I know that the topic of railroad POIs has come up in the past, http://www.poi-factory.com/node/13302 but I just found out that the FRA has an iOS smartphone app!
I hope they are planning an Android app, too!
From reading the article, it sounds like the primary purpose for the app is reporting problems with grade crossings.
If this in any way actually maps out railroad crossings such as it could be used while traveling, then this is insane. Only our government could come up with a smartphone app that relates to driving while other government agencies are busy prohibiting the use of smartphones in your hands while driving.
How is it insane???? You do realize that smartphones, just like PNDs, can be placed in mounts and used as hands-free navigation devices.
PNDs come with mounts that are designed to work in autos, I haven't seen a smartphone ship yet with a mount. Have you seen one?
Haven't seen one that ships with the phone but they are certainly available at good prices. Got this one from Amazon:
.....PNDs come with mounts that are designed to work in autos, I haven't seen a smartphone ship yet with a mount. Have you seen one?
Actually, yes, several that I have owned came with a windshield mount:
-Pharos GPS 600 Phone
-Garmin Nuvifone G60
The FRA data base shows 95 records for my county. All locations are marked as closed. I know first hand that the last train movement in my county was 43 years ago. Some of the locations were closed and the tracks removed back in the 1950's.
Yet the Effective Begin-Date of Record:01/01.00.
As of that date all ROW had been returned to adjacent propery owners. But some locations still show the crossing protected by crossbucks when if fact they had been removed.
Perhaps the feds should use the POI-Factory for crossings with no signals.
The press release says this:
" The app allows users to report information about grade crossings to the FRA to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is available. "
The apps purpose is so that citizen (volunteers) can help FRA update the crossings database. They are enlisting help rather than hiring people to travel everywhere to gather that information. I assume they will use additional means to check the accuracy of the information, but for a first or second cut at the problem, it's a pretty reasonable and cost-effective approach. Railroad crossing geeks are already on this!
" The app allows users to report information about grade crossings to the FRA to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is available.
An engineer friend of mine knows the status of every grade crossing in the sub division where he is qualified. And so does the UP. Of course he doesn't know about the crossings that were closed before he was born.
In Montgomery County, Maryland school bus drivers are prohibited from driving a school bus over any railroad tracks. To do so will get the driver fired.
Extra roads were built to assure that alternative routes were available.
It is because of a tragic school bus and train collision which happened generations ago which killed a large number of students.
This app is actually useful for finding out whose tracks you are looking at, and roughly how active they are. Good for exploring!
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