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Old 03-08-2017, 11:23 PM   #1
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Low-ground clearance railroad crossings

Reading about the recent Bus- Train accident in Mississippi and wondering...anybody ever have an issue pulling an RV trailer and having a problem with these type "Low-ground clearance" or "hump" railroad crossings? Apparently there are about 30+ of these type crossings in Texas and many more nationwide.

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Old 03-08-2017, 11:27 PM   #2
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So many things to worry about.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:33 PM   #3
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The only problem I've had is having to stop behind a second set of tracks because of truck+trailer length ("Don't stop on RR tracks") and not triggering the signals.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:58 AM   #4
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I guess I could say that we are in "train city" in Texas, founded by the railroad, and while one might need to be careful at crossings, I do not know that there is that problem. I will look for it. What we do see much of is dips in the roads, all over the place. They are definitely a problem. Have seen that in New Mexico and elsewhere also.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
...anybody ever have an issue pulling an RV trailer and having a problem with these type "Low-ground clearance" or "hump" railroad crossings?
No... although I haven't seen one so severe that it needed a warning sign.

The issue here is breakover angle. I've never had an issue with this (on railway crossings, speed bumps, driveway entrances, campsites, or anything else); it seems that departure angle is the more common challenge - either the hitch or the trailer bumper drags.

I think it's only likely to be an issue with the style of trailer shown in the sign: long distance from hitch to trailer wheels (such as a semi-trailer) combined with low trailer clearance (so the illustration shows a low-boy). Buses are obviously long (from axle to axle), and the ground clearance under the middle of highway coaches with their baggage compartments is quite low. Escape-sized travel trailers are low, but not very long (from hitch or tug axle, to trailer axle).


I saw part of a TV news item about a bus-train collision, but hadn't realized that the bus was stuck on the tracks until this discussion suggested that and I looked it up. The news reports said Main Street in Biloxi, so I looked at that in Google Street View... and it has one of those signs. With the tug's wheels and the trailer's wheels each a couple of metres from the track (on each side), I don't see enough slope to look like a problem, but I can see how some trucks and that charter bus might have difficulty.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
Reading about the recent Bus- Train accident in Mississippi and wondering...anybody ever have an issue pulling an RV trailer and having a problem with these type "Low-ground clearance" or "hump" railroad crossings? Apparently there are about 30+ of these type crossings in Texas and many more nationwide.

Simple answer " Avoid Texas" , which is what we plan on doing until they get this crisis resolved . No sense in taking unnecessary chances when you can avoid the problem entirely. There are still 49 other states to visit , so why worry.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:33 AM   #7
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Simple answer " Avoid Texas" , which is what we plan on doing until they get this crisis resolved . No sense in taking unnecessary chances when you can avoid the problem entirely. There are still 49 other states to visit , so why worry.
Seriously? These type of crossings probably exist in all 50 states. Why would you avoid traveling in a state where you have perhaps a one-in-a-thousand chance of encountering such a crossing? We've traveled all over the southwest, and have yet to encounter one that was a problem.

If you don't want to travel in Texas, or Oklahoma, or Mississippi, or wherever, that's great, but I wouldn't use the existence of a low ground clearance crossing as a deciding factor.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:43 AM   #8
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Seriously? These type of crossings probably exist in all 50 states. Why would you avoid traveling in a state where you have perhaps a one-in-a-thousand chance of encountering such a crossing? We've traveled all over the southwest, and have yet to encounter one that was a problem.

If you don't want to travel in Texas, or Oklahoma, or Mississippi, or wherever, that's great, but I wouldn't use the existence of a low ground clearance crossing as a deciding factor.
The issue with the railroad crossings is "A" deciding factor not
"THE" deciding factor. It is more a ,been there , done that , no reason to do it / see it again thing. We really liked Georgia.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:50 AM   #9
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The issue with the railroad crossings is "A" deciding factor not
"THE" deciding factor. It is more a ,been there , done that , no reason to do it / see it again thing. We really liked Georgia.
OK, that I understand. Once you've seen a place (and I grant you, Texas isn't the most scenic despite its size) you may want to explore someplace new instead.

My comment was specifically about the idea of avoiding a state because of such a hazard. Since there are road hazards across the country, that'd be pretty limiting.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:54 AM   #10
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low ground clearance

If my trailer hangs up, I'll step on the gas pedal if a train is headed my way and I'll pull it clear. I love the big engines.
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