Level Crossings

Level crossing signs and signals

Before the crossing

Level crossing signs and signals

Before the crossing

Level crossing with a gate or barrier

Level crossing without a gate or barrier

Plate used with level crossing warning signs: advance warning of light signals at a level crossing with or without a gate or barrier

Electrified overhead cable and the safe height beneath it (usually associated with an overhead electrified railway or tramway). On the approach to a junction, the plate may include an arrow to indicate the direction of the level crossing

Bells suspended over the road at a railway crossing to give an audible warning to drivers of vehicles that exceed the safe height beneath electrified overhead cables

At automatic level crossings, drivers of large or slow vehicles must phone before and after crossing

Long low vehicles may be at risk of grounding; drivers of such vehicles must phone before crossing

Countdown markers may be provided on the approach to a crossing. These divide the distance between the advance warning sign and the stop line into three equal parts; each sloping bar does not necessarily represent a distance of 100 yards

New method of controlling traffic at a crossing ahead (temporary sign)

At the crossing

Some crossings have flashing red road traffic signals; these mean STOP (and this applies to pedestrians too). A steady amber lightshows before the red lights begin to flash, as at ordinary road traffic signals; this means STOP unless it is unsafe to do so. If the red lights flash for more than three minutes without a train arriving (other than at crossings with full barriers), or any barrier is lowered without the lights flashing, phone the signal operator. When the barriers rise, do not proceed until the signals go out. If your vehicle breaks down or stalls on a crossing, get yourself and your passengers out of the vehicle as soon as possible. Phone the signal operator and follow the instructions given. Stand well clear of the crossing if the alarm sounds, the signals show or the barriers lower.

Road traffic signals at a level crossing

Direction to phone

Location of phone

Flashing pedestrian signals used at some level crossings indicate that it is not safe to cross: pedestrians should stop at the pedestrian stop line

Yellow box markings indicate an area of carriageway at a level crossing that must be kept clear. Do not enter the box if other stationary traffic may cause you to stop with any part of your vehicle within the box

Name of level crossing and phone number for contacting the railway operator (at level crossings without a dedicated phone)

Automatic half-barrier level crossings

Amber lights and audible warnings followed by flashing red lights warn that a train is approaching and that the barriers are about to come down. You must STOP. The red lights flash all the time the barriers are down, but the audible warning might stop. If another train is approaching, the barriers will stay down; the lights will continue to flash and, if there is an audible warning, the sound will change.

Level crossings with miniature warning lights

These level crossings have gates or barriers but no attendant. The miniature red and green lights are operated by an approaching train. Full directions for using these crossings are given on roadside signs. You must stop even if the gates or barriers have been left open. Always close the gates or barriers after crossing.

Open level crossings

The St Andrew’s cross is used at level crossings where there are no gates or barriers. At automatic crossings, you must always STOP when the traffic light signals show. At crossings with “give way” signs, always look out for and give way to trains.

Automatic open level crossings have flashing signals and audible warnings. The lights will flash and the warnings will sound until it is safe to cross

If there is more than one railway line over an automatic crossing, this signal will also flash and the sound of the audible warning will change if another train is approaching

Open level crossings without gates, barriers or road traffic light signals have “give way” signs over a symbol of a railway locomotive

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