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(Redirected to Level crossing article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Belgian level crossing sign
A level crossing at Chertsey, England, as the barriers rise
A level crossing with flashing lights but no barriers on the Tyne and Wear Metro, England
A level crossing with a stop sign on the Mariazellerbahn, a single track narrow gauge railway to Mariazell, Austria
A level crossing on China National Highway 109 in Beijing, China
A level crossing in Vancouver, BC where there are trolley wires above the roadway
An automatic level crossing in France, with half-barriers, flashing lights and a bell
A level crossing at Diemen railway station in the Netherlands. Trains run on the right, and the platforms are after the crossing in each direction.
A rural level crossing in Western Australia.
A manually operated level crossing in India
A Finnish railroad crossing at Järilä, Kokemäki
Level crossing with rising barriers in Tashkent.Uzbekistan
A level crossing sign on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (a 15" narrow gauge heritage railway) at St Mary's Bay railway station, UK
British Rail sign at Manor Road railway station in Hoylake, United Kingdom, indicating dangers of misusing crossing and the financial penalty for not protecting it after use
A level crossing located on Great Eastern Highway in Western Australia.

Level crossing (also called a railroad crossing, road through railroad, train crossing or grade crossing) is a crossing on one level ("at-grade intersection") — without recourse to a bridge or tunnel — of a railway line by a road or path. The term also applies when a light rail line with separate right-of-way (or a reserved track tramway) crosses a road.



Early level crossings had a flagman in a nearby booth who would, on the approach of a train, wave a red flag or lantern to stop all traffic and clear the tracks. Manual or electrical closable gates that barricaded the roadway were later introduced. The gates were intended to be a complete barrier against intrusion of any road traffic onto the railway. In the early days of the railways much road traffic was horsedrawn or included livestock. It was thus necessary to provide a real barrier. Thus, crossing gates, when closed to road traffic, crossed the entire width of the road. When opened to allow road users to cross the line, the gates were swung across the width of the railway, preventing any pedestrians or animals getting onto the line. The first U.S. patent for such crossing gates was awarded on 27 August 1867, to J. Nason and J. F. Wilson, both of Boston.[1]

With the appearance of motor vehicles, this barrier became less effective and the need for a barrier to livestock diminished dramatically. Many countries therefore substituted the gated crossings with weaker but more highly visible barriers and relied upon road users following the associated warning signals to stop.

In many countries, level crossings on less important roads and railway lines are often "open" or "uncontrolled", sometimes with warning lights or bells to warn of approaching trains. Ungated crossings represent a safety concern; many accidents have occurred due to failure to notice or obey the warning. Railways in the United States are adding reflectors to the side of each train car to help prevent accidents at level crossings. In some countries, such as Ireland, instead of an open crossing there may be manually operated gates, which the motorist must open and close. These too have significant risks, as they are unsafe to use without possessing a knowledge of the train timetable: motorists may be instructed to telephone the railway signaller, but may not always do so.

The director of rail safety at the UK HM Railway Inspectorate commented in 2004 that "the use of level crossings contributes the greatest potential for catastrophic risk on the railways." Eighteen people were killed in the UK on level crossings in 2003-4. Bridges and tunnels are now favoured, but this can be impractical in flat countryside where there is insufficient space to build a roadway embankment or tunnel (because of nearby buildings).

At railway stations, a pedestrian level crossing is sometimes provided to allow passengers to reach other platforms in the absence of an underpass or bridge.

Where third rail systems have level crossings, there is a gap in the third rail over the level crossing, but the power supply is not interrupted since trains have current collectors on multiple cars.

Crossings around the world



Australian railways generally follow United States practices, and they have increasingly been employing American-made crossing warning equipment, such as grade crossing predictors, which are able to provide a consistent amount of warning time for trains of widely varying speeds.

One recent innovation in Australia is to provide crossbucks with a pair of flashing yellow lights at a distance from the level crossing itself, particularly where there are curves and visibility problems.

In Melbourne, Australia, there are several level crossings where electrified train tracks cross roads with electrified tram tracks. These crossings are fitted with equipment to change the voltage supplied to the overhead wiring depending on the vehicle using the crossing at that point in time. Trains are severely speed-limited across these intersections.

