Engineering Railroad Grade Crossings

Railroad trains have a stopping distance which is usually longer than the engineer’s visibility, even in perfect conditions. This means where a road crosses railroad tracks, it is essential the crossing be clear before the train arrives.

More warning before the train arrives is not safer. Idiots will assume the signal is defective and drive around it, just as the train comes around the bend.


Maybe some marginal safety with webcams at crossings to allow engineers to see the crossing beyond visual range. Of course, like backup cams in autos, it may also add distraction.


On the other hand, does it make sense to interfere when Darwin is at work improving future generations?


Not a help. Most impingements on a crossing clear before the train gets there. It’s not possible to slow or stop a train simply because they can see the mile ahead it would take to stop the train not using emergency braking. Emergency braking can derail the train, so it’s always a last minute event.