Level Crossing Types

The Hierarchy of Control

Elimination Eliminating the hazard—physically removing it—is the most effective hazard control e.g. closing the level crossing
Substitution Substitution, the second most effective hazard control, involves replacing something that produces a hazard (similar to elimination) with something that does not produce a hazard e.g. upgrading the level crossing
Engineering The third most effective means of controlling hazards is engineered controls. These do not eliminate hazards, but rather isolate people from hazards e.g. trespass guards and fencing
Administrative Administrative controls are changes to the way people work. Administrative controls do not remove hazards, but limit or prevent people's exposure to the hazards e.g. temporary attendants
PPE Personal Protective Equipment includes gloves, respirators, hard hats, safety glasses, high-visibility clothing, and safety footwear. PPE is the least effective means of controlling hazards because of the high potential for damage to render PPE ineffective.

Network Rail’s Principle of the Four ‘E’s

Education Educating crossing users on how to use level crossings correctly and highlighting the dangers of misuse.
Enabling Developing appropriate techniques, processes, models and relationships/partnerships to improve the management of level crossing risk (e.g. Road Rail Partnership Groups, the All Level Crossing Risk Model).
Enforcement Taking appropriate action to assist the police in identifying those who deliberately endanger others through their actions at level crossings with a view to securing their prosecution.
Engineering Requirement that level crossings are regularly inspected and correctly maintained. Additionally, where it is reasonably practicable to do so, enhancing crossing safety through means such as closure/diversion or provision of additional safety features/equipment (e.g. addition of telephones or lights, conversion from half-barriers to full-barriers).


ALCRM All Level Crossings Risk Model
AOM Area Operations Manager (Network Rail)
AXIAT Assessment of Level Crossing Alternatives Tool
Behavioural Influencing Factor User characteristics, perceptions and beliefs that influence behaviour
BTP British Transport Police
CBA Cost Benefit Analysis
CIRAS Confidential Incident Reporting & Analysis System
DDA Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equality Act 2010)
Decision Point A location where the user can view both up and down the tracks to decide whether to cross, without compromising their safety. This point is usually designated at 3 metres from the nearest running rail
DPTAC Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
ENST Ergonomics National Specialist Team (Network Rail)
Environmental Influencing Factor Level crossing location, design and operational features that induce unsafe behaviour due to errors.
Error This is an unintended decision or action by a person, which in this case results in unsafe behaviour at a level crossing
Facing Points Points where a single track diverges into two, i.e. where the points face the oncoming train. The opposite is trailing points, where two tracks become one.
FOC Freight Operating Company
Four Foot The gap between the running rails of one line. Comes from the standard gauge measurement of 4ft 8 1/2 ins (1435mm).
FTA Fault Tree Analysis
Grade Crossing US term for a level crossing
GSM-R Global System for Mobiles – Rail
HAZOP Hazard and Operability Study
HF Human Factors
HFI Human Factors Issue. This is a design or operational feature, or user characteristic, which influences the likelihood of an error or violation.
HGV Heavy Goods Vehicle
HMRI Her Majesty’s Rail Inspectorate
HSE Health and Safety Executive
LCM Level Crossing Manager (Network Rail)
LHA Local Highways Authority
LOM Local Operations Manager (Network Rail)
LXRAM Level Crossing Risk Reduction and Mitigation
LXRMTK Level Crossing Risk Management Toolkit
MM Mitigation Measure
MOM Mobile Operations Manager (Network Rail)
MP&I Major Projects and Infrastructure (Network Rail)
MSL Miniature Stop Light
NRA Narrative Risk Assessment
NRCI Network Rail Controlled Infrastructure
ORA Operations Risk Advisor (Network Rail)
ORR Office of Rail Regulation
Points The mechanism by which a train track divides into two. The rails are specially shaped to allow a smooth transition from the main track to the diverging track.
POGOs Power Operated Gate Openers
RAIB Rail Accident Investigation Branch
RIF Risk Influencing Factor - This is a design or operational feature, or user characteristic, which influences the likelihood of an error or violation.
RSSB Rail Safety and Standards Board
Six Foot The space between one line and another
SME Subject Matter Expert
SMIS Safety Management Information System
SPAD Signal Passed At Danger
Ten Foot The space between one pair of lines and another.
TOC Train Operating Company
TPWS Train Protection and Warning System
Violation This is an intentional act by a person in breach of the rules for safe use of a level crossing