Although all cases where a train line crosses a road are level crossings whether or not they are signed, a tram track in its own right of way crossing a road can also be a level crossing if it is signed with a crossbuck which can read either "TRAM WAY CROSSING" or "RAIL WAY CROSSING". Otherwise, it is a regular intersection and usually has either traffic lights or a give way sign facing the road.


At a level crossing, any overhead electric power cables must also cross. This led to a conflict where a mainline railway that crossed one of the country's once extensive interurban tramlines (vicinal or buurtspoorweg) was electrified. In at least one location, this led to the tram overhead being dismantled.

Automatic Level crossings in Belgium have two red lights, an amber light and sometimes barriers. However, the amber flashes for a second every certain number of seconds just to inform drivers and pedestrians that they don't need to check if a train is coming, if the amber light is absent you proceed at your own risk.


Grade crossing protection practices in Canada are virtually identical to those in the United States (see below) using the same alternating flashing red lights and gate arms. The only significant differences are the crossbucks, which have no wording but are white with a red outline, and the advance-warning sign, which is a yellow diamond shape with a diagram of a track crossing a straight segment of road (similar to a crossroads sign, except that the horizontal road is replaced by a track). Before changes in regulations mandated bilingual (English and French) or no-wording signs, crossbucks were nearly identical to those in the States, except that they read "Railway Crossing" instead of "Railroad Crossing." The red lights also flash a little faster than in the United States.


The cable-hauled section of the tramway up the hill from Trieste to Opicina has an interesting level crossing with a minor road at midpoint. As well as the rails, people crossing have to step or drive over two haulage cables, separated by wooden planking.

New Zealand

There are 1400 public road level crossings in New Zealand. Half of the crossings are equipped with flashing red lights and bells, with the most major having half barriers. The remainder are controlled by stop and give way signs.[2] Level crossings are the responsibility of rail infrastructure owner ONTRACK, the New Zealand Transport Agency, and if the crossing is on a local road, the local city or district council.

On the Taieri Gorge line and the Hokitika Branch, in rural South Island, New Zealand, roads and railways share the same bridge when crossing a river, with the rail line in the road. Motorists, as well as giving way to oncoming traffic if required (the bridges are one lane) must ensure that the bridge is clear of a train, end to end, before starting to cross the bridge. For safety, trains are limited to 10 km/h (6 mph) while crossing the bridges.

A unique level crossing exist near Gisborne, in which the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line crosses one of Gisborne Airport's runways. Aircraft landing on sealed 1310-metre runway 14L/32R are signalled with two red flashing lights on either side of the runway and a horizontal bar of flashing red lights to indicate the runway south of the railway line is closed, and may only land on the 866 m section of the runway north of the railway line. When the full length of the runway is open, a vertical bar of green lights signal to the aircraft, with regular rail signals on either side of the runway indicating trains to stop.[3][4]

Level crossing safety in New Zealand is relatively poor, with 85 level crossing deaths in the past five years. One of the most notable level crossing accidents occurred in August 1993, when a southbound Southerner passenger train hit a cement mixer at a level crossing at Rolleston, near Christchurch. The accident resulted in three deaths, including Louise Cairns, sister of New Zealand international cricketer Chris Cairns.

East and Southeast Asia

Level crossings in China, Thailand, and Malaysia are still largely manually-operated, where the barriers are lowered using a manual switch when trains approach. A significant number of crossings are without barriers. Railway electrification in Malaysia has gradually eliminated level crossings in Peninsular Malaysia, replacing those along nearly all upgraded lines with large overhead viaducts or deep underground tunnels, and simply cutting off non-essential crossings outright.


As most railways in Taiwan were built during Japanese administration, railway level crossings remain very common, though many urban crossings have been eliminated when the railroads have been moved underground, e.g., segments of the Western Line in Taipei City, or abolished, e.g. the former Danshui TRA Line that is now the DanShui Line of the Taipei Rapid Transit System with no level crossings.

