What You Should and Should NOT Do if a Train is Blocking a Crossing in So. Indiana
It doesn't take long, while driving around Evansville and Southern Indiana, to realize that we have a lot of trains, or at least a lot of train tracks, which can lead to some serious delays in commute. The wait can be bad enough if the train is doing what it's supposed to be doing. It kinda depends on which way it's heading (into or out of the yard) and how fast it's going. The wait gets exponentially worse if/when the train isn't moving at all. How long has it been sitting there? How much longer will it sit there? Do the powers that be know one of their trains is just chillin' in the middle of a crossing? Those are all good questions. Another good question is, what do you do in that situation?
What You Should NOT Do
Let's start with what you should NOT do if you are stuck behind a train that is blocking the road. Do NOT call 911. That seems kind of obvious to me, but apparently, it's not that far-fetched. Emergency dispatchers do receive calls about trains blocking intersections, something that is certainly NOT an emergency. As frustrating as it may be, you should also NOT turn into a lunatic behind the wheel. Trying to turn around and find an alternative route is 100% understandable, just be sure to do that in a safe and responsible way, without endangering other drivers or property.
What You Should Do
Did you know that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has a website designed specifically for reporting problems at railroad crossings? CHECK IT OUT HERE. I just spent some time on it, and it's pretty neat. Enter an address to find a specific crossing, then tap/click on that crossing to report a blockage or some other problem. Even if you don't have a problem, you can just get on the map and see all of the different crossings in your area. Am I a dork for thinking that's kinda cool? If I'm not a dork for that, then I am for plenty of other things. I digress.
If you're new to an area, it might come in handy to know where the railroad crossings are - that could help plan your commute and show you which routes to avoid. Or it could help you find a different route if there is a train crossing and you don't want to wait. I'm just saying, doesn't seem so dorky now, does it?