94 level crossings in Croatia to get active safety measures

Croatia takes action to make 94 level crossings safer to reduce incidents. Last week, an agreement was signed in order to provide the level crossings with active signalling and other safety measures. The rail-road crossings that are part of this project are places with a lot of mixed traffic. Most of them are located in Bjelovar-Bilogora, Požega-Slavonia, Osijek-Baranja, Virovitica-Podravina and Varaždin counties.

The project will provide and modernise 94 rail-road and one pedestrian crossing throughout Croatia. The Croatian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, rail infrastructure manager HŽ Infrastruktura and the Central Agency for Financing and Contracting of European Union Programs and Projects (CFCA), signed an agreement for securing and modernising the railway crossings on January 26, 2021

In 2018, a campaign was started to raise awareness for safety at level crossings. According to a report of the campaign, there are 1,519 level crossings in Croatia, of which at the time 37 percent were active, which means they warn road users of approaching trains. The other 63 percent were passive, and do not react to an approaching train. With the securing of more level crossings with active systems, the safety will improve.

Electronic signalling

Project activities include equipping all crossings with automatic electronic signalling and safety devices that use light signals with LEDs and loud bells for safe traffic flow. At 79 rail-road crossings, in addition to these devices, half-barriers will be installed. As part of the project, the provision and equipping of previously designed rail-road crossings and pedestrian crossings on lines for international, regional and local traffic will be carried out.

The total value of the project is 208.7 million Croatian Kuna (27.5 million euros), and 85 percent of the costs (18.8 million euros), will be co-financed from EU funds under the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion. The rest will be financed from Croatian state budget.

Safety requirements

The main works of securing and modernising all crossings are designed with respect to interoperable standards, and the installed equipment will meet all prescribed safety and technical requirements with additional respect for safety elements in accordance with EU directives, according to HŽ Infrastruktura.

The realisation of the project will reduce the danger at the intersections of railways and roads and is expected to consequently reduce the number of accidents and the number of human casualties, which is ultimately the main goal of the project.

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Author: Esther Geerts

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