Highway / Railroad Signal Interconnect Seminar



  • The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in conjunction with Railroad Controls Limited, Inc. (RCL), the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain), Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), and City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation will be offering a two-day seminar on interconnection of traffic signals with highway-rail grade crossing active warning devices.  The two-day seminar will be followed by half-day training on basics of highway-rail grade crossing design and California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD) Part 8 (traffic control devices for highway-rail grade crossings) and Part 10 (traffic control devices at highway-light rail transit grade crossings).

Who Should Attend?

  • Traffic, Civil, and Signal Engineers – to learn about engineering components of integrating highway traffic signals with highway-rail grade crossing active warning devices, and also learn the basics of highway-rail grade crossing design and the requirements of the CA MUTCD.
  • Traffic Signal Maintainers – to learn how to avoid traffic signal maintenance problems that can lead to catastrophic crashes.
  • Public Works Managers and Supervisors and Transportation Planners – to learn about hazards and other issues associated with highway-rail grade crossings, in order to make better-informed decisions when planning or approving projects that involve highway-rail grade crossings.


  • Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning System and Traffic Signal Interconnection:
    April 11, 2007 and April 12, 2007 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Basics of Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Design and CA MUTCD:
    April 13, 2007 from 8 AM to Noon


  • Hiram Johnson State Building, Milton Marks Conference Center, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA.


  • Railroad Controls Limited, Inc. (RCL)
    N. Michael Choat, Vice President. Mike has 30 years experience in Railroad signal design and maintenance with the CSX Railroad.
    Scott Booker, Project Engineer. Scott has worked on numerous preemption projects throughout the U.S. with RCL, and was the traffic engineer for the city of Fort Worth in Texas prior to that.
    Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain)
    Raul Millena, Manager Signals and Communication. Raul is a member of Committees 36 (highway-rail grade crossings) & 37 (signal systems) of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA).  He will also be one of the instructors of the two-day seminar.
  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
    Dan Guerrero, Manager Signals and Communication. Dan is also a member of AREMA Committees 36 and 37
  • City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation.
    Sean Skehan, Principal Transportation Engineer, PE, PTO.
  • California Public Utilities Commission, Rail Crossings Engineering Section
    Varoujan Jinbachian, Senior Utilities Engineer
    Kevin Schumacher, Utilities Engineer. Varoujan and Kevin are the CPUC representatives to the California Traffic Control Device Committee (CTCDC), and are responsible for edits to Parts 8 and 10 of the CA MUTCD.  They will be the instructors for the half-day seminar on CA MUTCD.
  • Additional Guest Speakers (TBA)


  • Send an email to the address shown below providing the following information:
    Attending 2-day preemption seminar (Y/N):
    Attending 1/2 – day basic highway-rail grade crossing design seminar (Y/N):
    Public Agency (Y/N):
  • Fee: $250.00 (Fee waived for public agency employees)
  • Register early because seating is limited.
  • Email registration form to Denise Hecht at dhecht@railroadcontrols.com


  • Parking is limited; we encourage taking BART to the Civic Center Station and then a short walk through United Nations Plaza to the State Building located between Polk Street and Larkin Street on Golden Gate Avenue.
  • A limited amount of parking is available at public parking lots on Franklin Street between McAllister & Golden Gate Avenues, and Golden Gate Avenue between Gough & Franklin Streets.  $10 per day


  • A block of rooms has been set aside at the two hotels listed below.  Please make your reservations prior to the March 15th cut off date at both locations.  Reservations made after that time cannot be guaranteed at the stated rates.
  • Holiday Inn Civic Center – $110/night
    50 Eighth Street (at Market Street)
    3.5 blocks from site of conference and a short walk through the beautifully restored Civic Center plaza with the San Francisco City Hall, Main Library and Asian Art Museum.
    You may contact hotel reservations directly at (800) 243-1135.  Ask for the CPUC rate.  Or, attached is a booking link to facilitate your making reservations at the Holiday Inn. You may reserve your contracted rate directly through the reservation website by clicking below and entering the dates of your stay.  Holiday Inn notes that members of their Priority Club frequent travel rewards program also receive free breakfast in their restaurant when staying there.
  • Hilton Fisherman’s Warf – $140/night
    2620 Jones Street
    The Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf is approximately 2.3 miles from the conference site.  It is located in the beautiful Wharf/Marina area with many spectacular views and local restaurants.  Self or valet parking is available for an additional charge.  The block is listed under “CPUC” or “California Public Utilities Commission.” Reservations can be made through the hotel at 415-885-4700 or through their central reservations at 800-Hiltons (445-8667).
  • Additional Information: For additional information on the seminar or regarding lodging/logistics please contact Kevin Boles at (415) 703-2795 or kcb@cpuc.ca.gov.


Wednesday – April 11

  • 8:00 – 8:10 AM         Welcome / Introduction
  • 8:10 – 10:00 AM       Understanding Highway Traffic Signals
    Basic traffic signal control equipment types
    History    Fundamentals of operation
  • 10:00 – 10:15 AM     Break
  • 10:15 – 12:00 PM     Understanding Grade Crossing Warning Systems
    MUTCD – Responsibilities Fundamentals of operation Warning system types, Determining Warning Time
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM       Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 PM          Interconnection of the 2 Systems
    Preemption Operation, MUTCD definitions concerning preemption, MUTCD specific issues relating to preemption, adding the railroad to the 8 phase intersection
  • 2:30 – 2:45 PM          Break
  • 2:45 – 5:00 PM          Determining Preemption Time Requirements
    The Texas DOT Preemption Form Use of the Time Line    Solutions, the L.A. Preemption Form

Thursday – April 12

  • 8:00 – 8:15 AM         Review of Preemption Operation
  • 8:15 – 10:00 AM       Video Presentations
    Fox River Grove Issues
    The Fort Worth & Western Railroad at Mustang Drive
    The South Orient Railroad at Hulen Street
  • 10:00 – 10:15 AM     Break
  • 10:15 – 12:00 PM     Additional Preemption Issues
    Special Geometric Issues
    Queue Cutter Signals
  • 12:00 -1:00 PM         Lunch
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM          Preemption Solutions – Putting New Technology to Work
    San Fernando Road – Serial Data Interconnect Circuit
    Railroad Issues
    Traffic Signal Issues
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM          Break
  • 3:15 – 4:30 PM          Preemption Solutions – Putting New Technology to Work
    San Fernando Road at Roxford Street
    Live Demonstration
  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM          Metrolink Policies on New Preemption Projects

Friday – April 13

  • 8:00- 10:00 AM         Basics of Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Design
  • 10:00-10:15 AM        Break
  • 10:15 – 12:00 PM      CA MUTCD Parts 8 & 10