Glossary of Terms. ABANDONMENT The permanent cessation of rail activity on a given line of railroad.

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1 Glossary of Terms AAR/DOT CROSSING NUMBER A uniform numbering system in which a unique designation is assigned to every highway-rail grade crossing in the nation. It consists of a six digit number followed by a letter. This number should be posted at the crossing and is essential to state crossing safety programs. (See the terms ADDRESS, CROSSING NUMBER, and EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM.) ABANDONMENT The permanent cessation of rail activity on a given line of railroad. ACCIDENT The word Accident should not be used when describing a crash between a motor vehicle and a train. An Accident is an uncontrolled event. A Crash or a Collision is preventable. The preferred terms are Crash, Collision and Incident. (See the term CRASH.) ACTIVE WARNING DEVICES Active traffic control devices inform motorists and pedestrians of the approach or presence of trains, locomotives, or railroad cars on or near highway-rail grade crossings. Active warning devices may include any combination of flashing red lights, bells and automatic gates. (See the term TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) ADDRESS The location of a highway-rail grade crossing. There are three addressing systems that locate a highway-rail grade crossing: 1) The local governmental street address; 2) The railroad milepost number; and 3) The federal AAR/DOT Crossing Number. (See the terms AAR/DOT CROSSING NUMBER, CROSSING NUMBER and MILEPOST NUMBER.) ADVANCE WARNING SIGN A passive warning device that is round yellow warning sign with a black X and R-R, located alongside the highway in advance of the crossing. It advises the motor vehicle operator of a crossing ahead. It means, slow down, look, listen, and be prepared to stop if a train is approaching. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) AUTOMATIC GATE An extended arm that lowers to restrict vehicular and pedestrian traffic from crossing the railroad tracks. 2-quad gate blocks the approaching lane(s) of highway traffic from entering the crossing. 4-quad gate blocks the approaching and exit lane(s) of the crossing. AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC [A.D.T.] The average 24-hour volume of vehicles at a given point or section of highway. It is normally calculated by determining the volume of vehicles during a given period, and dividing that number by the number of days in that period. Also known as a Traffic Count. BELL An active warning device which, when activated, provides an audible warning for pedestrians and bicyclists, which may be used with a flashing light signal and gates. (See the term ACTIVE WARNING DEVICES.) Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 1

2 BRANCH LINE A secondary line of a railroad. (See the term MAIN LINE.) CAB The part of a locomotive unit with the operating controls for the engine and seats for the train crew. (See the term LOCOMOTIVE.) CANTILEVER A structure, which may have flashing light signals, extending over one or more lanes of vehicular traffic. (See the term ACTIVE WARNING DEVICES.) CASUALTY A person fatally injured, or who sustains injuries and is recorded as a personal injury in a collision or an accident report. CHEMTEC A private chemical transportation emergency center that provides informational guidance when given a name of a product or chemical and the nature of the problem. ( ) COLLISION (See the term CRASH.) CONDUCTOR A railroad employee in charge of train or yard movement. CONSIST A document which shows the number of loads, empties, weight (in tons) and length (in feet) of a specific train. A locomotive consist shows the identifying number of each locomotive and location of each locomotive within that consist for a specific train. CONSTANT WARNING TIME A motion sensing system with the capability of measuring train speed and providing a relatively uniform warning time to traffic at highway-rail intersections. CORRIDOR A designated strip of land between two locations within which railroad, highway and pedestrian traffic, topography, environment and other characteristics are evaluated for transportation purposes. CRASH An event occurring on a traffic way involving highway and railroad equipment that produces damage and/or injury. Other acceptable terms are Collision and Incident. CROSSBUCK A passive warning device that is a white X-shaped sign with the words Railroad Crossing in black lettering, located alongside the highway at the railroad tracks. This sign is considered the same as a Yield Sign. All motor vehicles should Yield to trains. At multiple track crossings, a sign indicating the number of tracks will be on the post below the crossbuck. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) CROSSING ANGLE The angle at which a railroad and a highway intersects. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 2

