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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:17 am
Posts: 63
Location: Rocky Hill, NJ
This is my own analysis and represents my own view. Except for the Florida Statute on crossings I’m going to omit the citations. I’ll be happy to send them backchannel.

The crossing is 621831A.The inventory report is out of date by 2 years but appears otherwise correct.

I would consider flagging if I had the discretionary assets or if the risk factor were to increase significantly. What I would do now is add another Crossbuck adjacent to the Stop Bar and trim some of the vegetation overhanging the road.

The Train and the Railroad

First – The crossing appears from the video to be properly marked. The back of the Advance Warning Sign is visible at 1:26. The end of the one of the pavement markings is visible adjacent to the switch stand at 1:20. The AWS, the Crossbuck and the pavement markings are all visible in Google Street view which shows a capture date of May 2016.

Second - The only collision report is over 21 years old. It indicates a low speed collision with minimal damage and no injuries. The report also shows that the diver of the automobile stopped, and then drove into the side of the moving train. Coupled with the traffic levels, both rail and highway, on what is essentially a one-way one lane residential street, this is a very low risk crossing. The FRA’s prediction system gives an annual probability of a collision of 0.010306. That works out to 1 collision roughly every 97 years.

Third – The horn is being sounded correctly. The engineer begins to sound the horn at 1:02. The locomotive enters the crossing at 1:26 and continues to sound the horn until the leading edge is (Engineer’s side corner) is substantially through the crossing. The bell is sounding. Starting at 1:17 the engineer is giving a hand signal to the driver of the car to stop.

The Driver:

Fourth - The video is being recorded out of the driver’s window, by the driver of the car. This is prima fascia for Distracted/Inattentive Driving. The driver is fully aware that he is pacing the train. The video and his own statement accompanying the video indicates this.

Fifth - The driver failed to respond to the clearly visible signage. This is confirmed by his statement as he refers to the crossing is “unprotected” when in fact it is properly signed.

Sixth – The driver failed to respond to the audible warning being sounded by the train. This failure to comply with the combination of the signs and the horn elevates the possible charge from Inattentive to Careless Driving.

Seventh – The driver’s response to the engineer’s hand signal was not to stop but to accelerate through the crossing. This again serves to elevate the possible charge, this time to Reckless Driving.

Issues

The main issue is simple, Florida law (below) is clear about crossings and there is no major design issue with the crossing. The driver’s conduct is proven by his own video and the statement. The comments about ‘special trains’, purported lack of protection, and referring to the wye as spur track only serve to emphasize his ignorance and do not provide a defense for his conduct or a justification for blaming the railroad. He did not merely disregard the warnings but did so in a reckless manner with a high risk of causing injury.

The real question here is not the valid one raised by RCD of whether the crossing protection is adequate (to which I believe answer is “YES), but whether the gentleman who took the video should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

Title XXIII 316.1575 Obedience to traffic control devices at railroad-highway grade crossings.—
(1) Any person walking or driving a vehicle and approaching a railroad-highway grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in this section shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and shall not proceed until he or she can do so safely. The foregoing requirements apply when:
(a) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;
(b) A crossing gate is lowered or a law enforcement officer or a human flagger gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train;
(c) An approaching railroad train emits an audible signal or the railroad train, by reason of its speed or nearness to the crossing, is an immediate hazard; or
(d) An approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to the railroad-highway grade crossing, regardless of the type of traffic control devices installed at the crossing.

(2) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad-highway grade crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as either a pedestrian violation or, if the infraction resulted from the operation of a vehicle, as a moving violation.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 6, ch. 86-243; s. 310, ch. 95-148; s. 132, ch. 99-248; s. 2, ch. 2008-176.
Note.—Former s. 316.054.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:23 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
Posts: 182
All, I have seen several videos from this Millennium Force guy, if anyone fits the bill of crazy foamer he is it. He has many shock videos where he stages camera tricks and other stunts to get his viewer ship numbers up. He often makes dubious claims in his video titles as well.

It would not surprise me in the least if he staged this knowing full well the route of the train. The guy is a few cars short of a unit train.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:39 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:05 am
Posts: 171
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Agreed. This guy is an idiot foamer with a smartphone and no smarts whatsoever. His own actions make him a greater threat to his fellow motorists than anything else in that video. Pulling his driver's license (preferably permanently) would do more good than wasting money on upgrading a crossing that clearly doesn't need it. He's the one who's dangerous, not the railroad or operating company. It's idiots like him who give legitimate railfans a bad name and cause many in the railroad industry to brand anyone who is a railfan a "stupid foamer" whether the person in question deserves that title or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 1
sousakerry wrote:
All, I have seen several videos from this Millennium Force guy, if anyone fits the bill of crazy foamer he is it. He has many shock videos where he stages camera tricks and other stunts to get his viewer ship numbers up. He often makes dubious claims in his video titles as well.

