Communications & Signals Functional Group

Technical Committee 36 – Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems

The purpose of this committee is to develop concepts, provide information and recommend practices for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of highway-railroad grade crossing warning equipment and systems.


Shawn Hall

Engineer Systems Methods and Standards

BNSF Railway


Vice Chair

Dale R. Hill

Manager Special Projects

Alfred Benesch & Company



David C. Flores

Asst. Chief Engineer Signal Design

Keolis Commuter Services


Subcommittees and Current Assignments

Subcommittee 1: Warning Systems Controls.

  • Responsible for updating AREMA C&S Manual Parts concerning warning system control circuits.  
  • Evaluating industry practices on the interconnection of grade crossing warning systems with nearby traffic signal intersections including the use of pre-signals. 
  • Responsible for development of new recommended practices for new grade crossing warning system technology  
  • Responsible for review of grade crossing control product changes and safety improvements to ensure recommended practices are current with state of the practice. 

Subcommittee 2: Warning System Installation and Maintenance.

  • Responsible for updating AREMA C&S Manual Parts that are related to the installation and maintenance of warning systems. 
  • Develop a recommended practice for the layout and coverage of vehicle detection sub-systems • Develop pathway grade crossing warning device layout recommendations, including the use of swing gates, and other pedestrian treatments. This effort needs to be coordinated with the standards and guidance recommendations being made in the pending MUTCD. 
  • Monitor FRA Activation Failure data to determine if changes in recommended practices are warranted to reduce malfunctions (on-going assignment) 

Subcommittee 3: Warning System Equipment.

  • Reviewing 20+ manual parts for signal foundations and updating the design recommendations of currently manufactured and approved products. The 20+ manual parts will be reduced to 7 manual parts including General Requirements and then design and installation instructions for Steel, Precast and Pour in Place foundations 
  • Developing Railroad Pedestrian Only Crossing Signal recommended practices including an active “Second Train Coming” sign, and soft-tone pedestrian audible warning devices based on new FRA guidelines. 
  • Need to discuss further issues on LED’s in our sections. (Note: A task force is being formed to address concerns about the electrical characteristics of LED array used in grade crossing warning systems)
  • Responsible for updating AREMA C&S Manual Parts that concern warning devices hardware and components.