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Rail-road crossing impacts: an international synthesis

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Rail-road crossings generate a range of transport, economic, social and environmental impacts. While much research has focused on selected impacts such as safety, little consideration has been given to wider impacts. The aim of this research was to therefore develop a holistic understanding of the impacts of rail-road crossings (both at-grade and grade-separated) and to identify key gaps in knowledge in this field. An international synthesis of rail-road crossing impacts was developed through a detailed literature review, which revealed a total of 18 different types of impacts associated with rail-road crossings. The review found that most research to date has focused on quantifying transport and economic impacts, particularly safety and road vehicle delay, with little consideration given to social and environmental impacts. A number of research gaps have been identified which provide a clear agenda for future research. These gaps include the use of empirical evidence to support impact assessments, and the need to better understand the impacts of grade-separating rail-road crossings in terms of safety, travel time variability, land use, traffic flow, rail vehicle delay, disability access, and crime.
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Keywords: Rail-road crossing; grade separation; highway-rail crossing; impact assessment; level crossing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Public Transport Research Group, Institute of Transport Studies, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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