@mark s posted:
Think the conductor/brakeman in the waycar bare 99% of the responsibility for not protecting the crossing with flags or flares
Actually, Mark, there was no such requirement. I'll agree that it could have been helpful in this case, but not required. When you start requiring things like that, you vastly increase your liability, which is already high, and there are tons of mitigating factors that can hopelessly entangle the railroad in extra liability..
But it was daylight, both wigwags were in operation, and the oncoming train was sounding the whistle. And there was enough visibility around the rear of the waycar, for the driver to creep up and see for a sufficient distance to cross safely. It's the driver's responsibility to decide if it is safe to cross the tracks.
Nonetheless, I wish that we had purposely blocked the crossing that day, on our own, without being required to.