An investigation of designated pedestrian grade crossings and flangeway fillers

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University of New Brunswick


There have been fatalities in Canada due to wheelchairs becoming immobilized in the "flangeway gap”, the gap between the road and the railway tracks that allows the train wheel to pass unimpeded. The Transportation Safety Board has identified the potential of flangeway fillers to eliminate the gap, but research on product suitability is needed, including deployment criteria. Crossings can be designated by road authorities for persons using assistive devices and Transport Canada’s Grade Crossing Standards outline the geometric requirements. Designated crossings may be candidates for flangeway fillers, however, the road authority designation process is not well understood at a national level. The following presents an inventory of practices for crossing designation among select road authorities across Canada. An analysis of designated crossings was conducted, and observations were generated. Finally, an economic evaluation of these products was conducted, and a discussion of potential next steps in this field is provided.