The existence of crossings on the same level of a railway line by a road, path or another railway is something inherited from the historical construction development of these infrastructures.
The figure of approximately 10,000 level crossings that existed in the mid-1970s has been notably reduced, at the same time as the installation of protective measures at those that are still in use has evolved.
The Ministry of Public Works' Level Crossings Safety Plan 2005 - 2012 includes both the elimination of level crossings and improvements in safety measures for those that still remain in existence.
The Plan will meet its objectives over two four-year periods of application.
On the one hand, during the 4-year period from 2005 - 2008, 731 crossings will be eliminated (those of highest risk or level 1) and safety will be reinforced at 545 crossings.
On the other hand, the 4-year 2009-2012 period establishes the elimination of 1,200 crossings and safety reinforcement at another 1,301.
Adif is fulfilling this commitment by means of the LEVEL CROSSINGS ELIMINATION AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME, which includes the following steps:
- Level crossings elimination
- Additional safety measures
- Treatment of specific level crossings
LEVEL CROSSING CLASSIFICATION
Level crossings are classified according to the safety systems they are equipped with. These in turn depend on other parameters, such as the average daily amount of road traffic and the average daily train circulation.
LEVEL CROSSING ELIMINATION
The progressive elimination of level crossings is a priority for ADIF, and is being carried out in keeping with applicable legislation.
LEVEL CROSSING SAFETY
Safety installations at level crossings guarantee the safety of road and train traffic.
Level crossings are classified according to their protective system functions, depending on whether they are equipped with signs, crossbucks, warning lights or bells, half barriers, double half barriers or automatic barriers, etc.
Moreover, these installations can be complemented with other control systems in order to reinforce safety:
- Obstacle detectors in the road
- Reduction of closure times
- Light signals on the gate arms
- Rubber anti-skid pavement
- Event logs
- Concentration of the safety installation information