Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Possible boring explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road-rail_vehicle
RRVs are basically a way to avoid having to build fully custom "...but on rails" versions of everything. The RRV concept and the associated regulation lets you "just" bolt on an additional set of wheels and an additional (hopefully interlocking) control system either at design time or after market.
An RRV would either treat this obstruction exactly like a regular train, most likely trashing the hose but with a small chance it could derail and cause mayhem - or they'd be in road mode and come over this crossing the way (and direction) ordinary traffic would. This silliness doesn't help them. RRV operators are emphatically taught not to try to drive the RRV along the rails in road mode -- doing that works in Hollywood movies but not in real life.
If for some obscure reason they really needed to run a hose across that crossing then the right way to make that safe is to call the signaller, and ask him to block the line until further notice. At which point the equipment they've put down is irrelevant.
I think there's room at that crossing to switch from rail to road mode.
Prolly. It's also brightly colored, and RRVs can stop quickly (compared to a train). Also, for all we know, the hose and/or equipment conducts electricity, and tells the nearby switch--and oncoming trains--that there is something on the tracks.
I'm sure it's actually for kids and groups of road cyclists who balance on the rail. Wouldn't want them to slip and fall on the hose.
I love how nerdbaity this is.
If it's one of those places that already requires trains to slow to a crawl for crossings, visibility is probably enough, and/or good enough for legal requirements (train still destroys everything and/or gets messed up itself, but now it's the railway's liability to replace the ridiculously expensive hose*).
Looks like a left-side-of-the-road country due to placement of the signal, if the picture isn't reversed. Don't they sometimes use light trammy stuff that can stop like a bus?
*Check out the pricing on fire trucks sometime... apparently generic models aren't much of a thing in the US?
anyway, where's the fire...
So that quote comes from my friend who emailed me this photo. I quoted him when I posted the photo on Twitter:
For some reason Twitter loved it, it got 10k RTs (unheard of for my tweets), and hence I got lots of informative replies about it (also lots of replies from people telling that of course it would work, with varying degrees of rudeness).
Turns out, it was a joke by Belgian firefighters :) The train track was closed while they were there: