Do you keep clear of the railroad pavement symbol or can you wait on it when a train is present?

Good evening! Hope this message finds you safe and healthy during these uncertain times.

I would like to ask about a scenario where a train is passing by and cars are lined up behind the railroad crossing―extending to the first transverse line of the railroad crossing symbol pavement marking (the "X" and two "R's"). If such a scenario would occur, is the next car expected to wait behind the second transverse line to keep clear of the railroad crossing symbol pavement marking or is the car allowed to wait on the marking?

I have been researching for 3 hours and I have found no answer. Hopefully I am able to be answered and thank you in advance.

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6 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 months ago
    Favourite answer

    This is the most complicated question I have seen on where one should stop before they might get hit by a train.

    The STOP line which is Horizontally perpendicular to the direction of travel is clearly indicated on your attached drawing from a technical manual used by traffic engineers for the placement of roadside signs and road markings. Curious you did not ask about the various colors of signs and what to do if the marking gets erased overtime.. First car stops before that STOP line Usually centred in the lane of travel.

    If it is expected to be a long wait it is common to turn off the engine to reduce gas usage and reduce pollution. Should more or additional vehicles be they a truck, van, SUV , bus, farm tractor stop behind the car in front of them usually leaving just enough space so that they can see the tires of the car in front of them.

    YES you can "stop" over the "X" just like when you are turning you might "stop" over a turn arrow.

    They have "x"'s  at pedestrian crossings. Do you wait up the street there too?

    WHY do you think the "X" must be kept clear? Is it for the helicopter wondering why there is a line of cars?

    In between the stop line and the perpendicular line near the x is a "separator" that has no specific distance. It is allowed to have more than one x to mark a crossing especially on high speed roads.Usually something like X ahead.

    Contained on a nearby page to your diagram is something like this.

    PASSIVE CROSSING TREATMENTSPassive traffic control devices consist of regulatory signs, warning signs, guide signs, and pavement markings. These devices provide static messages of warning, guidance, and in some instances, mandatory action for the driver. Their purpose is to identify and direct attention to the location of a crossing to permit drivers to take appropriate action.

    A licensed driver should know what to do and not need to research technical journals.

    My research took about 5 minutes. I passed my tests and am very familiar with trains and crossings.

    Some cannot figure it out and keep running into trains.

    Youtube thumbnail

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    I think that you are being misled by some abnormal belief.  Stay away from the railroad tracks if a train is approaching or is already crossing the road. 

    When traffic is heavy, do NOT allow yourself to become stopped while on or near the tracks.  I know it sounds stupid, but I wait totally clear of the tracks before I approach in slow moving or stop and go heavy traffic, until there is plenty of room to cross the tracks. 

    I was recently in this situation, and I stopped with probably 20 feet clear of the car ahead of me who had stopped with her front tires past the tracks, but her rear tires upon the tracks. 

    I had given myself room so if the crossing gate came down, it would not come down on my vehicle, and in so doing, left space in front of me.  The man behind me was frantically, impatiently blowing his horn at me to move up, which I wouldn't, because the traffic was stopped.  A moment later the red lights started flashing, the bells clanging and the gate came down about 3 feet in front of my vehicle! 

    Part 1, my satisfaction:  I got to turn around and look at him and shrug my shoulders and he had this mouth dropping look on his face.  He immediately stopped blowing his horn. 

    Part 2, my extreme dissatisfaction and frustration and horror:  The woman in front of me was still on the tracks!  Now the locomotive was closing in, blowing a really LOUD horn! 

    There were 5 traffic lanes crossing the tracks.  2 in each direction, and a center turn lane. 

    The guy behind me, the woman in front of me and I were all in the "inside" lane, next to the turn lane. 

    The curb lane traffic was clear of the crossing gate and the tracks, but only a few feet away from the path of the train.  This traffic in front of me was solid, heavy, bumper to bumper, and waiting for a traffic signal about 1/4 mile ahead to turn green.  Even as it cycled, the traffic would crawl forward a few cars only and stop again.  There was a factory there getting out for lunchtime and had the main street traffic jammed.

    The woman had all the space behind her, between her rear bumper and my front bumper, to maneuver in.  Like I said, about 20 feet.  She could have quickly backed up 4 to 5 feet, and turned sharply to the left and either gone ahead into the open, center turn lane, or actually turned left real hard and actually gone the opposite direction and off of the tracks.  But, she pulled ahead perhaps 2 feet, almost touching the car in front of her and just sat, with at least 3 feet of the rear of her car upon the tracks! 

    I actually jumped out of my car thinking to run to her car and maybe get her door open and perhaps pull her out, because her car was going to be hit, and likely propelled into the other 2 lanes of traffic that was stopped, right up to the crossing gate.  And the locomotive was bearing down upon us, blowing that air horn.  It was so loud.  I heard his diesel engine power drop as he approached and obviously couldn't stop.  It was a certain collision and there was no time for me to do anything. 

    Miracuously, her lane moved a few feet forward and she moved ahead about 6 feet, still tightly against the car in front of her, and not diving into that open lane!  I could see her car under the train cars and it sat there for perhaps 30 seconds and finally both lanes crept forward.  The train was inches from her car, going by about 25 mph!   By the time the long train had stopped, those 2 lanes of traffic were a few hundred feet away from the tracks.  It was a big ordeal.  I wished I had a dashcam to record that one.  It would be on YouTube right now. 

    So better keep your head clear and understand that millions of pounds of train can turn your car into ripped metal shredded pieces in seconds and snuff out your life.  It doesn't matter if you stop on top of the symbol.  Just stay clear of the train tracks. 

    All the people who ignorantly/brazenly stop upon train tracks should have been my passenger that day.  I guarantee it would change their driving habits. 

    That woman had a good 10 seconds to get herself out of that dangerous situation, and there was plenty of room.  All she could do was pull up like a good little robot and wait.  I'm still shaking my head.

  • Edna
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    I don't know what anyone else does, but if  there's a train coming down the track and I'm the lead car in a line of cars, I always stop 2 car lengths behind the crossing mark. I want to stay as far away from the tracks as I possibly can. 

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Go on a road that does not cross the tracks.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Stop at the stop line.  

    If there is no line, 2 car lengths from the track.

  • 5 months ago

    The stop line is labled in the illustration.

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