It would not surprise me in the least if he staged this knowing full well the route of the train. The guy is a few cars short of a unit train.


That is my feeling as well, he was familiar with this line/operations and just wanted to video the encounter for the drama of it all. It wasn't even as close as he made it out to be but he got what he wanted out of it which is Youtube clicks for his 150k subscribers. He also disabled the comments so nobody could call him out on his BS.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Yeah, I noticed the disabled comments as well. Also, the facing banner on the switch stand was red, which indicates alignment for a diverging move on many railroads (I realize that the public would not know this, but it shows the railroad is probably being operated properly).


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:59 pm
Posts: 525
Spoony81 wrote:
... That is my feeling as well, he was familiar with this line/operations and just wanted to video the encounter for the drama of it all. It wasn't even as close as he made it out to be but he got what he wanted out of it which is Youtube clicks for his 150k subscribers. ...

I think you're right - notice how the video immediately pans back along the side of the automobile to show the train narrowly missing the car.

The driver knew exactly what was going to happen and had planned his camera work to record that scenario.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8393
Location: Baltimore, MD
Well, if it irritates you enough, you can report it to YouTube as "depicting unsafe, dangerous acts"........


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 315
Location: NJ
hullmat991 wrote:
So I found the spot, and lo and behold there are markings and signs. This is an idiot who froths a bit too much from the mouth at the sight of trains. https://www.google.com/maps/@28.8021456,-81.7214756,3a,75y,268.43h,63.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sV1XrZm0jtML-JObL9c2Giw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


Thank you for the link.

I have no issue with this crossing as marked. But taking a look at your map link. Just a bit further west at the intersection of Disston Street the wye track comes back into the main in the MIDDLE of a round a bout! No gates, just crossbucks on the approaches.

I have never seen anything like that and have been in the traffic engineering field for nearly 25 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 70
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Well, if it irritates you enough, you can report it to YouTube as "depicting unsafe, dangerous acts"........



It would be more interesting if the railroad sued for libel.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:06 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
I thought he was definitely staging the crossing experience as a demonstration of what he considered to be a dangerously flawed crossing. In other words, that pass through the crossing making the video was not the crossing passage where he first encountered what he thought to be a dangerous crossing. I am sure that he found the crossing, perceived it as being flawed, knew the train route, waited for a train to be passing, and drove through with the train as though it were a spontaneous encounter, just to demonstrate the danger.

So even if it had been a crossing with a safety flaw, he was fully aware of that supposed flaw, and still recklessly violated the crossing just to demonstrate the type of hazard that he imagined existed. That is a pretty radical move on his part. Granted, it probably was not that risky with the slow train, but crossing violation is serious business. Obviously, he felt empowered to violate the law and take the risk because felt that he was on the moral high ground of warning the world about what he thought he found.

I suppose it is also possible that he was staging the passing through the crossing intending to make it seem like it was his first encounter in which he was blindsided by the supposed danger of the diverging train. But it does not really come off that way because he seems to have the video plot all worked out before he crosses in front of the train. The whole thing does seem to fit with the themes of some of his other videos.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:42 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2097
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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:44 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 214
Cjvrr,
To my knowledge the track layout there has been like that since the 1880's...
There were some changes back beyond the station that presumably occurred in the sixties after the ACL/SAL merger...but the wye is pretty much unchanged, beyond being partly rebuilt with 115lb welded rail...
It's my understanding that the roundabout has only been there since the mid/late 90's...prior to that there were no curbs separating the road from the track and the roundabout was only a splitting of the traffic lanes...not sure exactly, but the original road may have been only on one side of the track... Up to 2003-04, there was a house in the middle of the wye which the city acquired to expand their water treatment plant...
There's probably some public record info on it, as the city did a big beautification project circa '95-'99...


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:22 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Northwest Indiana
Did anybody notice he pulled this bonehead move
with a kid in the back seat!
I always wondered what you all meant by "Foamers".
Now I understand.



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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:17 am
Posts: 63
Location: Rocky Hill, NJ
Steve A W wrote:
Did anybody notice he pulled this bonehead move
with a kid in the back seat!
I always wondered what you all meant by "Foamers".
Now I understand.
I'm not absolutely certain the person in the back seat wasn't an adult or I would have added endangering to the charges.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad crossing blame game.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 432
Location: Floyd, AR
Notice the part where he passes the train is edited. Apparently cut 5 or so seconds out, if I had to guess? Is that the part where the engineer leaned out and umm.... verbally instructed him to get the @#$ out of the way?

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