3 CROSSING NUMBER A national uniform numbering system assigned to every highway-rail grade crossing in the nation. It consists of a six-digit number followed by a letter. This number should be posted at the crossing and is essential to state crossing safety programs. (See the terms AAR/DOT CROSSING NUMBER, CROSSING NUMBER and EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM.) CROSSING SIGHT DISTANCE The distance along a railroad track from which a train might be seen by a highway user stopped at or approaching a highway-rail grade crossing on an intersecting highway. CROSSING SURFACES (See the term HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING SURFACES.) DERAILMENT When a locomotive or other rail cars leave the track. DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS SIGN A white regulatory sign with black lettering placed at a crossing when an engineering study or experience determines there is a high potential for vehicles stopping on the tracks. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM (ENS) Toll free telephone number and AAR/DOT crossing number posted at or near the crossing that is used to notify the railroad of an emergency. ENGINEER (See the term LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER.) EXEMPT SIGN A sign placed in advance of and at a crossing authorized by state law or regulation to inform placarded hazardous materials vehicles, buses and other highway users that a stop is not required, except when a signal, train crew member or a uniformed police officer indicates that a train, locomotive, or other railroad equipment is approaching the crossing. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) FAIL-SAFE PRINCIPLE Highway-rail intersection warning systems apply this principle to activate the warning system when a train is approaching the intersection, or when there are component failures or abnormal conditions in the system. FEDERAL-AID CROSSING SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM, Section 130, Title 23 U.S.C., Highway-Rail In addition to providing monies for highway-rail grade crossing safety improvements, this program provides that each state shall conduct and systematically maintain a survey of all public crossings and identify those which may require improvements, such as: separation, relocation, warning signs, traffic control devices and surfaces. It also requires each state to establish and implement a schedule of projects for this purpose. At a minimum, such a schedule shall provide signs for all highway-rail grade crossings. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 3

4 FLASHING RED LIGHT SIGNAL A regulatory device installed on a standard mast or cantilever, that, when activated, displays alternately flashing red lights. It indicates the approach of a train and requires a complete stop by the highway user. (See the terms ACTIVE WARNING DEVICES, and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) G.C.C.I. (Grade Crossing Collision Investigation) A training course for law enforcement officers, investigators and emergency response personnel covering the techniques and uniqueness of vehicle/train collision investigations and the related hazards. This course may be sponsored by Operation Lifesaver, a railroad company, and/or national and local police agencies. HIGHWAY A general term indicating a traffic way, including the entire area within the rightof-way, used for vehicular and/or pedestrian travel. Also known as a Street and Road. HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING The general area where a highway and a railroad cross at the same level, within which are located the railroad, roadway and roadside facilities for traffic traversing that area. Also known as a Highway-rail Intersection and Railroad Crossing. HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE SEPARATION A crossing of a roadway and a railroad at different elevations, such as a bridge structure carrying the highway over the railroad or vice versa. HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING RESPONSIBILITY The determination of need and selection of traffic control devices at a grade crossing is made by the public agency with jurisdiction. Before a new or modified grade crossing traffic control devices are installed, approval is required from the appropriate agency within a given state. HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING SURFACES The roadway material placed between and alongside the railroad tracks to allow vehicles to safely traverse an at-grade crossing. Crossing surface materials may be asphalt or timber, or a combination of both. Crossing surfaces may also be removable panels that are pre-engineered and pre-manufactured from durable materials, such as reinforced concrete, molded rubber, treated timber, and others. HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SIGNAL A traffic control device by which traffic is warned or directed to take some specific action. (See the term TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) HIGHWAY USER Any person using a road, street, highway or right-of-way for transportation purposes. INCIDENT (See the term CRASH.) LANE That part of a roadway designed for use by a single line of vehicles. LOCOMOTIVE A self-powered unit used to move freight and/or passenger cars. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 4

5 LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER A railroad employee who is responsible for safely and efficiently operating an engine or engines and train. An engineer must be federally certified to operate locomotives and must have a current certificate on their person at anytime they are operating an engine. LOCOMOTIVE EVENT RECORDER A recording device located on all locomotives which will travel at speeds of 30 mph or more, which creates a record of speed, distance, time and other locomotive functions or events. MAIN LINE A principal line of a railroad. (See the term BRANCH LINE.) MAIN TRACK A track extending through yards and between stations that must not be occupied without authority or protection. MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES [MUTCD] The manual approved by the Federal Highway Administration as the national standard for traffic control devices used on all public streets and highways. MEDIAN A traffic control device used as a physical separator between opposing lanes of traffic. Also known as channelization devices, delineators, or median barriers. MILEPOST NUMBER The railroad s addressing system for identifying a location on the tracks, measured in miles from a given point along the tracks. (See the terms AAR/DOT CROSSING NUMBER and ADDRESS.) MOTION SENSOR An electronic device that senses the movement of a train within the approach to a highway-rail grade crossing. It also detects when a train ceases to move toward the crossing and will, after a specific period of time, deactivate the crossing signals, allowing vehicular traffic to traverse the crossing. OFFICER ON THE TRAIN An Operation Lifesaver safety program that brings local, county and state law enforcement officers into the locomotive cab to observe problems at highway-rail grade crossings and to assist enforcement of motor vehicle laws at railroad crossings. OPERATION LIFESAVER CONTACT Any meeting or presentation to introduce Operation Lifesaver, or to request assistance or coordinate Operation Lifesaver activities or events. OPERATION LIFESAVER [OL] A national, non-profit public awareness and education program, with a broad-based coalition of partners in federal, state, and local government agencies, private safety organizations and transportation industry, dedicated to reducing collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way. OPERATION LIFESAVER PRESENTATION A formal presentation using the approved Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Presenter s Guide format, given to two (2) or more people. The presentation must be appropriate to the audience and must cover the material for that group as outlined in the Presenter s Guide. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 5

