Chapter 6: Warning Signals and Devices

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Section 1: Overview

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Introduction

This chapter covers projects involving the installation and upgrading of warning signals and devices used at highway-rail crossings.

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General Guidelines

The Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook, second edition, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, provides general information on highway-rail grade crossing characteristics, and the physical and operational improvements that can be made to enhance safety and operation of both highway and rail traffic over crossing intersections. The guidelines and alternative improvements presented in the handbook have been proven effective and are accepted nationwide.

The Texas Highway-Rail Intersection Field Reference Guide, Research Report 1273-F, dated May 1994, provides further information. Copies are available through TxDOT’s Research and Technology Transfer Office.

The type of warning system to be installed is determined during a site inspection by a diagnostic team as described in Section 6 of this chapter.

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Federal Funding Requirements

All agreements between TxDOT and railroad companies involving federal funds for grade crossing warning signal projects must meet the requirements of the Federal-Aid Policy Guide (FAPG), Title 23, CFR Part 140, Subpart I, and 23 CFR, Part 646, Subpart A & B.

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TRF’s Role

The Traffic Operations Division (TRF) handles all negotiations with the railroad companies and coordinates with the districts for installation of grade crossing warning signals and devices or upgrading of existing signals at grade crossings.

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