Google to bring railroad crossing information to Google Maps

Google Maps will soon include all of the public railroad crossings on its maps, as the company has partnered with the Federal Railroad Administration to increase driver safety. There are around 130,000 public and 85,000 private crossings in the country currently, and there are more than 2,000 accidents at these intersections each year.

With more and more people relying on navigation to get them around, the additional information will make drivers even safer. Sarah Feinberg, the Federal Railroad Administration's acting administrator said:

"The vast majority of these accidents and deaths are preventable. In some cases, maybe a driver intends to beat the train, thinks they are familiar with the route or still have time to cross. But there are many cases where drivers lack situational awareness, because it may be dark or the route is unfamiliar."

Currently there is no indication of when the data will begin appearing in Google Maps, but it is great to see the two companies partner to keep people on the road even safer.

Source: NYTimes

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.
  • Great idea and maybe Google can incorporate a safety message for the car driver to warn of approaching train? Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Because the flashy lights, horn and insanely bright lights on the front of the train aren't enough warning that one is coming?
  • Ha-ha not for this guy apparently. Posted via my Nexus 6
  • you obviously arent aware that many of the crossings in rural areas are "unguarded" (AKA, no gates/no lights)
  • Trains are huge and noisy. Almost all crossings have flashing lights when they're approaching too.. If you cant tell it's approaching, you have bigger problems lol
  • that will never happen.! Imagine the liability if they screw up?
  • Don't second guess Darwin, Google. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ha-ha. Sounds like you'd be the type to get stuck on the tracks or struck by a train being and idiot. I say remove all the warnings and let Darwinism take its course. Posted via my Nexus 6
  • Great idea, but this will do nothing about the idiots who try to beat the train or just aren't paying attention, not to mention it's usually VERY OBVIOUS when you're driving over train tracks... Heck I've seen someone cut me off just to beat the train and WHAM!. Sure it sucked I was stuck because of that idiot but it sure made for some great entertainment..
  • Choochoo
  • I think it would be even better to integrate these train schedules into WAZE and Google directions mapping in order to provide an opportunity to avoid further delays due to trains. I (typically) cross two tracks on my morning commute and it would be great to be able to factor these into my morning drive...or be aware so that I can choose a different route (or the app can do so automatically).
  • Exactly. Something I've wanted for years. Let navigation tell me if I stay on route, I'll be stopped by a train, but if I detour and cross the tracks a mile earlier or later, I can miss it. That would make me wet my pants. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That might work for commuter lines. Freight trains haven't run on a "schedule" for decades. Posted from my XT1080M
  • So freight trains each have their own set of tracks and never share tracks or cross other tracks? Pretty amazing... Seriously - there must be some sort of schedule available otherwise we would have a great deal more freight accidents than passenger. However, not so sure how 'public' that information is - never really bothered to look for it.......until now.
  • As someone that works for one of the major freight train companies in the US, i can, with 100% certainty, say that this statement is false.
  • you sir, are correct! Posted via the Android Central App
  • O.K., that was a dumb statement. Mea Culpa
  • This is nice and all but when people stop on the tracks there is nothing that Google can do about that. So many accidents occurring on the tracks because people want to stop on the tracks. Nothing Google can do about that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Um, the FRA is not a "company," but I understand what you meant. Posted from my XT1080M
  • Pay attention like you should when your driving! Watch people blame google if something happends. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Having this information on the maps will be helpful. I can't wait to see it incorporated.
  • Very cool Posted via Morse Code
  • My guess is that most of not all trains are outfitted these days with some sort of GPS tracking so home base knows where the train is at all times. If Google can tap into that and incorporate it into Maps.... So much more accurate than a schedule. Posted via the Android Central App
  • More likely we'll see navigation tell us "rail crossing in 1/4 mile, use caution" or something. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well since in detroit, which is about the only place I come across railroads, most of the tracks are abandoned, I really don't need that feature. The crossings are basically just to be treated as potholes that stick up instead of sink down lol Posted via the Android Central App on my LG G3
  • <a href=""> Thanks for providing this valuable information </a>
  • Google Maps used to show rail lines on their maps (not necessarily talking about crossings, specifically, just the rail lines, like they were another road or something, but clearly shown as train tracks), but they stopped doing that quite some time ago. But really sure why. Now, rant time: I like the newer versions of Maps, but the maps themselves are a MESS! It's not so bad with the way the daytime maps look, but especially at night, there's WAY too much clutter on the maps, with practically every, single street name being displayed (I'm talking about secondary roads; roads that aren't even a part of your route). That, coupled with practically every, single business/point of interest you're passing by being displayed, makes the map VERY visually unappealing & hard to read. What's even worse is there's very little contrast between the dark brown map color and all the secondary roads being displayed, so all you see are the stark, white street names, without hardly being able to see the streets themselves. The maps from older versions, say 6.14.4, were perfect, and it would be AWESOME if Google could somehow use those maps with the newest interface (the lane assist feature in the newer versions is awesome!)! I used to be able to run version 6.14.4, along with whatever the most current version of Maps was, side-by-side on my phone (I think I have an APK of Maps 6.14.4 that was somehow modified to prevent the Play Store from updating it), but I can't seem to get that to happen now that I've upgraded my Nexus 6 to Lollipop 5.1 (it worked O.K. with Lollipop 5.0). Whenever I try to install the 6.14.4 APK, it shows the newest version of Maps icon in Root Explorer (even though I renamed the current version's APK file extension to BAK), and it opens up the current version of Maps when I try to run it. I know I can run either version by itself, but I really liked having both on my phone to use whichever version I happened to want at the time. If anyone knows how to make that happen, that would be awesome! Posted via the Android Central App