Railroad Crossing Safety

There are 122 active public railroad rail crossings in the three counties that make up the Pioneer Valley.¹

All of these crossings are marked with various forms of passive signage — and most of them are also marked with active traffic control devices, e.g., flashing lights, gates, and bells.

There are also 154 private railroad crossings in the Pioneer Valley¹ — e.g., farm crossings and crossings for private roads.

¹According the highway-railroad crossing inventory records on file with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

 

 


A sampling of railroad crossings in the valley


Damon Rd, Northampton  X  MassDOT Conn River Main Line
looking West

This crossing has active traffic control devices, which including flashing lights, electronic bells, and gates. The crossing also has a set of flashing lights mounted on a gantry structure over the road. All of the active and passive warning devices at this crossing were replaced in 2015 as part of the Knowledge Corridor Restore Vermonter project.

There have been no reported accidents at this crossing since 1975 when the FRA started collecting accidents reports related to highway-railroad crossings.

 


Bridge St, Amherst  X  New England Central Railroad Main Line
looking North

This crossing has active control devices, which include flashing lights and bells.

FRA accident records show that there have been a total of five collisions at this crossing since 1975.

 


Springdale Rd, Westfield  X  Pioneer Valley Railroad
looking North

This crossing has passive signage which consists of crossbuck and yield signs. This crossing does not appear to be listed in the FRA’s inventory of highway-rail crossings.

 


From the FRA’s Office of Safety Accident/Prediction website it is possible to generate a report (shown below) of all public highway-rail crossing in our region, ranked by predicated accidents per year.

Public Highway-rail Crossings Ranked by Predicted Accidents (PDF)
Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in Massachusetts | August 23, 2017
Source: FRA Office of Safety Accident Prediction System

Note | The complete 7-page report can be downloaded as a PDF document by clicking on the image above.

 

Notably, the report shows that there were only four (4) reported accidents at public railroad crossing in the Pioneer Valley during the five-year period from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2016.

The number of railroad crossing accidents in our region is exceedingly low compared to the approximately 75,000 reported vehicle crashes that occurred in the Pioneer Valley during the same five-year period. (Source: MassDOT Crash Portal)

 


Further information

Railroad Crossing Safety & Trespass Prevention
Federal Railroad Administration

Crossing Inventory and Accident Reports
Federal Railroad Administration

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook
Federal Highway Administration | 2007

Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Action Plan and Project Prioritization
Federal Railroad Administration | November 2016

 

 

Page last updated: August 27, 2017
Page last reviewed: April 6, 2016