The Act Governing the Punishment of Violation of Road traffic Regulations (zh:道路交通管理處罰條例) defines three types of railway level crossing violations:

  1. Not obeying a direction of a flagman or insisting to cross when the gate starts lowering or when the bell rings or the lights flash is a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
  2. Directly crossing a railway level crossing not guarded by any flagman, gate, bell, or flashing light equipment without stopping as required when a warning sign is present is also a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
  3. Overtaking, making a U-turn, backing up, stopping or parking on a railway level crossing is a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles but not pedestrians.

The same Act provides different penalties against different types of railway level crossing violators as follows, with very heavy penalties against drivers of motorized vehicles and much lighter penalties against drivers of non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians:

  • Article 54: A driver of a motor vehicle shall be administratively fined 6000 to 12000 new Taiwan dollars for a railway level crossing violation. Should an accident occur, the driver license shall also be revoked permanently according to Article 67. This lifetime revocation used to be absolute, but the amendment of the law proclaimed on 28 December 2005 and effective on 1 July 2006 has allowed a possible waiver after serving at least 6 years of the revocation.
  • Article 75: A driver of a non-motorized vehicle (e.g., a bicycle) shall be administratively fined 1200 to 2400 New Taiwan dollars for a railway level crossing violation.
  • Article 80: A pedestrian shall be administratively fined 1200 New Taiwan dollars for a railway level crossing violation.

Accidents at railway level crossings remain a very serious concern. The Taiwan Railway Administration alone has hundreds of level crossings along its routes of slightly more than 1100 km. In average, there is a level crossing in less than 2 km.[5][6]

Red emergency buttons have been installed to allow the public to report an emergency at a level crossing, such as stalled vehicles or any obstacles that would be very dangerous should any train approach.[7] However, willfully misusing the emergency button is a criminal offence. In an emergency, the public is asked to:

  1. First, press the button and be sure of its activation with a flashing light.
  2. Second, try to clear any obstacles, including any vehicles.
  3. Third, if unable to clear the obstacles and the warning bell rings, leave quickly. "A train is coming and please quickly leave the level crossing" will be announced in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hakka.


In Sweden there are 8,500 level crossings, according to the railway administration (Banverket). On public roads they have light signals with or without gates. On private roads there are level crossing without signals. Most accidents occur on crossings without gates. For many years there have been activities to reduce the number of accidents, usually by adding gates, or adding light signals if there were none. On the main lines many bridges have been built, and also anywhere a new road or new railway has been built. Still there are some level crossing left on the main lines. A train speed of 200 km/h is allowed in Sweden over level crossings, if there are gates and an obstacle detection unit. This unit detects cars on the track and prevents the gates from closing fully and stops the train. According to Banverket there has during 15 years only been one serious collision between a car and a train on such a level crossing, when a car ran through the gates just in front of the train.[8]

United Kingdom

Britain's first automatically operated level crossing came into operation at Spath near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire in May 1961.[9]

There were 8,200 level crossings in the UK in 2005, of which, 1,600 were road crossings. This number is gradually being reduced as the risk of accident at level crossings is considered high. The director of the UK Railway Inspectorate commented in 2004 that "the use of level crossings contributes the greatest potential for catastrophic risk on the railways."[10] Bridges and tunnels are now favoured, and there is a commitment on the part of UK rail authorities not to build new level crossings, and to reduce the number of existing level crossings. The cost of making significant reductions, other than by simply closing the crossings, is substantial; some commentators argue that the money could be better spent. Some 6500 crossings are user-worked crossings or footpaths with very low usage. The removal of crossings can also improve train performance as some crossings have low rail speed limits enforced on them to protect road users. In fact, between 1845 - 1933,[11] a 4 mph speed limit was notionally in force over level crossings.[12][13][14]


In the United Kingdom, major crossings were normally situated within easy viewing distance of a signal box, and usually directly adjacent to the signal box. This ensured that the signalman could verify that the road was clear before allowing a train onto the crossing. Many gated crossings have been replaced by lifting barriers, which are easier to mechanise. "Full barriers" consist of barriers each side of the track, which block the full width of the road and "half barriers" consist of a single arm each side of the road, which block only oncoming traffic. Half barriers were considered to have an advantage as motorists are less likely to be stranded on the crossing and unable to exit, but cases where impatient motorists have driven around the barriers have raised safety concerns. Video cameras are now often used at crossings to allow the human operator to be some distance from the crossing. On lightly-used railways many crossings are sited next to station stops or other stopping points and are crew operated. The guard pushes a plunger to operate the crossing. On completion of the crossing sequence, an indicator light permits the train to proceed if the crossing is observed by the train driver to be clear. After the train has cleared the crossing, it re-opens to road traffic.

