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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Development of Railroad Trespassing Database Using Artificial Intelligence

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Communications, Train Control
Grade Crossing, Right-of-Way, Trespassing, Artificial Intelligence, Safety, Human Factors

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sponsored a research team from Rutgers University to develop a proof-of-concept Trespassing Database using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to automatically process large volumes of live or recorded video data. The team used the Rutgers AI algorithm to analyze over 27,000 hours of live video data and 1,176 hours of recorded video data from rights-of-way and grade crossings at 11 locations in 6 states. The AI algorithm collected trespassing-related data, including traffic, rail signal activations, train events, and trespass events. Trespass event data were automatically collected for each trespasser, including date, time, type (e.g., person, car, truck, bus, motorcycle), weather, trespasser’s path, and a video clip. The team manually validated all trespass event detection results to ensure that accurate data was included in the database. Over 29,000 trespass events were detected by the AI algorithm across all studied locations in this research. 
This report also presents two year-long, in-depth case studies of one grade crossing in New Jersey (21,202 trespass events) and one right-of-way (ROW) location in North Carolina (476 trespass events). This report provides temporal and spatial analyses of trespass events and discusses AI-informed mitigation strategies.

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Last updated: Monday, June 24, 2024