At This Bizarre Northern Michigan Railroad Crossing, The Trains Must Stop for Cars
One of the first things you learn when you start driving is the importance of railroad crossings. Trains are beasts and your car or truck is no match for them. So it may seem strange to unexpectedly come across a train that is stopped and waiting for you to cross the tracks.
That's the situation at this crossing somewhere in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Watch this video posted recently to Facebook by the profile Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad w/ Jason Asselin.
The videographer explains what's happening - the crossing warning lights are broken so this is the safety device
This railroad crossing is still broken and making the trains stop before proceeding across. There is a little hill just east of this crossing that blocks the view of it for drivers going the 45mph posted speed limit. Escanaba & Lake Superior ELS 503 and ELS 402 had to come to a complete stop so it could be "flagged" as the train passed.
At :47 you can see the train rumble to a full stop and a flagman hops off. At :54 a car passes. Seeing the road is now clear, the flagger at 1:03 begins to wave the train across. The train's bell dings as it slowly picks up speed and makes the crossing. Finally, at 1:19 the flagman hops back on the now-moving train and the crossing continues like any other, except those expected red flashing warning lights are not working. But, we suspect a driver now approaching the rails would be very aware of a train.
Where is the crossing? It's not specified, but from a few clues provided, we can guess it's north of Iron Mountain, perhaps the Merriman Road crossing near M-95.
Whether it's cars or trains, you've always got to be aware and observant when on the roads and rails, particularly in rural areas where accidents with animals are most likely.