Date/Time

2019 National Highway - Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference

Monday, August 19 - Thursday, August 22, 2019

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel

Agenda - Updated May 28, 2019

Session

Description

Presenter(s)

Monday, August 19

2:00 pm

6:30 pm

Registration Begins!

Registration opens on the second floor in the Ballroom Foyer, to the far right of the Grand Ballroom, at the Coat Room.

Welcome Dinner Reception

The evening Dinner Reception will be held on the second floor in the Exhibit Hall, which is Ballroom 2, 3, and 4.  Business casual wear please.  Arrive in plenty of time to meet your fellow attendees and ready for two full days of informative sessions, beginning Tuesday morning.

Allan Rutter - Texas A&M Transportation Institute

George Fury - Conference Chairman

Frank Frey - Federal Railroad Administration

FRA - HQ

Tuesday, August 20

​​

7:00 am -

7:40 am

7:00 am

8:00 am

8:05 am

8:15 am

10:15 am

10:30 am

11:15 am

Walk with Rita

Join conference staff member Rita for a brisk morning walk around the "Point", weather permitting, before returning to the hotel for breakfast.

Rita Avery -  North Shore Railroad

Conference Agenda

Registration

Breakfast

Welcome and Safety Briefing

Section 130 Funding

Opening Remarks-

Setting the Stage

Mid-Morning Break

State Action Plans

Resilience and Disaster Recovery

Please register on the second floor,  Ballroom Foyer, to the far right of the Grand Ballroom, at the Coat Room.

Breakfast will be held on the second floor in the Exhibit Hall, which is  Ballroom 2, 3, and 4.

Executive Planning Committee - National Highway Rail Grade Crossing Safety  Conference

Message from the Administrator, sharing insights on how the Federal Highway Administration looks to enhance the collaboration among stakeholders relating to highway-rail grade crossings.

FHWA staff will share an overview of the Section 130 Program, followed by a facilitated and interactive discussion with session participants, on practices and challenges to Section 130 Program and project implementation.  Norfolk Southern Railway will provide, from a Class 1 Railroad perspective, their key successes and lessons learned from the program.

Visit our Exhibitors and Sponsors in Grand Ballroom #2 during the break and express your thanks for

their support of this event!  Without them, we wouldn't be here!  Thank you Exhibitors and Sponsors!

Learn from other states how they are meeting the requirements of the FAST Act to prepare a Highway-Rail Grade

Crossing State Action Plan.

Florida East Coast Railway will share information about how they hardened assets in advance of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and how grade crossings were addressed in disaster recovery efforts.

The Honorable Cheryl J. Walker, Associate Administrator for Safety at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety.

Kelly Morton - Federal Highway Administration

Cayela Wimberly - Norfolk Southern Railway

Gina Filosa - Volpe

Marco DaSilva - Volpe

Debra Chappell - FRA - HQ

Roseann O'Laughlin - Oregon DOT

Richard Shankle - Oregon DOT

Robert Ledoux - Florida East Coast Railway

11:45 am

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.:

Meet the New Boss!

Rachel Maleh joined OLI as Executive Director in November 2018, and will share news of OLI activities in improving safety outcomes at highway-rail grade crossings.

Rachel Maleh - Executive Director

12:30 pm

Lunch

Pick up some lunch in the Ballroom Foyer and then visit our Exhibitors and Sponsors in Grand Ballroom #2 and express your thanks for their support of this event!  Without them, we wouldn't be here!  Thank you Exhibitors and Sponsors!

1:30 pm

What is Railroad Pre-emption?

Learn the latest trends in addressing difficult pre-emption matters, including pre-signaling and queue-cutter signaling.

Karen Hankinson, P.E., Rail Pros

2:30 pm

Updated News on Quiet

Zones

FRA staff will share information on quiet zone best practices, how the process is working, and what states and railroads are learning from years of application.

