First, does anyone know any details of how the electronics in crossing gates work? How many "modes" do they have, and what are the properties of each mode? Why did the mode they were left in cause the gates to come down, but only after the train went through? I'm very curious about how this technology works.
Put simply, the wheels of the train complete a loop electrical circuit that tells the gates to go down or up when a certain voltage and/or impedence is reached.
There are loops on both sides of a crossing, and my guess is only one appears to have been locked out, leaving the second loop to be triggered when the train went past the crossing...
I always check crossings before proceeding, even in the city.. I don't care if other drivers flip me off or honk their horns... I grew up with 70 mph commuter trains going thru our town and regularly drive thru a crossing where a school bus was hit by an express, killing seven high school students.