The University of NebraskaLincoln Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Test Bed

Elizabeth G. Jones
Assoc. Professor of Civil Engineering and Assoc. Director of the Mid-America Transportation Center

Railroad Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
‡ On-going railroad research sponsored by Federal Railroad Administration
± Real-time measurement of track stiffness ± Wireless communication systems ± Highway-rail grade crossings (level crossings) ± Several other smaller projects

Long Term Goals of Project ‡ Eliminate crashes at grade crossings related to highway traffic operations ‡ Integrate highway and rail systems .

Research Objectives ‡ Develop permanent and portable test bed systems for detailed study of highway-rail interactions at highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs) ‡ Demonstrate test beds .

HRGC Test Bed Development Test Bed Selection Criteria ± Crossing near signalized intersection ± High potential for traffic to back up on tracks ± High potential for traffic delayed by trains to interfere with other traffic ± History of past accidents at crossing ± Interest of city traffic engineer ± Existing infrastructure .

HRGC Selected Test Bed Characteristics 35th & Cornhusker & BNSF ± Crossing near signalized intersection ± YES ± High potential for traffic to back up on tracks ± YES ± High potential for traffic delayed by trains to interfere with other traffic ± YES ± History of past accidents at crossing ± YES ‡ FRA database indicates 2 accidents in five years ± Interest of city traffic engineer ± YES ± proposed quiet zone .

Proposed Quiet Zone in Lincoln. NE .

HRGC Selected Test Bed Characteristics 35th & Cornhusker & BNSF ± Crossing near signalized intersection ± YES ± High potential for traffic to back up on tracks ± YES ± High potential for traffic delayed by trains to interfere with other traffic ± YES ± History of past accidents at crossing ± YES ‡ FRA database indicates 2 accidents in five years ± Interest of city traffic engineer ± YES ± proposed quiet zone ± Existing infrastructure ± YES ‡ City of Lincoln traffic signal cabinets connected to City of Lincoln¶s fiber network ‡ Established connection between City of Lincoln and UNL¶s network .

UNL HRGC Test Bed .

HRGC Test Bed Location 35th & Cornhusker (BNSF track ± double track) High potential for traffic delayed by trains to interfere with other traffic Near signalized intersection West View of Test Bed Grade Crossing .

HRGC Test Bed Location 35th & Cornhusker (BNSF track ± double track) High potential for traffic to back up on tracks Northwest View of Test Bed Grade Crossing .

Equipment at HRGC UNL Camera aimed at HRGC City¶s Camera aimed at 35th & Cornhusker Grade Crossing Gate Traffic control cabinet with communications equipment Looking southeast at HRGC from 35th & Cornhusker .

Equipment at HRGC Video encoder (MPEG-2) in traffic control cabinet (two video channels) Video channel of HRGC Video channel from City camera Video decoder (MPEG-2) at City of Lincoln Public Works .

Equipment at Upstream Locations ‡ Video camera (day/night) ‡ Doppler radar detector ‡ Installation of upstream equipment currently in progress .

Equipment at Upstream Locations .

UNL HRGC Test Bed Video & Radar Cornhusker Video Video & Radar 27th Street .

HRGC Test Bed Portable System Wireless Antenna Van portion of portable system Doppler Radar Autoscope Cameras .

HRGC Test Bed Portable System Trailer portion of portable system Calibrating Autoscope & setting detectors Wireless Antenna Autoscope Camera .

UNL HRGC Research ‡ Railroad traffic signal preemption ‡ Data archiving ‡ Human factors .

Railroad Traffic Signal Preemption ‡ Project Hypotheses ± Intelligent signal preemption using train arrival information can significantly improve safety at HRGCs .

Railroad Traffic Signal Preemption ‡ Railroad signal preemption requires upstream detection of trains ± Want to know when the gates close and when they open ‡ Need to know ± Speed of train upstream of HRGC ± If train is accelerating or decelerating ± Length of train .

Train Speed Detection Problem .

0 5.0 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 Time (sec) 105 120 135 150 150 Radar gets ³confused´ with more than one train and has varying noise .0 25.0 10.0 15.0 0.0 35.0 45.0 0 15 30 45 60Time (sec)90 75 105 120 135 50.0 30.0 40.0 15.0 Autoscope Data Outside Track Middle Track Radar Data 10.0 5.0 25.0 20.0 20.0 40.0 35.0 Speed (mph) 30.Train Speed Detection Speed (mph) Video detection can discriminate between trains but signal is noisy 45.

Current Work ‡ Use a Kalman filter to fuse the radar and video detection speed measurements ± Reduce noise in speed measurement ± Improve speed measurement Radar data Video detection data Kalman filter model Update Process model Estimate Measurement model Fused data .

Current work ‡ Simulation to test preemption algorithms using fused data ± Without preemption ± With preemption .

Simulation ± No preemption .

Simulation ± Preemption .

Video ‡ Video is often used in the study of HRGCs ± Rich source of data that can be used for many studies ± Rarely used for more than one study. however ‡ Archived video with systematic description can make the video data source useable for more studies ‡ Objective is to show how this can be done with a small example .Data Archiving .

Video ‡ Steps to archiving video and efficiently querying the archived video ± Efficiently store the video in a digital format ‡ MPEG4 part 10 (H.Data Archiving .264) ± video compression standard specially designed to deliver high quality video at lower bit rates and smaller file sizes than previous video encoding standards ± Describe video using an ontology ‡ An ontology is a formal specification of the terms and the relations among these terms within a domain ± Query database of video description that is ³linked´ to the digital video .

Video Collection .

Store Video in Digital Format .

Describe Events on Video .

Query Event Database ‡ Used video captured for preliminary studies of HRGC from another project ‡ Limited video ± Four partial days of video collection ± Total of 31 hours of video collected ‡ Purpose is to demonstrate how video archiving can be done for efficient queries .

Human Factors ‡ Video archiving work detected numerous safety issues .

Future Work ‡ Human factors ‡ Intelligent automobiles ± Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) ‡ Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V ‡ Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) ‡ Quiet zones .

NE .Acknowledgements ‡ Federal Railroad Administration ‡ Federal Highway Administration ‡ Nebraska Department of Roads ‡ City of Lincoln.

edu . Jones ejones1@unl.Thank you! Elizabeth G.