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2018 Level Crossings

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Level Crossings by Country 2024

A level crossing is an intersection between a railway and a road or some other type of path at the same level, as opposed to overpasses and underpasses that cross railways at a different level. Level crossings are also known by other names, depending on location and the exact nature of the crossing. For example, international names include railway crossing and railway level crossing. In the United States, names include grade crossing and railroad crossing. Other names include train crossing, road through railroad, criss-cross and the abbreviation RXR.

Number of Level Crossings

The number of level crossings are quite high in areas with extensive railways. Europe has more than 100,000, while North America has over 200,000 level crossings. The following table shows the number of level crossings for the top ten countries from 2016 to 2020:

History

The first level crossings had a flagman, who would wave a red flag or other visual indicator to clear the tracks. Gated crossings were the next development, which a signalman could close to protect the railway from crossing people and livestock. Electrical gates were introduced during the early 20th century, which served as a complete barrier against all road traffic. Automatic crossings are now the standard barrier for level crossings, now that motor vehicles have completely replaced animal-drawn vehicles. However, older barriers are still found in rural areas, especially those with low levels of technology.

Safety

Level crossings pose significant safety risks. The crossing of a railway and road creates the possibility of a motor vehicle colliding with a much heavier train. In addition, trains generally can't stop in time to avoid a collision, even when the engineer begins braking immediately upon seeing an obstacle. A train's long braking distance also means that it usually doesn't stop at a level crossing, relying on vehicles and pedestrians to stop crossing the tracks instead. Despite the safety measures used by modern level crossings, about 400 people in Europe and over 300 in the US die at level crossings each year.

Download Table Data

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Country
2018 Level Crossings
2017 Level Crossings
2016 Level Crossings
2019 Level Crossings
2020 Level Crossings
United States209,765213,200
Canada22,88426,62921,11522,82722,044
France15,25817,56616,678
Germany13,90013,98414,054
Poland12,80112,83313,109
Sweden6,9116,9806,609
Hungary6,0496,0816,077
United Kingdom5,9366,2336,117
Italy5,8445,9576,634
Romania5,0405,0305,200
Ukraine4,9454,9484,902
Austria4,1924,1034,086
Norway3,4673,5223,553
Finland3,1913,2173,254
Spain3,1683,1963,232
Netherlands2,3562,2702,241
Slovakia2,0882,1022,105
Belarus1,7461,7491,754
Switzerland1,5551,5541,574
Croatia1,5121,5121,513
Greece1,2631,2631,405
Kazakhstan1,0581,0551,040
Denmark1,0241,2551,191
Ireland931942972
Portugal839850851
Bulgaria757757761
Slovenia735745483
Latvia652680670
Lithuania543543543
Azerbaijan526524524
Estonia322322322
Georgia212209209
Luxembourg1173846
Kyrgyzstan646464
Uzbekistan697696
Belgium1,7371,751
Serbia2,1322,106
showing: 37 rows

Which country has the most level crossings?

Two hundred thousand level crossings exist in the United States and equipment with warning devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources