Here you can get Crossing train tracks safely, Tips for crossing railroad tracks safely, Types of level crossing and Emergencies etc.
Few situations in motoring are more traumatic than to be at the wheel of a vehicle that stalls in the middle of a level crossing. But if you have a basic understanding of level crossings, of the different types used and how they work, and follow some elementary precautions, then you should never get caught in this situation.
In this sort of crossing the barrier descends only over the left-hand half the road on each approach side. Flashing lights are operated automatically by the train. Warning amber lights flash first then red ones. You should never try to drive during a zigzag round the closed barriers, against the lights. this could be fatal.
As you drive over the crossing do not be tempted to seem up and down the track. Keep your eyes on the crossing. As you approach the extent crossing and you see the barriers are closed, check in your rear view mirror for other traffic. Always be aware of other road users as you cross. Look out for pedestrians and cyclists who can also be crossing.
The busiest crossings have full barriers that descend together, one on each side of the road, so that between them they block the whole road. The exit barriers do not come down until the entrance ones are in place, so a vehicle cannot be trapped between them.
There are some 600 of this type of crossing in Britain, of which about 400 are manually controlled. The others are operated remotely, but usually have closed-circuit television so the operator can see when to bring the barriers up. There are also about 650 old-fashioned manually controlled level crossings in which the gates are opened and closed by a signalman, either by hand or electrically.
Automatic level crossings
Manually controlled crossings generally cause no problems. But the other type of crossings are automatic and may cause accidents .
Most automatic crossings have half barriers, which descend only over the left-hand half of the road on each approach side. they’re operated automatically by the approaching train. an extra warning is provided by flashing amber lights, followed by flashing red ones. There are about 280 of these in Britain. The most obvious safety
precaution for these crossings isn’t to be tempted to cross against the lights by driving a zigzag course around the closed barriers. Some automatic crossings, called ‘automatic open crossings’, haven’t any barriers. The motorist must observe the signal lights, as there’s no other warning that the crossing is closed favour of the railway.
Types of level crossing
Open level crossings
If you are in the position of being stuck on a railway crossing, you should follow the British Rail procedure (see sideline, left). If another vehicle is present, ask for a ‘bumper push’. A car with a manual transmission can usually be moved a short distance on the starter. Put the gear lever into first, check that the handbrake is off, and operate the starter, keeping it going until the vehicle is completely clear of the crossing barrier.
If you are driving an automatic, it cannot be moved on the starter motor. The only hope then is to put the transmission selector, into Neutral and push, enlisting the help of anyone present.
Tips for crossing railroad tracks safely
- Approach with care; look for advance warning signs. Be alert and warn others that you are slowing down by activating your four-way flashers.
- Use all of your senses by turning off your radio and your climate control fan motor; roll down your windows and use your sense of hearing as well as sight for any approaching train.
- Stop within 15 feet of the nearest rail.
- Look both ways, lean forward to see around mirrors to get the best view of the tracks in both directions.
- Using the highest gear allowed, cross with care and without shifting gears.
- Time your crossing safely and account for the extra length of your vehicle to cross all of the tracks safely.