For the month of July, I would like to stress to everyone to never, never, never try to beat a surface train at a crossing. This includes light rail, streetcar, commuter/suburban/intercity rail, and even freight train crossings. This post covers all types of rail transport by which an at-grade crossing with a roadway is involved.
Over the past several years, I’ve heard of many horrific stories about vehicles colliding with trains at crossings. Many times, these incidents occur because the driver of the vehicle was trying to “beat” the train at the crossing and did not make it through the crossing in time. These incidents often result in serious injury, or in many cases fatalities, as well as hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in damages to the train involved. If the train derails as a result of a vehicular collision, those costs can easily soar into the millions. Disregarding train crossing barriers and other such safety protocols when a train is approaching is both dangerous and illegal.