SunRail gate signal glitch concerns drivers

Cars cross tracks in Orlando in front of moving train

ORLANDO, Fla. – Local 6 uncovered a train signal glitch at a SunRail crossing and watched as car after car crossed the tracks in front of a moving train.

[RAW VIDEO: SunRail crossing gates ]

After a viewer tip, Local 6 on Monday evening watched the SunRail crossing on Princeton Street near Florida Hospital.

As southbound SunRail trains inched forward away from the station, the gates went up.

Time and time again, it happened. Local 6 witnessed the glitch three out of five times and again Tuesday morning.

At 5:43 p.m., 6:43 p.m. and 8:43 p.m., southbound trains moved down the tracks as the warning signals remained up and off.

Cars continued to cross the tracks as the train accelerated toward the crossing. And because there were no gates and no warning sounds, drivers were unaware that the train was accelerating just feet away.

"It's coming forward and the gate's still open," said Steven Branstetter, as he watched the glitch occur moments after he crossed the tracks. "It's maybe 40 feet from the road and now it's going down. Yeah, that's a little concerning. I come here every day and I've never noticed that before."

But other drivers have noticed the problem -- as early as late last week.

The problem seems to be isolated to southbound trains. Just as fast as the gates go up, they come down, forcing confused drivers to speed under the falling gates.

"I definitely think it should get fixed, absolutely. Someone's going to get hurt," Branstetter said.

As soon as Local 6 verified a problem existed, the station reached out to SunRail to notify officials about the problem and ask whether it will be fixed.

On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Transportation issued a statement to Local 6.

"The crossing gates at Princeton Street have been checked by SunRail personnel, who also have reviewed the news report, and all gates are working as intended. SunRail operators are well trained and are required to follow rules such as not proceeding through an intersection until the gates are fully deployed and the intersection is clear of traffic," the statement said.