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FAQ’s

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TRAIN SENSORS

Where are train sensors installed?

TRAINFO’s train detection sensors are installed anywhere within 100 ft (30 m) of the rail crossing. They are located off rail property and can be installed on existing poles such as light standards, utility poles, or traffic signals. Our sensors do not require a line-of-sight to the rail crossing.

Do I need permission from the railroad to install sensors?

No. TRAINFO’s entire system, including train detection sensors, operate completely independently from the railroads. However, we strongly encourage communication with railroads and recommend informing them prior to installation.

How accurate is TRAINFO?

TRAINFO achieves 100% train detection accuracy at active rail crossings and produces zero false negatives. Our sensors are specially designed to overcome environmental/weather issues, line of sight limitations, and darkness/glare and our machine-learning algorithms and edge-computing processes perform real-time quality control checks.

Traffic Management Applications

How is TRAINFO different than other traveler information systems at rail crossings?

TRAINFO differs from other systems and custom solutions in several important ways as follows:

  • Prediction: We predict traffic delays at rail crossings up to 30 minutes before a train arrives.
  • Interoperability: We seamlessly integrate into traffic management systems and emergency dispatch software using application programming interfaces (APIs). Refer to our growing list of integration partners.
  • Accuracy: Our off rail property sensors provide unmatched train detection accuracy.
  • Independence: Our system is completely independent from the railroads – no need for railroad approval or involvement.
  • Support: We provide ongoing customer support for the entire life of the system.
  • Price: TRAINFO systems typically cost 50% less than other options.
  • Comprehensiveness: Our systems facilitate network-level traffic management capabilities around rail crossings.
  • Usability: Our solutions are designed with intuitive user interfaces and controls.
  • Implementation: TRAINFO systems can be implemented in less than a month.
  • Installation: We offer a completely wireless system – no trenching or underground communication required.
Can TRAINFO integrate into my traffic management system?

Yes. We offer application programming interfaces (APIs) that plug into existing traffic management systems and traffic signals. We also offer triggers that are delivered to traffic engineers to manually adjust traffic signals before, during, and after a rail crossing blockage event. We are constantly adding new partners. Click here to see our partnerships.

What type of traffic delay information is provided?

TRAINFO provides the most detailed and accurate traffic delay statistics at rail crossings. Traffic delays can be aggregated or disaggregated temporally (e.g., by hour, day, month, and year), spatially (e.g., by origin-destination pair and for the entire road network surrounding a rail crossing, not just a road corridor/segment), and by event (e.g., delays occurring while the train is present and after the train leaves and traffic begins returning to expected conditions). Check out our demo to see for yourself.

How are drivers notified about traffic delays at rail crossings?

TRAINFO uses roadside signs to notify drivers about expected delays at rail crossings. These signs are installed well ahead of the rail crossing to allow drivers to re-route. These signs tell drivers if they will be delayed by a train and for how long. This information discourages aggressive driving behavior towards rail crossings since drivers do not need to race to the crossing “just in case there’s a train”.

Do signs encourage drivers to speed up as they approach rail crossings?

No. We work with public agencies to develop messages that prevent unsafe driving behavior and re-routing onto residential streets. For example, we do not tell drivers when a train will arrive since this may encourage them to try and beat the train.

How does TRAINFO reduce traffic delays at rail crossings?

TRAINFO provides advanced traffic delay information that allows drivers to re-route around blocked rail crossings.

Can I use TRAINFO if re-route options around blocked rail crossings aren’t available?

Yes. Public agencies have found that citizens are often satisfied knowing about delays at rail crossings even if they cannot avoid them. This information allows them to build delays into their trip, grab a coffee, or perform an errand rather than waiting at the rail crossing.

How much does TRAINFO cost?

TRAINFO typically costs less than 50% of custom developed solutions. Contact us for a free estimate for your specific situation.

How long does it take to implement TRAINFO?

The time between issuing a purchase order and having a fully operational rail crossing information system can be completed in less than a month.

How is TRAINFO different than traffic signal pre-emption?

Unlike pre-emption, TRAINFO does not have a proximity limitation (we can support traffic signals at any distance from the rail crossing), we don’t require railroad involvement (our system is installed off rail property), our system supports network-wide signal operations and advanced pre-emption, and does not require trenching or underground connections. Best of all, it costs less.

My rail crossing already has FLBG, pre-emption, pre-signals, and queue cutters – do I still need TRAINFO?

My rail crossing already has FLBG, pre-emption, pre-signals, and queue cutters – do I still need TRAINFO?

Emergency Service Applications

Can TRAINFO integrate into my emergency dispatch system?

Yes. We offer application programming interfaces (APIs) that plug into existing computer-aided dispatch software systems. We also offer standalone options that can operate independently of CAD software.

Traffic Delay Measurement

How does TRAINFO quantify traffic delays at rail crossings differently than existing methods?

Existing methods use traffic models to quantify traffic delays at rail crossings. These models often use inaccurate data and rely on many assumptions. TRAINFO collects data on individual rail crossing blockage events and vehicle movements to measure traffic delay. Our data is 100% accurate and doesn’t rely on assumptions.

Safety Applications

How does TRAINFO improve safety at rail crossings?

TRAINFO helps reduce collision risks caused by impatient drivers trying to beat the train, drivers performing illegal U-turns and engaging in risky driving behavior after waiting in a queue, and rear-end collisions by drivers unexpectedly encountering stopped traffic. Our system also supports pre-signals, pre-emption, and queue cutters.