I was always taught to respect the size and speed of a locomotive.  Whether carrying cargo or passengers, these things weigh a ton and don’t stop easily once in motion.  While sitting on a dock waiting to finish being loaded I decided to clock the time between when the gates lowered and when the train crossed the tracks. 

It is during this time I often see people try to sneak around barrier gates, which is not always limited to just four-wheelers either!  There have been times I have witnessed trucks play chicken with a train after not heeding the warning of a train whistle and/or lighted crossing arm barriers.  Thank goodness I have never had to witness a driver on the losing end of a game of "chicken with a train" because I can only imagine the devastation it could cause! 

Take a peek at this video of the MetroLink here in Los Angeles, which I wanted to highlight to bring a little perspective on just how little time you have from the first warning signs of this train, up to the point it actually crosses the tracks where impacts often occur!

Lesson to be learned here…Your truck may be fast, but you probably don’t want to test just how fast!  26 seconds is not a lot of time!


Sign up to get the latest trucking tips and tricks!