Debra Chappell, FRA-HQ

3:00 pm

Afternoon Break

Visit our Exhibitors and Sponsors in Grand Ballroom #2 during the break and express your thanks for

their support of this event!  Without them, we wouldn't be here!  Thank you Exhibitors and Sponsors!

3:30 pm

Humped Crossings and an Update to the Grade Crossing Handbook

What are the lessons and recommendations after the March 2017 fatal grade crossing crash of a motorcoach at a low-clearance crossing in Biloxi, MS?  What are other states doing with these issues? What will the new edition of the Grade Crossing Handbook say about this and other issues?

Frank Frey - FRA-HQ

Kelly Morton - Federal Highway Administration

Debra Chappell, FRA-HQ

5:00 pm

Hotel Wyndham Sponsored Pittsburgh Style 1-Hour Reception

The Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel is sponsoring a 1-hour Pittsburgh style reception in the Exhibit Hall area to get you in the mood for your night out on the town!  Come and enjoy some light finger food, beers and wine on the hotel before you hit the town!

Evening

Wednesday, August 21

7:00 am - 7:40 am

Walk with Rita

The Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel is right in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh.  Take in the Pirates game (click on Menu tab - Ballgame - for more info), against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park or spend the night taking in the sights of downtown Pittsburgh.  Whether you take a river cruise, catch the ballgame, dine at some great downtown restaurants, or just cruise around town, whatever you choose to do, enjoy yourselves!

Join conference staff member Rita for a brisk morning walk around the "Point", weather permitting, before returning to the hotel for breakfast.

Rita Avery -  North Shore Railroad

Conference Agenda

7:00 am

8:15 am

8:45 am

10:15 am

Breakfast

Breakfast will be held on the second floor in Exhibit Hall, which is Ballroom 2, 3 and 4.

Research and Development:

Innovative Technologies

Learn about new systems for grade crossing occupancy detection, integration with connected vehicles, and unmanned aerial systems used in diagnostic reviews.

Research and Development:

University research and

Workforce Development

Leaders from five university rail programs will share results of their latest research and offer insights into how universities are developing the rail workforce for the future.

 

                 Accident Prediction Models For Railroad Crossings @ University of Illinois @ Urbana/Champaign

                 Survey of Railway Crossing Research - @ Michigan Tech                                                                       

                 Smart Management of Infrastructure - Laboratory @ University of New Mexico         

                Railway Education - @ Rutgers University                                                                     

                Railway & Signals Education - @ Penn State University                                             

Morning Break

Visit our Exhibitors and Sponsors in Grand Ballroom #2 during the break and express your thanks for

their support of this event!  Without them, we wouldn't be here!  Thank you Exhibitors and Sponsors!

Sam Alibrahim,  FRA - HQ

Dr. Benekohal  - University of Illinois @ Urbana/Champaign

Dr. Lautala - Michigan Technological University

Dr. Moreu - University of New Mexico

Dr. Xiang Liu  - Rutgers University

Mr. Schlake and  Mr. Dillen - Penn State Altoona

10:45 am

The Honorable

Ronald L. Batory

Federal Railroad

Administrator

Conference attendees will hear from the FRA on the new USDOT initiative on grade crossing safety, which includes work among all USDOT modes to reduce grade crossing and trespasser fatalities and injuries.

Ronald L. Batory - Administrator

Federal Railroad Administration

11:45 am

1:00 pm

1:30 pm

Lunch With Vendors

Attendees will be fueled by a ballpark-themed lunch and by the energy of interacting with our conference exhibitors and conferees.

Helpful Online Tools

FRA will demonstrate each platform for States and Railroads to consider when querying for crossing incidents & accidents, monitoring grade crossing trends, and applying for grade crossing grants.

GRADEC.net Program -  a web-based decision support tool that assists federal, state and local authority decision makers in evaluating the benefits and costs of highway-rail grade crossing upgrades, separations and closures.