To ensure that the barriers are noticed and to draw attention, public road crossings may be fitted with a ringing warning bell or siren and with lights. Some crossings also have a telephone which connects to the relevant signal box so that in case of an emergency the signalman's attention can be drawn promptly to the hazard and action can be taken. Some "automatic open crossings", with warning lights and bells but no barriers, were introduced, but their expansion was largely halted after the Lockington rail crash. Some smaller crossings, particularly pedestrian crossings on low-speed lines consist of nothing but a warning sign and raised pathway across the track itself.

In November 2004 there were two major accidents on UK level crossings: one involved a car driver committing suicide, who caused the death of seven people (Ufton Nervet rail crash); another involving a train carrying 50 school children resulted in no fatalities but a number of injuries. These incidents have increased efforts to review the placing of level crossings and to eliminate them where this is practicable. In the UK it has also been suggested that cameras similar to the type used to detect drivers who run traffic lights be deployed at level crossings, and that penalties for ignoring signals should be much more severe. British Transport Police typically prosecute motorists who jump the barriers with either trespass or failing to conform with a traffic signal. A particular problem has been that the responsibility for the road safety at crossings is entirely outside the control of the railways. In 2006 legislative activities are in progress to permit Network Rail to be involved in the road side safety of crossings. This will allow the introduction of anti-slip surfaces and also barriers to prevent motorists driving around crossing arms and, it is hoped, reduce the number of crossing related deaths.

Pedestrian crossings

The use of pedestrian crossings at stations is now rare, although historically it was common that passengers walked across the line between platforms on branch lines. At Settle, for example, before the footbridge was installed in the 1990s, the time taken while passengers from Leeds walked across the line was happily used to top up the driver's kettle with hot water. With a few exceptions, such as at Carmarthen, the remaining examples occur only on heritage railways or as a means for passengers who cannot climb stairs to move between platforms where the only other route is a footbridge.

For the episode of British motoring television programme Top Gear on 25 February 2007, Network Rail staged an incident in which a locomotive was driven into a Renault Espace at around 80 mph to graphically illustrate the dangers of "running the risk" (see British Rail Class 31 in the media).

The idea of 'modular' level crossing barriers were a consideration by Network Rail when they introduced a new modular building system in 2008. The term 'modular' meaning they can be assembled and erected into place in a mere matter of hours.

United States

In the United States and in countries following United States practices, a locomotive must have a bright headlight and ditch lights (two lights located below the headlight), a working bell, and a whistle or horn that must be sounded four times (long-long-short-long), similar to the signal for the International Morse Code letter "Q", as the train approaches the crossing.

Some American cities, in the interest of noise abatement, have passed laws prohibiting the sounding of bells and whistles; however, their ability to enforce such rules is debatable. In December 2003, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration published regulations that would create areas where train horns could be silenced, provided that certain safety measures were put in place, such as concrete barriers preventing drivers from circumventing the gates or automatic whistles (also called wayside horns) mounted at the crossing (which reduce noise pollution to nearby neighborhoods). Additional information can be found at the FRA website under "Train horn rule." Implementation of the new "Quiet Zone" Final Rule was delayed repeatedly but was finally implemented in the summer of 2005. Rail "Quiet Zone" crossings still require bells as part of the automatic warning devices (AWDs) in addition to the wayside horns. The wayside horns usually are sets of speakers that are directed at the crossing mounted right up on a pole.

Every crossing, whether above grade, below grade, or at grade, is required to be assigned a unique identifier which is a six-digit number and a trailing letter used as a checksum. This identifier is called a Grade Crossing Number, and is usually posted with a sign or sticker on the sign or equipment. This allows a particular crossing anywhere in the United States to be precisely identified as to its exact location in the event of an incident involving that crossing.

