Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Rail crossing safety tips

Freight trains don't follow a set schedule and passenger train schedules are subject to change, so always expect a train at every highway-rail crossing you encounter.

Don't get trapped on the tracks

Always make sure before you begin crossing the tracks that there's plenty of room for you to get all the way across before having to stop again. If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out immediately and get as far away from it as possible. Then call for help.

When approaching a rail crossing, watch for vehicles in front of you, like busses and some trucks, which must stop at the crossing even if there is no train coming. Beware of the optical illusion. It is virtually impossible to accurately judge the distance and speed of an approaching train.

Don't take chances

Remember that a train probably can't stop if you get in its way. A train traveling at 55 MPH may take as much as a mile and a half to stop after it applies its brakes. Clearly if you dart in front, the train won't be able to help make up for your mistake.

Questions about the content of this page:
Lisa Stern, lisa.stern@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: October 29, 2014

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