The elevated, grade separated configuration, and the exclusive nature of elevated rail track systems removes all possibilities for collisions with other forms of transportation, as well as, virtually all forms of pedestrian movement and activity settings. Collisions, wrecks and damage to elevated rail vehicles is limited to collisions between rail trains passing in close proximity, or to derailment of train equipment. In such cases, collisions and crashes resemble train wrecks, which can be intensified significantly should passenger vehicles leave the elevated structures and crash to the ground below.
Where elevated rail trains can be effectively separated, ensuring little or no possibility of contact between trains, the operating environment of elevated rail systems is virtually free of collision hazard. Safety protocols and equipment designed to prevent rear-end collisions, switch and track malfunctions and excessive speed can effectively minimize accidents and wrecks on the separated and relatively isolated tracks of elevated rail systems.
Electrical conductors and distribution equipment supported by overhead structures or utilizing electrified rails pose little hazard to personnel due to the inaccessibility of track and electrical equipment located on elevated railway structures. Fires and other dangerous conditions that may occur in power substations or distribution equipment outside elevated rail rights of way pose no greater risks than similar electrical facilities associated with other types and modes of mass transportation.
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