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Things to Remember About Railroad Crossings

Cross buck -

There are some important things about trains and railroad crossing that you should remember and expect on your written knowledge test:

  • The cross buck sign means yield. Trains must be given the right-of-way at all times! Stay alert. Turn off radios and noisy equipment. No cell phones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.

  • Always expect a train. Freight trains do not run at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains change.

  • Trains cannot stop quickly. The average freight train traveling at 55 mph needs more than a mile to stop. If you are in its way, it will not be able to stop fast enough to avoid a collision.

  • Do not try to beat the train. A train is usually closer and faster-moving than you think. Never race a train to the crossing – even if you tie, you lose.

  • Never drive around lowered gates. It’s illegal and deadly. If a signal is malfunctioning, look for a 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or call local law enforcement.

  • Do not get trapped on the tracks. Always make sure there is room on the other side and that you can completely clear a crossing without stopping. The train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides. Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther than 50 feet from the tracks.

  • Look for a second train. When a train has passed at a multiple track crossing, you should watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.

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