6 OPERATION LIFESAVER SPONSOR Any organization, company, association or government agency that supports Operation Lifesaver through financial contributions, in-kind services, and/or personnel. OPERATION LIFESAVER STATE COORDINATOR A person designated to act as the CEO, spokesperson, and coordinator of all activities carried out by partners and participants involved in their state Operation Lifesaver program. PARALLEL TRACK SIGN A diamond-shaped yellow Advance Warning Sign located on roadways parallel to the railroad tracks, indicating the road ahead will cross the tracks. The purpose of these signs is to warn motorists making a turn that there is a highway-rail grade crossing immediately after the turn. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES Traffic control devices consisting of sign(s) and pavement markings to identify and direct attention to the location of a highway-rail grade crossing. These devices advise highway users and pedestrians to take appropriate action. (See the term TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) PAVEMENT MARKINGS The white letters R X R applied or attached to the pavement in advance of the crossing which advises, warning or guiding traffic. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) PEDESTRIAN A person afoot, in a wheelchair, on skates, or on a skateboard. PRIVATE CROSSING An at-grade crossing where the roadway is privately owned, and is intended for use by the owner or by the owner s licensees and invitees. It is not generally intended for public use, and is not maintained by a public authority. Private crossings are found on farms and in industrial/commercial complexes, or they provide access to recreational and residential areas. PUBLIC CROSSING A highway-rail grade crossing where the intersecting roadway is under the jurisdiction of, and maintained by, a public authority and open to the traveling public. RAIL A rolled steel shape, commonly a T-Section, designed to be laid end to end in two parallel lines on cross ties or other suitable supports to form a track for railroad rolling stock. R.S.E.R. (Rail Safety for Emergency Responders) A training course to assist first responders in effectively and safely managing an emergency involving railroad equipment or incident along railroad s right-of way. RAILROAD A surface transportation system that operates on railroad tracks. RAILROAD POLICE A railroad employee who has full police powers. Also known as a Special Agent. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 6

7 RAILROAD RIGHT-OF-WAY The private land, property, or interest therein, extending a given distance on each side of the railroad tracks. ROADWAY That portion of a highway improved, designated, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. SIDING A track connected to the main track and used for meeting or passing trains. SPIKE A large metal-type nail that fastens the rails and track to wood ties. SPUR Auxiliary track used for receiving and delivering merchandise, or storage of rail cars. STOP SIGN A red octagonal regulatory sign with white lettering intended for use where motor vehicle traffic is required to stop. This sign might be added at the crossing, requiring all vehicles to come to a complete stop before crossing the railroad tracks. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) STOPPING DISTANCE The distance required to bring a moving train or motor vehicle to a complete stop. TIE In track construction, the cross members to which the rails are attached. TRACK (See the term RAIL.) TRACK CIRCUIT An electrical circuit used to detect trains and activate warning signals TRACKS OUT OF SERVICE SIGN A sign for use at a crossing when a railroad track has been abandoned or its use discontinued. TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES All signs, signals, markings, and other devices used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic, placed on, over, or adjacent to a street, highway, pedestrian facility, or bicycle path by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction. These devices that are located at a highway-rail grade crossing can be Active and/or Passive Warning Devices. (See the terms ACTIVE WARNING DEVICES and PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES.) TRAFFIC SIGN An official device that gives a specific message, either by words or symbols, to the motoring public. (See the term TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) TRAFFIC SIGNAL (See the term HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SIGNAL.) TRAIN One or more engines coupled with or without cars, displaying a marker and authorized to operate on a main track. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 7

8 TRAIN DETECTION SYSTEMS (See the terms CONSTANT WARNING TIME MOTION, SENSOR, and TRACK CIRCUIT.) TRESPASSER Any person who is on railroad property or the railroad right-of-way without permission. YIELD SIGN A sign that assigns right-of-way. Vehicles controlled by a yield sign need to avoid interference with other vehicles, including trains, which are given the right-of-way. (See the terms PASSIVE WARNING DEVICES and TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.) VEHICLE Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway. WARRANTS A warrant describes the threshold conditions to the highway engineer in evaluating the potential safety and operational benefits of traffic control devices and is based upon average or normal conditions. WHEEL REPORT A document, possessed by the conductor, which shows the location of all rail cars and engines in a specific train, plus other vital information such as the contents of each car, the weight of each car, if it is carrying hazardous materials and what types, plus any other information which is important for the safe operation of that train. YARD A system of tracks, other than main tracks and sidings, used for the making up of trains, storing cars, or other purposes. Copyright 2009 by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 8

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