You know the signs. You know them all too well. Many of you are still using spreadsheets to capture all of your crossing data. Pavement, grade, signage, safety equipment, track conditions, road conditions, lighting, line of sight, number of trains, vehicles, passengers, incidents, pictures, contracts, oh my! How do I store it all? How is it all managed? How do I compile, process, and analyze this information effectively? That’s when you know …
It’s TIME for a highway-rail crossing data management system.
You may be able to juggle multiple applications or multiple spreadsheets. But the issue is, inputting data manually, generating a simple report, cross-referencing data, receiving and inputting data from crossing inspectors, exporting and sending data to FRA, or even combining data extracts from this system and that one is incredibly time-consuming and burdensome. You just don’t have the time. Haven’t you wondered what it would be like if you had a single online system that stores all your data? One that allows you to catalog your data? Let’s you search, sort or filter down to the information you need? Yes, it’s time to consider investing in a new system.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires a vast amount of crossing information and characteristics to be collected, cataloged and maintained. You need a system with easy-to-use data formats that allows users to input or quickly access crossing inventory data. Additionally, data transfers to and from FRA should be managed electronically to ensure that all stakeholders can simultaneously view the most current crossing information. And you should be able to store all your crossing photos in an easy-to-access library which can also archive older photos.
So, you have funding for a variety of improvement projects. And you know you have urgent improvements and aging equipment that needs to be replaced. But the data and documentation are stored in different locations. And the data may be maintained in a number of disparate systems or even spreadsheets. Your ability to apply and track project funding can be very challenging and time consuming. This is when you wish you had a simple data management system that could easily bring these elements together. A system that tracks obligated funding amounts, project descriptions, and drawdown data all in one place. A place where all railroad crossing agreements can be stored and quickly accessed with all associated project data. And a system that can be configured to communicate with the state’s electronic document management system.
Producing reports from a spreadsheet just does not work. And pulling data for critical analysis opportunities from a variety of locations or systems can take time and create frustration. All good reporting tools rely on accurate, uniform, and granular data collection and storage. The right system will contain a multitude of pre-formatted ready reports for crossings, projects, funding, inventories, crash and incident data. And when a report is not yet available, additional reports can be identified created so you can spend time analyze funding and crash data, not gathering it.
It’s time to invest!
Say goodbye to tedious, manual processes, and go deeper into your data. Invest in an online managed database of railroad crossing data that also tracks rail safety, maintenance, agreements, and construction projects. Benefit from a system that meets Federal Rail Administration and U.S. DOT Crossing Inventory Form submission requirements and has the capability of transferring data electronically to the FRA system. The BlackCat Rail Data Management System® facilitates accurate information sharing by providing the FRA, state departments of transportation, and railroads a common place to collect and share data, ensuring each stakeholder can simultaneously view the most current crossing information. The application is intuitive, easy-to-use, and loaded with search, sorting, filtering and reporting capabilities.
Make the investment.