Global Level Crossing Network / ILCAD

Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN)

Chair: Allan Spence, mandate from RSSB

UIC Coordinator: Isabelle Fonverne

Members: railway infrastructure managers, road infrastructure managers, human behaviour specialists, academics, road safety advocates, etc.

Meetings: 2 to 3 times a year


  • GLCN addresses those tasks in the field of level crossing safety as they affect operation of the rail system.
  • GLCN brings together key stakeholders in order to exchange information and provide experience and lessons for improving the management of the “at-grade road/rail interface” (level crossings).
  • GLCN is to provide a network that drives a closer working relationship between all the key players (road, rail, law enforcement, town planning, etc.) involved in the road/rail interface and facilitate the core aim of learning from each other and sharing research findings. Core to the building of these relationships is the development of joint strategic and action plans that use common initiatives and goals to drive down the overall level of risk.



  • Understanding the economic case for level crossing closure
  • Share knowledge on lower cost level crossing technologies
  • Work in partnership with the insurance sector to identify possible economic benefits for the rail and road communities


  • Proper benchmarking of the road and rail risk at the “at-grade interface” based on a common set of data criteria
  • Concentration of risk at active open crossings
  • Implications for risk profile of lightweight rail vehicles and heavier road vehicles
  • Develop a risk analysis method to prioritise safety improvements
Best practice for level crossing risk assessment
December 2022

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One of the biggest risks on railways across the world is where trains and road vehicles or people both use intersections known as ‘grade or ‘level’ crossings. The international railway community shares best practice through UIC’s Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) and promotes safe use each year with an International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). Other campaigns and the Safer LC toolbox help rail and road authorities to reduce the number of incidents and fatalities at the world’s level crossings.

The UIC Safety Platform proposed that GLCN should identify best practice for risk assessment of grade/level crossings and promote adoption by member railways. This guide provides the best practice identified by that work.

The workstream was completed in two phases:

Phase 1 – Review current global working practices

Phase 2 – Creation of a best practice document

With the help of UIC members, the GLCN has identified “Seven Principles for Risk Assessing Level Crossings” which are highlighted in this document.

French version: Meilleure pratique pour l’évaluation des risques aux passages à niveau

Engineering (road and rail)

  • Weaving at automatic half barrier crossings (use of lane separators/median strips)
  • Obstacle detection and photo enforcement methodologies
  • Many other solutions mentioned in the EC project “SAFER LC” coordinated by UIC - visit the SAFER-LC toolbox

Education, Human Factors, Awareness

  • Road signage (international driving issues)
  • Ensure that law enforcement authorities understand the risk levels at level crossings
  • Work in partnership with local communities including the education of level crossing users
  • Understanding why road users behave as they do at the road/rail interface
  • Inclusion of level crossing risks in driving school programmes
  • The main successful achievement in this field is without any doubt: ILCAD


  • Work closely with enforcement agencies such as the National Safety Authorities, local and transport police forces to determine joint efforts to combat the misuse of the “at-grade road/rail interface” (level crossing).
  • Equipment to deter and catch offenders
  • Developing relationships with police/enforcing agencies
  • Using enforcement data to adapt risk controls
  • Seeking publicity about enforcement outcomes to deter others


Each year almost 300 road users or pedestrians die in level crossing accidents (EU-28), causing economic damage estimated at €1 billion (ERA report on railway safety and interoperability in the EU - 2020). Of these fatalities, 98% are attributed to deliberate or undeliberate errors by the road users, either vehicle drivers or pedestrians.

Despite this, society still labels most fatal accidents at level crossings as a rail problem.

The rail community regards this as a particular problem largely because it is not possible to anticipate the actions of individual road vehicle drivers and pedestrians at level crossings despite a range of risk control measures. The actions and misuse by members of the public throughout Europe disproportionately account for over 25% of ALL accidents and 29% of all rail fatalities affecting safe rail operation.

Clearly this is a significant risk area for the rail sector.

However, of all road deaths in the EU (22,800 in 2019), only 1% occur at level crossings.
So a significant risk to the safe operation of the rail network is in fact only a small element of the overall road safety issue.

ELCF (European Level Crossing Forum)
From 2021, due to the growing global dimension taken by ELCF, it was decided to change its name and logo. ELCF became GLCN (Global Level Crossing Network).

  • the first meeting was held in 2005 and was started as an initiative arising from the 8th Level Crossing Safety and Trespass Symposium held in Sheffield, UK in 2004. Meetings have been held approximately twice a year since then, allowing ELCF to grow from the 11 countries at the start to over 20, and now to about 30.
  • ELCF became a UIC Safety Platform working group in November 2017.

SAFER-LC project
SAFER-LC (Safer Level Crossing by integrating and optimising road-rail infrastructure management and design) project coordinated by UIC aims to improve safety and minimise risk by developing a fully integrated cross-modal set of innovative solutions and tools for the proactive management and design of level-crossing infrastructure.
Visit SAFER-LC project website:

RESTRAIL project
RESTRAIL Toolbox is a problem-solving guide for implementation of measures to prevent railway suicides and trespassing accidents and to mitigate the post-incident consequences. It is the main output of the RESTRAIL research project and it aims to be a helpful, intuitive and user-friendly tool. It summarises practical information collected and produced during the project (synthesis, guidelines, best practice, lessons learned and empirical evidence for effectiveness). The content also makes links with scientific publications which support the recommended measures, providing a wide list of references.

Visit RESTRAIL project website:

ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day) campaign

“Act safely at level crossings!”

ILCAD 2018 - Poster "Don't beat the train!"

The International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) is an awareness campaign on level crossing safety. The campaign has been spearheaded by the International Union of Railways (UIC) with the support of the railway community around the world from 2009. A growing number of road sector organisations, international institutions (UNECE, IRU…) have also been involved in raising awareness of the risks at level crossings to change road users’ and pedestrians’ behaviour to “Act safely at level crossings”. Each year, a partner country hosts an international conference to launch the annual event. Each participant shares good practices and projects to increase safety, thereby contributing to lowering the number of accidents and casualties.

Visit ILCAD website:

UIC contact

UIC Coordinator: Isabelle Fonverne

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