Train crossing experiencing mechanical issue on Mechanic St. in Harrisonville

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- It's a dangerous crossing and if you're driving through Harrisonville, you may need to pay attention to more than signs when you're going over the train tracks. The crossing is on Mechanic Street coming into town next to Price Chopper.

"When the train is not there the arms stay down. It's causing a lot of problems," said Lt. Chris Osterberg with The Harrisonville Police Department.

When a train passes through near Mechanic street the crossing arms stay down and back up traffic.

"The switch box is broke, and the part is on order, and is supposed to be in route. They`re telling us hopefully by Monday," Osterberg said.

However, days away is a long time for a main thoroughfare.

"The traffic flow through there is quite heavy at times, and when those arms stay down and there`s no train traffic backs up, people get impatient, and people have started to go through the crossing," Osterberg said.

With a complicated problem, it's an even more complicated solution.

"As the train approaches they will be stopping allowing one of their crew members to get off who will be physically stopping traffic like you would see a law enforcement officer do," Osterberg said. "The train will go through, stop, the crew member would rejoin the train and they would continue on."

While Lt. Osterberg says this could be annoying to drivers, it's better to be annoyed than hurt.

"Just obey the signals. If they're down, and there's obviously no train - find an alternative route," Osterberg said. "Don't take the chance. There`s nothing in the world that you need to violate that and take the chance."

If you are driving this way take extra precaution, and don't find yourself on the wrong side of the tracks.

"Never try to beat the train. If you lose that, odds are, you're losing big," Osterberg said.

FOX4 reached out to the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad, which is run by Genessee & Wyoming, Inc., but were unable to reach someone in their offices.