Railroad Gates Add Road Safety

Railroad Gates Add Road Safety

Safety Feature Of The Railroad gates

Have you ever wondered how the railroad gates close automatically before a train approaches? The automatic feature makes the railroad crossing safe while also minimizing the time the traffic crossing the railroad would need to wait for a train.

Railroad gates automatically close and block a roadway when a train is approaching. A signal from the train itself typically activates them. Or one from the control center that monitors the movement of trains on the tracks activates them.

How Railroad Gates Operate

When a train approaches a grade crossing, it signals the crossing gates to close. This signal is transmitted through various means, such as by radio, wire, or fiber optic cable.

The signal activates the crossing gates, which begin to lower and block the roadway. The gate comprises of arms that swing down from a pivot point or slide along a track on the roadway.

As the gates get lower, flashing lights and bells will typically become active. They warn drivers and pedestrians that a train is approaching. Then, when the train has passed the grade crossing, it will send another signal to the crossing gates to open. The gates will then rise and allow traffic to pass.

Railroad gates are an important safety feature that helps to prevent accidents and fatalities at grade crossings. However, they are fail-safe. If the signal from the train fails or the system experiences a malfunction, the gates automatically default to the closed position.

If two trains are approaching a grade crossing from opposite directions, the crossing gates will typically activate when the first train to approaches. The gates will close and block the roadway until the first train has passed. Then they will open to allow the second train to pass.

Safety Features

In some cases, there may be additional safety measures in place. These features prevent accidents at grade crossings where there is a possibility of two trains approaching from opposite directions. For example, the control center that monitors the movement of trains on the tracks may use sensors or cameras to detect the presence of a second train. It may hold one of the trains in a holding pattern until the other train has passed.
It is also worth noting that some grade crossings have additional safety features, such as flashing lights, bells, and crossing gates on both sides of the tracks. Again, that is to help ensure that drivers and pedestrians are aware of the presence of a train and can take appropriate precautions.