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Railroad Crossing Safety

Rail Crossing
As part of its commitment to safety, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Rail Division has worked over the past decade to decrease the number of public railroad crossings in North Carolina that are in need of active warning devices, such as warning gates and signal lights.

Approximately 900 of the nearly 5,000 crossings are still in need of safety upgrades. NCDOT, through its Crossing Hazard Elimination Program, continues to "signalize" crossings without active warning devices, close crossings no longer in use and improve safety at crossings where warning signals are already installed.

Many factors, such as train and traffic volumes as well as existing safety devices,  influences how NCDOT determines and prioritizes what crossings are eligible for safety upgrades.

North Carolina's Train Crossings

As shown in the table below, there are 4,836 public railroad crossings open in North Carolina, as of May 2017. Of those, 2,587 have some kind of active warning device, such as a flashing light signal or bell; 967 have no active warning devices.

Additionally, 227 crossings are not in use and 1,055 crossings are separated from the vehicular traffic, usually by a bridge, preventing the possibility of train-vehicular collisions.

Safety Devices at N.C. Railroad Crossings

​Safety Device

Percent Eligible for NCDOT Safety Funding*​

Flashing light signals and gates​



Flashing light signals/bells (no gates)​



Pre-empted highway traffic signals without standard railroad signals​



Railroad crossing signs (crossbucks) or nothing​



 * Funding is applied only after feasible projects are identified and approved by appropriate state, local, and railroad authorities.

7/21/2019 7:49 PM