TICO BULL: Playing Chicken With The Train!


Rico’s TICO BULL – In less than a month that the new train level crossings went into operation in 23 train crossings, there have already been six incidents of drivers slamming into the barriers.

In their defense, some drivers complain of alleged “inconsistencies” in the devices; However, the transit authorities of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – the railway – rather call for prudence when driving and not disobey the demarcation on the tracks.


The words “Cuidado con el tren” (be careful of the train) seem to mean nothing to drivers in Costa Rica.

The Stop sign. Since most crossings – only 23 to date with several dozens more in the coming months – don’t have automatic gates, the train has to blow the horn. Some crossings have warning lights.

So, it is up drivers to give way to the train, obey the Stop signs – either on the asphalt on the post- should always be heeded, that is, all drivers have to come to a complete stop and verify the tracks are clear.

To be fair, drivers don’t pay attention to other road signs, why make an exception to the train, right?

On a regular basis, we see photos and videos small vehicles, buses, big rigs, even those carrying dangerous goods, “playing chicken” with the train.

What many drivers in Costa Rica just don’t get is that trains – even the two-car trains of the Incofer commuter train – have a much larger mass relative to their braking capability, and thus a far longer braking distance than road vehicles.

With rare exceptions, trains do not stop at level crossings and rely on vehicles and pedestrians to clear the tracks in advance.

What many drivers don’t also get is that the train can come along at any time, not just during the weekday morning or afternoon scheduled runs.

All images from social networks.