All public crossings in the United States are required to be marked by at least a crossbuck; most crossings intersecting rural roads have this setup. If the crossing has more than one railroad track, the crossbuck will usually have a small sign beneath it denoting the number of tracks. As traffic on the road crossing or the rail crossing increases, safety features are increased accordingly. More heavily trafficked crossings have AWDs, with alternately flashing red lights to warn automobile drivers and a bell to warn pedestrians. Additional safety is attained through crossing gates that block automobiles' approach to the tracks when activated. Increasingly, crossings are being fitted with four-quadrant gates to prevent circumventing the gates.

Operation of a typical AWD-equipped railroad crossing in the United States is as follows:

  • Approximately 30 seconds before arriving at the crossing, the train trips a track circuit near the crossing, triggering the crossing signals. The lights begin to flash alternately, and a bell mounted at the crossing begins ringing. After several seconds of flashing lights and ringing bells, the crossing gates (if equipped) begin to lower, which usually takes 5–10 seconds. Some AWDs will silence the bell once the gates are fully lowered; most continue ringing the bells throughout. The lights continue to flash throughout regardless.
  • Approximately 15 to 20 seconds before arriving at the crossing, the train begins ringing its bell and sounding its horn in accordance with NORAC rule 14L or GCOR rule 5.8.2(7): two longs, one short, and one long. These are prolonged or repeated until the engine occupies the crossing. If the AWD is equipped with a horn in accordance with FRA Quiet Zone rules, the AWD may provide the whistle signal instead of the train; however, the train is required to ring its bell regardless.
  • After the train has cleared the crossing, the gates (if equipped) begin to rise, and the bells (if silenced) may begin ringing again. Once the gates have completely risen back to their fully raised position, all warning signals, including the lights and bells, are deactivated.

Some AWD track circuits are equipped with motion detectors that will deactivate the crossing signal if the train stops or slows significantly before arriving at the crossing.

As indicated above, the pattern of the bells at each individual crossing can be different. (These bells should not be confused with the bells that are mounted on the trains.) Generally, the bells follow one of these patterns:

  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and ceases when the gates have completely lowered.
  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and ceases when the gates begin to rise following the passing of the train.
  • The bell begins ringing when the lights begin flashing and temporarily stops when the gates have completely lowered. However, when the gates begin to rise, the bell begins ringing again, until the gates have returned to their original position.
  • The final, and most common, practice is for the bells to begin ringing when the lights begin flashing and continue till the gates have risen after the train passes.

Some level crossings that are located too close to intersections with traffic lights will program the signals so when the approaching train trips the track circuit, it not only activates the crossing signals, but also changes the traffic lights facing the crossing from green to red, with no yellow phase. Some track circuits disable the traffic lights the entire time the AWDs are active, making them flash yellow in one direction and red in the other.

A few level crossings still use wigwag signals, which were developed in the early 1900s by the Pacific Electric Railway interurban system in the Los Angeles region to protect its many level crossings. Though now considered to be antique, around 100 such signals are still in use, almost all on branch lines. By law, these signals must be replaced by the now-standard alternating red lights when they are retired.

U.S. Federal Railroad Administration regulations restrict trains to a maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h) at standard grade crossings. Crossings are permitted up to 125 mph (201 km/h) only if an "impenetrable barrier" is in place to block traffic when a train approaches. Crossings are prohibited at speeds in excess of 125 mph (201 km/h).[15]

A track that will run high-speed trains in excess of 120 mph (193 km/h) is being tested in Illinois between Chicago and St. Louis, Missouri. Here, due to the high speed of the trains, gates that totally prevent road traffic from reaching the tracks are mandatory on all level crossings. Steel mesh nets were tested on some crossings to further prevent collisions, but these were removed because of maintenance issues in 2001.

