Railway: Preventing an Incident or Near Miss at a Level Crossing Due to User Behaviours


Level crossings represent one of the biggest public safety risks on the railway. They are the main interface between the rail and the road networks. The Indian Railway network with a route length of 62,495 km has a total of 40,445 level crossings, or an average of one every 1.5 kilometres, ranging from passive crossings with simplest risk controls through to public road crossings with active risk control. Collisions at level crossings are the largest single train accident risk. Our long-term strategy is for most railways to reduce the likelihood of such incidents. Advanced Technologies or strategies can help resolve the issue and save thousands of lives nationally.
The challenge of communicating the risks of level crossings to the public remains. Even now, railway users behave rashly while crossing levels. Rather than using the designated routes, they use the tracks to get to the opposite platforms. Empowering users to act safely when crossing the railway along with improving the infrastructure, and reducing risk, shall be the key focus of this challenge. Improving the protection provided at level crossings through technological innovation, enhancing communications with both unfamiliar and existing users of level crossings to educate the public and raise awareness of risk, to understand how we can best inform users of the risks posed by misusing a level crossing, overcome variable train approach speeds to deliver a consistent warning time to crossing users and ensure zero harm at crossings, including near miss trauma is the objective of the challenge. Develop a solution to tackle this problem. The solution can be and not limited to technology, applications, system designs, implementation models, and so on. The solution should be logically and practically implementable.
  • Understand how we can best inform users of the risks posed by misusing a level crossing. Overcome variable train approach speeds to deliver a consistent warning time to crossing users. Ensurr zero harm at crossings, including near miss trauma.
  • Understanding the Level Crossing User: A deeper understanding of user behaviour at crossings is needed. What makes users do what they do? What factors contribute to their decision-making process? How can we inform users of the unique risks related to the railway environment at a level crossing? What do users consider an effective warning system?
  • Warning Period and Train Arrival Consistency: What does a consistent warning period and train arrival time have on the user’s ‘willingness to wait’? How long should a consistent warning time be? What technologies are currently available to predict train arrival time and provide a consistent warning period? Can a solution be developed that will determine the exact train location and level crossing arrival time?
  • Emerging Social Behaviours and Distractions: Such as smartphones, headphones and other forms of mobile technology. Assessment and impact of emerging social behaviours in terms of risks posed and mitigations needed. How can we ‘future proof’ level crossings so that they continue to protect users effectively?
  • Technologies to Address Behaviours: What type of technology is most suitable to address the issues raised above?
  • With these learning, develop an approriate solution to tackle this problem.
Scale of the challenge
Severity of the Challenge


  • 500 Learning Credits
  • Opportunity to work with the Department of Railways




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