Finland: level crossing closure rate slows

3 Nov

The rate at which Finland’s level crossings can be eliminated is slowing with the 1991-2010 average of 140 closed in a year but a distant memory. With a tightening budget and much of the low hanging fruit already eliminated, it is expected that just 45 will be eliminated this year. Solutions range from lower-cost subways and roadway diversion costing a few thousand Euros to more complex grade-separation projects costing several million.

However, despite the slowing rate of closure, so far this year there has not been a fatal accident on any of Finland’s 2,600 level crossings. In addition to closure there are upgrade projects each year, with lower cost warning devices in prospect.The use of a GPS signal to detect an approaching train linked to a flashing yellow light warning of the train has been developed so that it costs about 10% of the up to EUR150,000 costs of adding barriers.The first installation is planned for December 2014

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