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Road Management & Engineering Journal
July 18, 1997
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Simulated On-the-Road Emergencies...
Planning and Designing Rail-Trails on Abandoned Rail Lines
Report Compares Methods of Analyzing Ramp-Free Junctions
Study Spotlights Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Warning Systems



Study Spotlights Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Warning Systems

Falls Church, Virginia (May 23, 1997) In a movement to improve safety at highway-railroad intersections, the Illinois Department of Transportation ITS Program Office has selected a team led by Raytheon E-Systems to conduct a pilot study of Advisory On-Board Vehicle Warning Systems at Railroad Grade Crossings. This public/private partnership, aimed at averting traffic accidents at railroad crossings, will focus on human factors, such as evaluating the reaction of drivers to an in-vehicle warning system for railroad crossings.

In support of this study, Raytheon E-Systems, with its partners Cobra Electronics, Metro Transportation Group, and Calspan SRL Corporation, will leverage existing technology to provide a simple, reliable, and cost-effective system intended to increase driver awareness of approaching trains. To accomplish this in the demonstration phase, roadside transmitters will be installed at five grade crossings within the Chicago metropolitan area, and Cobra Electronics' Safety AlertTM vehicle warning systems will be installed in 300 test vehicles. Raytheon E-Systems will integrate these components with the existing grade controller and a Remote Monitoring System which will collect all data associated with the system's performance.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with the IDOT ITS Program Office on this first-of-its-kind project. More importantly, we are excited that IDOT selected our technical approach to conduct a demonstration which ultimately could significantly reduce the hundreds of fatalities that occur annually at railroad grade crossings in the United States," Raytheon Project Manager Robert Ewald explains. According to Raytheon E-Systems, there are over 10,000 grade crossings across the nation to which this technology could be applied.

Raytheon E-Systems is a worldwide developer and producer of electronics systems and products in the areas of intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance systems, command and control, specialized aircraft maintenance and modifications, guidance, navigation and control, communications and data systems.

(This information was provided in a press release from Raytheon E-Systems.)



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