False Activation

Gates down no train coming, lights flashing with no train. False activations create a complete disregard for signal equipment due to drivers experiencing false warnings of oncoming trains. (CFR, Title 49, Chapter II, Part 234, Subpart C, Sec. 234.107). (It is the sole responsibility of the railroad company owning the crossing to ensure the signal equipment is working properly according to federal mandates.
Railroad companies are also responsible for maintenance of all signal equipment installed at railroad grade crossings). In addition to filling out an Angels on Track Dangerous Crossing Report, citizens should contact their police or sheriff departments to document the hazard, each occurrence. Law enforcement should then call the railroad company owing the crossing to report the danger. This will document a pattern of system failures or malfunctions locally, especially if the railroad has been contacted and does nothing to fix or eliminate the danger.

Upon receipt of a report of a warning system false activation, the railroad company having maintenance responsibility for the warning system shall promptly Initiate efforts to warn highway users and railroad employees at the crossing by taking the following actions:

1. Prior to train’s arrival at crossing, notify the train crew of the activation failure and notify any other railroads operating over the crossing.

2. Notify law enforcement having jurisdiction over the crossing, or railroad police capable of responding and controlling vehicular traffic and,

3. Provide for an alternate means of actively warning highway users of approaching trains by: Flagging the crossing (each direction) for vehicular traffic. Trains may proceed through crossing at normal speed.

4. Local law enforcement or railroad police provide warning to vehicular traffic. Trains may proceed at normal speed.

5. If only one uniformed law enforcement or railroad police officer provide warning to highway traffic at crossing, trains may proceed with caution through the crossing at normal speed.

6. If there is not an appropriate flagger for providing warning for each direction of highway traffic or at least one uniformed law enforcement officer providing warning, trans may proceed through the crossing at a speed not exceeding 15 mph. Normal speed may be resumed after the locomotive has passed through the crossing. In the case of a shoving move, a crewmembers hall be on the ground to flag the train through the crossing.

7. In lieu of above, the railroad company may temporarily take the warning system out of service if the railroad complies with all requirements in Sec. 234.105 Activation Failure.

8. A locomotive’s audible warning device shall be activated in accordance with railroad rules Regarding the approach to a grade crossing.

9. Provide an alternate means of actively warning highway users of approaching trains.


"Bad Crossings Kill Good Drivers"®