A new device called "StopGate" has been installed at four locations, one in Madison, Wisconsin; another in Monroe, Wisconsin and two in Santa Clara, California (on a light rail system).[citation needed] This system resembles a fortified version of a standard crossing gate, with two larger arms blocking the entire width of the roadway and locking into a securing device on the side of the road opposite the gate pivot mechanism. The gate arms are reinforced with high-strength steel cable, which helps the gate absorb the impact of a vehicle attempting to crash through the gate. The manufacturer claims that the StopGate can arrest a 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) truck within 13 feet (four meters)[citation needed]. Already the system has been tested at the Madison crossing, when the system stopped a truck while a Wisconsin and Southern Railroad train was in the crossing.[citation needed]

Another new type of barrier is being tested in Michigan that is hoped will reduce the number of times drivers attempt to drive around lowered crossing gates. The new devices are called "delineators" consisting of a series of flexible cylinders that raise vertically out of vertical tubes in the pavement when the crossing signal is activated. The delineators are designed so that they will not be broken and will not damage vehicles if they are hit, allowing vehicles to exit the level crossing if they are already within it when the gates are activated. The test period for the new barrier began on 5 December 2007, and will run for a period of 17 months.[16][17]


An innovation yet to be proved practical is to transmit level crossing warning signals by radio into the cabin of the road vehicle. This would be particularly useful at passive crossings not yet fitted with flashing lights.[18][19]


