ProRail tests ‘crossing aid’ to boost safety at level crossings in the Netherlands

Photo: ProRail.
Photo: ProRail.

Older and less mobile pedestrians are set to benefit from a new level crossing aid that has been trialled in the city of Haarlem, the Netherlands.

The column sits next to the level crossing barrier and indicates whether a pedestrian can cross in sufficient time or not depending on the displayed signal.

If a green symbol is shown a passer-by has plenty of time to cross, but if a white train is displayed it means that it won’t be long until the level crossing if activated as a train is approaching.

This installation works alongside – not instead of – the flashing lights, warning signs and barriers at level crossings.

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Photo: ProRail.
The crossing aid pictured on the left-hand side. Photo: ProRail.

ProRail has described the solution as a “world first”. It said that some pedestrians run the risk of falling or being trapped between barriers if they have already started crossing the railway when a level crossing rings.

A spokesperson said that, according to feedback, the solution has helped to encourage older and less mobile pedestrians to use the level crossings when they otherwise might have avoided them.

Following a two month test at the Westergracht level crossing in Haarlem, the solution will be further developed.

As part of a wider drive to improve safety at level crossings, ProRail announced in December that all of the country’s unguarded level crossings will be eliminated “within a few years.”

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