My recent issue with the railroad.


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    Terry McDonald

    I had an issue several months ago and I wanted to throw it out and see what others think about it.

    I was going to Paris Mountain State Park (SC) last fall and was waiting at a red light with a rail road crossing.  I was well back from the light at the “stop here on red” line.

    The light changed to green and I started forward, as the truck cab was crossing the tracks, the bells began to ring, signalling an approaching train.

    I applied a little more gas to quickly clear the camper from the tracks, as I had seen a few of the YouTube videos showing that trains win all ties.

    After arriving at the campground and setting up, I noticed that my refrigerator vent cover was knocked partially loose.

    I climbed on the roof to check it out.  It was only attached with one screw remaining.

    Ahead of the vent was a rip in my roof membrane, drag marks down the roof, the safety hand rail at the top of the ladder was bent and part of the hold down brackets were also bent.  The awning frame also appears to have been whacked as it needs encouragement to start unrolling.

    After observing train signals for a while, it is obvious that a tall railroad boom takes but a second or two until it makes contact with the side of a 12ft+ camper.  No where enough time to to clear the before contact. They do not appear to have safety setting such that they will retract if contact is made. (Their job is to stop traffic, after all.)

    At the time, I didn’t notice the impact but it was clear that the boom quickly impacted my camper and was dragged along the side as I got out of the way of the train.

    A new vent cover and some patching have fixes most of the issues but I can’t think of anything that I could have done different. (Traffic was backed up behind me so backing up was not an issue.)

    Anyone else had any run ins with railroad booms?  Any suggestions about any future situations would be also appreciated.

    I recently visited Folkston GA. that has about 75 trains passing through town every day and so had plenty of time to observe the booms dropping.



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