Traffic was snarled for about 20 minutes shortly after 6 p.m. today in Sacramento along multiple railroad crossings at Q, S, P and N streets, close to 19th Street.
The guard rails were in a down position for 20 minutes, blocking traffic. Motorists were spotted trying to steer around the barricades.
Regional Transit workers were seen directing traffic at the S Street crossing, which is shared by Sacramento Regional Transit and Union Pacific. An RT worker said the issue usually happens three times a week.
A Union Pacific train proceeded slowly, honking its horn several times to warn bystanders and cars. Alane Masui, RT spokeswoman, said Union Pacific was responsible for the guards and referred all questions to the railroad company.
Aaron Hunt, a spokesman for Union Pacific in Sacramento, apologized for the traffic snarl.
"Our gates have a fail-safe mechanism, so that if there is an issue, it just goes down," Hunt said.
As of 6:30 p.m., the guardrails were up.