Jack asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 1 month ago

Why do train engineers have to sound the whistle/horn even at crossings where there are lights, gates, and a warning bell?

I would think the bell is enough of an audible warning, but it seems like it's mandatory to blow the horn until the engine clears the crossing.

Update:

And BTW, I know it's the law, I was just wondering why.

22 Answers

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  • Zheia
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It's to indicate that a train is coming. At a level crossing car drivers may have their windows up and they won't see the train until it is at the crossing, so the train sounds its funky horn to let drivers know it is approaching.

  • 1 month ago

    You have answered your own question.

    it seems like it's mandatory to blow the horn until the engine clears the crossing

    BTW, I know it's the law,

    WHY Excellent question.

    EVERY train crossing is not identical. The rules are made to cover most of the crossings in your area. There are some places that the whistle is not sounded all the time These are also legal for the specific location.

    Can you GUARANTEE 100% the the train gate is working properly has not been damaged in an accident or whatever 100 % of the time? NO ONE can.

    Can you GUARANTEE the lights work 100% of time? Power failures happen, wires get cut or stolen for their copper content.

    Making it as safe as possible. Some drivers still look at their crotch too much while driving. The NOISE might get their attention.

  • zipper
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Too many idiots go around the gates and ignore the lights; so for safety reason because people are foolish they sound the horn to tell them  "HAY I AM RIGHT HERE FOOL!"

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It's not mandatory to blow the horn until the entire train is past the crossing. By the time a mile long freight clears a crossing, you wouldn't be able to hear the horn on the engine.

    • Anon1 week agoReport

      Not a "locomotive"; it is an Engine. And, I see often mile long trains, Several engines. one in  Back, too. Stop pretending to know something.

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  • 1 month ago

    Some people might not hear the bell, or know what it means.  The horn is loud, distinctive.

    Source(s): I prefer the steam engine whistles over the diesel or electric air horns.
  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Even when the train sounds its horn when approaching the crossing, there are still IDIOTS who will attempt to cross the tracks ahead of the train. Some of them don't make it.

  • 1 month ago

    I expect you will find the answer in railroad regulations

  • 1 month ago

    It's required by law. Two long blasts, one short blast, then one more long.

    • Anon1 week agoReport

      How do You know, Trump? Did you See the engineer in each case?  I nbow a retired AT & SF engineer who says each engineer uses a unique code. Law only Says Horn must  be used a certain distance before croosing, thru, and a certain distance After crossings. not How its used. 

  • 1 month ago

    Because more warnings means more chance for people to realize a train is coming and get out of the way.

    Unfortunately some people ignore the lights, bells and even the gate and will drive around the gate to try to cross. Perhaps they think they can make it or maybe they think the gate is malfunctioning and there isn't really a train coming. The train's horn helps people realize there actually is a train coming.

    Gates can also malfunction by not working, so the horn gives people a warning in case the gate never came down.

  • 1 month ago

    for the deaf people

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