ArchGuy1
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:35 pm

Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:48 pm

Why are trucks hauling hazardous materials and buses of any kind in the United States and Canada generally required to stop at railroad crossings and how long has this been law since.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Likely goes back to horses and buggy days when few or no gated crossings in NA. Even if a gated crossing, in the USA/Canada all buses, especially school buses, and any truck with hazardous materials including fuel, must 'stop, look & listen'.
 
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falstaff
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:03 pm

I'm 43 and I don't remember a time when hazmat trucks and school buses didn't stop at railroad crossings. There is an exception to the rule and that is when the crossing is marked "exempt". That generally applies one of three types of railroad crossings. 1.) abandoned railroad, but the rail hasn't been pulled yet. 2.) Out of service (embargoed) railroad. Sometimes a line may look abandoned, but isn't. It could be being held in reserve strategically (UP's Tennessee Pass) or being held for possible future development, such as the construction of a new factory. They other type of exemption would be a lightly used crossing where a flagman could be used. In a flagman situation the train would stop before crossing the road and a flagman would stop traffic before the train could proceed. This is common on industrial spurs where the train wouldn't exceed a brisk walking speed.
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seb146
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:04 pm

Some crossings do not work properly all the time. Also, some crossings do not even have lights and arms and bells.
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casinterest
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:06 pm

Not all Truck drivers execute the best decisions, just like regular drivers, and Haz mats create bigger problems when spread all over the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlfLql315AA
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ACDC8
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:39 pm

IIRC there was an accident back in the 30s involving a train and school bus killing something like 25 children in which the stop rule was created as a result.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:21 pm

My drive home crosses a very clearly unused trackage, to the point there’s a a tree growing between the tracks. Yes, the school bus and HAZMAT drivers stop, look both ways at the trees and then drive on.

GF
 
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seb146
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:48 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
My drive home crosses a very clearly unused trackage, to the point there’s a a tree growing between the tracks. Yes, the school bus and HAZMAT drivers stop, look both ways at the trees and then drive on.

GF


It also depends on if the railroad owner and the state DOT have designated the crossing as abandoned. They will put signs up at the crossing indicating this. There is a crossing on 101 in rural Mendocino county California that no one has to stop for because it has been designated abandoned and has the proper signs. Likewise, some crossings along Front Street in industrial northwest PDX have signs posted they are abandoned so no one has to stop.
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ArchGuy1
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:05 am

ACDC8 wrote:
IIRC there was an accident back in the 30s involving a train and school bus killing something like 25 children in which the stop rule was created as a result.

The accident occurred in 1938 and Utah, where the accident took place already had laws requiring school buses to stop at railroad crossings.
 
ACDC8
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:54 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
ACDC8 wrote:
IIRC there was an accident back in the 30s involving a train and school bus killing something like 25 children in which the stop rule was created as a result.

The accident occurred in 1938 and Utah, where the accident took place already had laws requiring school buses to stop at railroad crossings.

It was that accident that made that law national.
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Dieuwer
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:07 am

So a law was created to force people to use common sense??
 
dmg626
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:58 am

Why don’t you ask all these stupid questions on a truckers forum? You will most likely get a better answer there
 
71Zulu
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Re: Requirements for Buses and Trucks Hauling Hazardous Materials to Stop at Railroad Crossings

Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:22 pm

Stopping before the tracks and then slowly going over them can also cause problems. There's been many times where the truck will stall or scrape bottom and if they carried a little more momentum over the tracks they would have made it.

As the video above shows, if you stall on the tracks you're gonna get hit.

I think more emphasis should be put on giving motorists a clear unobstructed view of the tracks in both directions so you can more easily see a train coming. There's many crossings I see every day that are blind because trees blocking your view and that could easily be fixed.

The law says these hazmat driver's must verify that no train is coming, just looking for flashing lights and gates is not enough but many crossings just create an unnecessary danger.

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