are interconnected?

Railroad Questionnaire

Testing Procedure Questions

  1. Can you please provide your grade crossing test procedures?
  2. Can you describe your formal process for the initial inspection of newly upgraded or installed interconnected grade crossings that have railroad preemption systems? Is there an approved checklist or required procedures that are required to be followed? If so, could you provide a sample of this checklist/test procedure? Is the highway authority required to be present during initial testing and final deployment?
  3. Does the railroad's written test procedure for grade crossings include a specific test procedure for those crossings with preemption? Does the test procedure vary by state?
  4. Does the railroad perform regularly scheduled testing of traffic preemption beyond what is required by 49 CFR 234.261? How often is the test performed?
  5. Are there any states in which your railroad performs a joint inspection of the traffic preemption with the highway authority? If so, at what intervals does this occur? Do both parties sign off on the inspection?
  6. What percentage of your grade crossings is remotely monitored? If so, please describe the monitoring method.

Preemption Design Questions

  1. Beyond AREMA standards, does your railroad have standard designs or practices for preemption circuits, including standard cable sizes? If so, can you provide samples?
  2. Other than the preemption request circuit, is any information currently exchanged between the grade crossing controller and the traffic signal controller?

Event Recorder Questions

  1. How many grade crossings on your railroad are equipped with event recorders?
  2. What models of event recorders are currently installed at your grade crossings, and how many of each model are in service? Are event recorders required for all upgraded or new grade crossing installations? Are these event recorders standalone devices or integrated into another device, such as a predictor or controller? Can you provide manufacturers and models of event recorders currently being installed at upgraded and new installations?
  3. What specific alarms and inputs/outputs do you normally record at crossings? Do you record alarms and inputs/outputs relating to preemption?
  4. Are these recording devices used to assist in testing and monitoring of the grade crossing and preemption?
  5. How long is event recorder information stored? Is it regularly transmitted to a control center or downloaded by field personnel, or is it only utilized if an incident occurs? Is there a procedure that personnel follow in the handling of this data? If field personnel download data, how often is this done? Is it part of the maintainer's monthly/quarterly/yearly tests?

Policy Questions

  1. Do you have any concerns in the development of a joint preemption test with the highway authority?
  2. What requirements would you like to see as part of a joint preemption test?
  3. Would you consider a device that would perform a self-test of the preemption? If so, at what interval do you feel self-tests should occur?
Page last modified on October 15, 2014.
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