Web-based Accident Prediction System (WBAPS) - A computer generated model which provides the user an analytic tool to assist in determining which highway-rail grade crossing locations for safety enhancements can be best directed towards.

Grade Crossing Collision Dashboard (GX Dash) - A data visualization tool that allows users to interact with FRA's highway-rail grade crossing and inventory data at the national, state and county levels. The dashboard includes mapping and trend line information about collisions, injuries, and fatalities, among many more data results.

​​​​​​

MUTCD Updates

What are the plans for the next release of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and what grade crossing related materials are expected?

Frank A. Frey - FRA - HQ

 

James Dahlem, FRA-HQ

Frank Frey -FRA-HQ

James Dahlem - FRA-HQ

Rick Campbell - NCUTCD Technical Committee Chairman for Part 8 of the MUTCD

2:00 pm

Risk-Based Models and

Grade Crossing Inventory

Issues

Learn about new approaches in diagnostic reviews and integration with project prioritization. FRA, States, and Railroads will share best practices in inventory updates and maintenance.

Jill Henry - Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Shawn Luke & William Shrewsberry, Louisiana Department of Transportation

Ric Cruz - Tavla Solutions

Lindsay-Peters-Dawson, FRA - HQ

James Dahlem, FRA-HQ

3:15 pm

Visit our Exhibitors and Sponsors in Grand Ballroom #2 during the break and express your thanks for

their support of this event!  Without them, we wouldn't be here!  Thank you Exhibitors and Sponsors!

Afternoon Break

3:30 pm

4:30 pm

State DOTs and regulatory Public Utility Commissions have requested an independent session to learn from each other, sharing information on issues, challenges and solutions offered by peers.

State DOT/PUC Roundtable

-STATES ONLY-

Joint Roundtable Breakout Session - Railroads & States

An opportunity for both the States and the Railroads to get together in one  room where all participants can discuss their efforts to improve coordination and communications between state transportation agencies and their respective railroads.  A great forum to share best practices, lessons learned, disclose challenges encountered, and even highlight the helpful online resources found in the Innovation Library developed by the Community of Interest from the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2).

6:30 pm

Please join us in the King's Garden opposite the Exhibit Hall and Grand Ball Room for the Dinner Reception. Attendees will be able to relax with each other over a great Italian themed dinner, and be entertained by the famous Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band.Founded almost 70 years ago, this group, formed from the NS railroad police,entertains at more than 200 events per year, playing an entertaining music mix that includes mountain, beach, rock and bluegrass.

Dinner and Entertainment

Thursday, August 22

7:00 am

8:15 am

Breakfast

Today breakfast will be held in King's Garden 5

Existing Crossing Technologies having a Profound Effect

Enhancing train detection and vehicle detection to further enhance highway-rail grade crossing safety.

Ashish Jain - Frauscher Sensor Technology USA Inc.

Tom Hilleary - Island Radar

9:15 am

Rails With Trail - Lessons Learned

Best practices for developing, designing, and maintaining multi-use trails along railroad and transit corridors.

10:00 am

10:15 am

11:00 am

Morning Break

The Future: Autonomous

& Connected Vehicles @ Highway - Rail Grade

Crossings:Are We There Yet?

A current look at where we are.

Pennsylvania's Approach to Combating the Invasive

Spotted Lantern Fly

A status update on how the Commonwealth is working with the railroads to monitor and ultimately eliminate the Spotted Lantern Fly outbreak.

11:30 am

12 Noon

Conference Wrap-up

Closing remarks, survey completion, close-out recognition for presenters, upcoming workshops for 2020.

Conference Conclusion

Frank A. Frey, FRA-HQ

Shari Schaftlein, Federal Highway Administration

Jeffery E. Warner - Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Curtis Morgan - Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Dana D. Rhodes, State Plant Regulatory Official, PA Department of Agriculture

Sydney Fink, Plant Inspector, PA Department of Agriculture