Major accidents

  • Brazil Nova Iguaçu level crossing disaster — A truck carrying gasoline hit by passenger train which kills 54 on June 1951.[citation needed]
  • Republic of China Chiayi level crossing disaster — A local bus hit by an express train which kills 48 on July 1961.[citation needed]
  • United States Greely level crossing disaster — A Chicago-Denver passenger train smash into a bus carrying children in Colorado, with kills 20 on December 1961.[citation needed]
  • Argentina Salisberry level crossing disaster — An express train smash into an overcrowded bus carrying children, in suburb of Buenos Aires, which kills 41 and injures 70 on June 1962.[citation needed]
  • United States Salinas level crossing disaster — A freight train smash into a bus in California, kills 28 and injures 35 on September 1963.[citation needed]
  • India Deoria level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a local bus in Assam, which kills 29 and injures 72 on December 1964.[citation needed]
  • Canada Dorion level crossing accident — 1966 - 19 killed
  • East Germany Langenweddingen level crossing disaster — 1967 - 94 killed
  • Thailand Korat level crossing disaster — An overcrowded bus hit by passenger train, kills 40 and injures 39 on July 1967.[citation needed]
  • United Kingdom Hixon rail crash — 1968 - 11 killed
  • South Korea Onyang level crossing disaster — A charter bus hit by express train and kills 42 on October 1970.[citation needed]
  • Hungary Helvecia level crossing disaster — A regular route bus hit by commuter train, which kills 37 and injures 17 on January 1973.[citation needed]
  • Mexico 1975 Cuautitlan level crossing disaster — A bus hit by Mexico City-Ciudad Juárez passenger train, which kills 29 and injures 32 on February 1975.[citation needed]
  • Republic of China Tacheng level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a bus carryig schoolchildren in Changhua, kills at least 42 with injures at least 43 on April 1976.[citation needed]
  • Mexico Tianepantla level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a local bus, kills at least 42 on January 1977.[citation needed]
  • Spain Munoz level crossing disaster — A train smashed into school-children bus and kills 27, injures 36 on December 1978.[citation needed]
  • France Tarbes level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a charter bus, which kills 21 and injures 32 on October 1979.[citation needed]
  • Egypt Imbaba level crossing disaster — A suburban passenger train smash into a public bus in Al Jizah, which kills 28 and injures 30 on October 1979.[citation needed]
  • South Africa Empangeni level crossing disaster — A Nkilini-Empangeni passenger train smash into an overcrowded bus and other vehicles, which kills 69 and injures 93 on June 1980.[citation needed]
  • Republic of China Hsinchu level crossing disaster — A truck hit by a passenger train, which kills 30 and injures 131 on March 1981.[citation needed]
  • Mexico Tula level crossing accident — A Nuevo Laredo-Mexico City passenger train smash into an express bus, which kills 23 and injures 32 on August 1982.[citation needed]
  • Argentina San Justo level crossing disaster — A local bus hit by a commuter train and kills at least 42, injures 22 on October 1984.[citation needed]
  • Israel Moshav Habonim level crossing disaster — A bus with school children hit by passenger train and kills 22, injures 17 on August 1985.[citation needed]
  • United Kingdom Lockington rail crash — 1986 - 9 killed
  • India Pathali Pahar level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a private bus in Assam, which kills 28 and injures 60 on September 1986.[citation needed]
  • Zaire Kasumbalesa level crossing disaster — A trailer-truck hit by a passenger train which kills 125 on July 1987. (present day of Democratic Republic of Congo)[citation needed]
  • Pakistan Moro level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a local bus, which kills at least 50 and injures at least 40 on October 1987.[citation needed]
  • Egypt Ein Sham level crossing disaster — A bus carrying school children hit by an express train, which kills 62 and injures 67 on December 1987.[citation needed]
  • Thailand Takhli level crossing disaster — A trailer-truck hit by Lopburi-Phitsanulok passenger train and kills at least 27 on May 1988.[citation needed]
  • People's Republic of China Qinghemen level crossing disaster — Kills at least 46 and injures 63 in Shenyang, on December 1988.[citation needed]
  • People's Republic of China Huinan level crossing disaster — A local bus hit by a passenger train which kills 32 on January 1989.[citation needed]
  • Sri Lanka Ahungalla level crossing disaster — Kills 51 and injures 110 on January 1989.[citation needed]
  • Mexico Saltillo level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a local bus, which kills 22 on February 1989.[citation needed]
  • India Tarsai level crossing disaster — An express train smash into a bus packed with wedding guests in Gujarat, which kills 47 on May 1989.[citation needed]
  • Soviet Union Kamenskaya-Pogorolove level crossing disaster — A Adler-Voronezh passenger train smash into a bus, which kills 31 and injures 14 in Ukraine on July 1989.[citation needed]
  • Mexico Leon level crossing disaster — A freight train smash into a local bus, which kills 33 and injures 26 on January 1990.[citation needed]
  • Soviet Union Petrozavodsk level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a bus, which kills 27 and 50 on July 1990.[citation needed]
  • Republic of China Luchu level crossing disaster — Kills 25 and injures 32 on December 1990.[citation needed]
  • India Annupur level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into many vehicles in Madhya Pradesh, which kills 35 and injures 27 on March 1991.[citation needed]
  • Thailand Phutthamonthon level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a bus carrying school children in Nakhon Pathom, which kills 36 on April 1993.[citation needed]
  • United States Fox River Grove level crossing accident. A passenger train collided with a school bus full of children at a grade crossing. — 1995 - 7 children killed.
  • Egypt Al Minufiyah level crossing disaster — A bus carrying textile workers hit by an express train and kills 49 on April 1995.[citation needed]
  • India 35 wedding guests are killed when their bus is run down by a train in Alappuzha, Kerala on May 14, 1996
  • India A train and collision with a tractor at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh which kills twenty-five on May 25, 1996
  • Cuba Holguin level crossing disaster — A local bus hit by Havana-Santiago de Cuba passenger train which kills 56 and injures 6 on November 1997.[citation needed]
  • Turkmenistan Keshi level crossing disaster — A bus hit by a diesel locomotive train which kills at least 40 on September 1998.[citation needed]
  • India Jhukia level crossing disaster — A bus carrying wedding party hit by passenger train and kills 45 on April 1999.[citation needed]
  • United States Bourbonnais train accident — 1999 - 11 killed
  • People's Republic of China Yibin level crossing disaster — A passenger train smash into a school bus, which kills 25 and injures 24 on September 1999.[citation needed]
  • Australia Gerogery level crossing accident — 2001 - 5 killed
  • People's Republic of China Artux level crossing disaster — A mini bus hit by Urumqi-Kashi passenger train in Xinjiang Uygur, which kills 28 and injures 11 on December 2001.[citation needed]
  • Hungary Lake Balaton level crossing disaster — A double decker bus hit by Budapest-Nagykanizsa express train and kills 34, injures 42 on May 2003.[citation needed]
  • Pakistan Malikwal level crossing disaster — A bus hit by Lalamusa-Surghoda passenger train and kills 27, injures 6 on September 2003.[citation needed]
  • United Kingdom Ufton Nervet rail crash — 2004 - 7 killed
  • United States Glendale train crash — 2005 - 11 killed
  • Sri Lanka Polgahawela level crossing collision, Sri Lanka — 2005: a bus tries to beat the train at a level crossing; at least 35 people are killed.
  • South Africa Johannesburg level crossing accident — 2005: 9 killed.
  • India Nagpur level crossing disaster — 2005 - 55 killed.
  • Russia Voronezhskaya level crossing disaster — A bus carrying factory workers hit by Mineralye Vody-Krasnodar passenger train, which kills 21 and injures 6 on January 2006.[citation needed]
  • Bangladesh Akkelpur level crossing disaster — A Sayedpur-Khudna passenger train smash into a passenger bus in Jaipurhat, with kills 32 and injures 30 on July 2006.[citation needed]
  • South Africa Somerset West level crossing disaster — A commuter train smash into a truck carrying local farmworkers in Western Cape, which kills 27 and injures 12 on November 2006.[citation needed]
  • Mexico A passenger bus is hit by freight train at a level crossing in Cuautitlán, a suburb of Mexico City, with at least 28 deaths and 14 injuries, in December 2006.[citation needed]
  • Australia Kerang train crash — 2007 - 11 killed
  • Cuba Yara level crossing disaster — A Santiago de Cuba-Manzanillo passenger train smashed into a local bus, kills 28 and injures 73 on October 2007.[citation needed]
  • Argentina 9 March 2008, Dolores, Buenos Aires - A bus collided with a passenger train, killing 17 and injuring at least 35, when the bus driver ignored the railroad crossing warning devices.
  • Bangladesh 16 April 2008 – According to ATN Bangla television, a Dinajpur-Dhaka Ekoto Express train hit a local bus on a level crossing outside of Kalihati, Tangail, Bangladesh, killing 18 and injuring 30.
  • Egypt Marsa Matruh 16 July 2008- a truck failed to stop, pushing waiting traffic into the path of the train. At least 40 killed.
  • Slovakia 2009 Slovakian coach and train collision 21 February 2009 - 12 killed - lights but no booms.
  • Germany Robert Enke 10 November 2009 - German goalkeeper, Robert Enke stood on a level crossing and commited suicide. Police confirmed a suicide note was discovered but would not publicise its details.

