Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by wilmette2008
Happy 2018,

How come the general public doesn't know about railroad crossing hotlines? Whenever they see a railroad crossing malfunction they either ignore it or call the police. And when I ask people who they would call if they saw a Railroad Crossing Malfunction most would say the Police,Why would you say this is?
  by CHTT1
It's the logical thing to do. The hotline is not promoted very much and you have to look around the crossing to find the signs or stencils that tell you what number to call. I assume the police dispatcher has those numbers readily available and can easily call the correct RR dispatcher.
  by ExCon90
I'd guess that the only people who even see those signs are pedestrians, or maybe someone in the first car in line when the gates are down. Nobody in a car going over the crossing at speed is likely to even notice one. And I can't offhand think of a way to spread the word that wouldn't cost a bundle.
  by ohioriverrailway
That notification sign is an integral part of every Operation Lifesaver presentation.
  by ExCon90
That's good to hear--do they also hammer home the admonition to stay on the near side of a crossing until there's room on the far side? We still see plenty of violations of that.
  by CHTT1
The signs just give a telephone number to call in case there is a problem with the gates.
  by ExCon90
I meant in the Operation Lifesaver presentations.
  by eolesen
Maybe it's because OLS presentations are made to 0.00000000001% of the driving population?...

I have the number for UP in my phone contacts, but for the rest of the world, calling local LEO's to show up isn't a bad alternative because they probably will call it in if it's a busy line.
  by erie910
Many railroads' rules or special instructions require the dispatcher to notify the police if there is a grade crossing signal malfunction. If the police are notified first and the police notify the railroad dispatcher, the proper notification has been accomplished.