Unusual item at a crossing

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by nolatron, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Today after work, I crossed over the UP Mainline in Sugar Land, TX where it parallels HWY 90.

    They've been widening Hwy 90 here so Union Pacific has rebuilt every road crossing here. Today I noticed something at one of the recently redone crossings (actually still in works too).

    Anyway, here's a pic I grabbed with my phone:

    The item on the right hand side, looks like a speaker almost. The item on the left however looks like a signal box I've seen used on light rail lines to indicate to cars where it's safe to turn left or whatnot.

    This one looks like it's a got big "X" in it. The other side of the road had another one, but just with the speaker looking item facing the cars approaching the track from the other side (towards me).

    Any idea what this is for? I thought, perhaps a indicator to trains the crossing isn't clear? But then why a speaker? You can see the crossing gates themselves have 'em at the top of their poles.

    I'm not sure if any other crossing's in this area have one of the installed or not.
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    it does look like a speaker,maybe the X marker is to show the oncoming train theres a car on the tracks? id say the smartest thing to use would be the speaker screaming "get your dumb @$$ of the tracks you idiot!!!!!" hell,its about the only thing i could think of anymore that will stop another death on the rails.--josh
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Hummm, I'm not sure there, but on all the slow speed grade crossings of commuter lines (I.E. near the station, or the San Diego Trolley) they have those, to warn the engineer that the crossing has not yet been blocked for vehicular traffic.
  4. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Today is my off-friday and I have plumber coming to look at a leaky shower *grumble*, if I have some time I think I may take a ride down to the tracks today and see if I can catch a train too see what they actually do (if they operational even). Should check out some other crossings in the area too and see if they have these things installed there too.
  5. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Enquiring minds want to know... what were the results of your field trip? Or, did the leaky shower tie up your whole day off?
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If those actually are speakers for horns, as Charlie mentions, perhaps that "X" illuminates on approach of the train, to remind the engineer that he's not to blow for the crossing. Most engineers are familiar with their usual territory, and might use the horn out of habit.
    As for the stoplights at crossings, there are an awful lot of idiots around here who ignore them at street corners and I suspect that they are the evolution of the dummies who can't read stop signs. I vote to cull the herd. :twisted::twisted:;):-D


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