See also

  • List of rail accidents:


  • Level Crossings by Stanley Hall and Peter van der Mark - Ian Allan Publishing Template:Isbn-13


  1. ^ Rivanna Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (2005). "This Month in Railroad History: August". Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Level Crossing Safety: New Zealand Railways Corporation". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  3. ^ "Gisborne (NZGS) aerodrome diagram". Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Gisborne (NZGS) Operational Signal Lights". Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. 2003-09-04. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  5. ^ Statistics of level crossings, Taiwan Railway Administration, 2002 (Chinese)
  6. ^ Statistics of level crossings, Taiwan Railway Administration, 2005 (Chinese)
  7. ^ Level crossing emergency button, Taiwan Railway Administration, (Chinese)
  8. ^ Kartläggning av plankorsningar, kap 9.4 (Swedish)
  9. ^ "New Summary: Automatic "Gates" Britain's first automatically operated level crossing barriers are now in operation at Spath Level Crossing near Uttoxeter. The barriers, electronically operated by an approaching train, consist of a single pole fixed each side of the road only, and are conspicuously marked with red and white bands. Additional waring is given by flashing red lights and gongs.". Practical Motorist 7 (nbr 81): 957. May 1961. 
  10. ^ BBC report on Ufton Nervet rail crash
  11. ^ Railways Clauses Consolidation Act 1845, s.48
  12. ^ Attorney General v London & North Western Railway Co [1900] 1 QB 78
  13. ^ The requirement that trains travel at 4mph across level crossings was abolished by the Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933, Sch 3.
  14. ^ Goodman, Michael (1977), "Railways in the Law Reports", Trent Law Journal 1 (1): 47, 
  15. ^ High-Speed Grade Crossings, Federal Railroad Administration
  16. ^ Mulcahy, John (2007-12-06). "Railroad barrier put to the test". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  17. ^ Helms, Matt (2007-12-06). "Railroad crossing in Wayne Co. to test new technology". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links


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