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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: grahame on June 09, 2021, 10:55:23 am



Title: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on June 09, 2021, 10:55:23 am
I am not about to set it up ... but there are times I wonder if we should have a special area for level crossings!  These are all out-of-area stories but have the ring of being learning opportunities for us

https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/article/124670/danger-photography-level-crossings/

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A deadly shot: The danger of photography at level crossings

Megan Drayton, Foundation Manager of TrackSAFE Foundation New Zealand, discusses how the increasing popularity of rail tracks and level crossings as a fashionable backdrop in the age of modern photography, creative media and even selfies is seeing lives put at risk.

https://www.sussexlive.co.uk/news/sussex-news/shocking-cctv-shows-girl-lying-5504252

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Shocking CCTV shows girl lying in middle of railway tracks at Horsham level crossing

A shocking picture showing a girl lying in the middle of a railway line where trains hurtle past at 85mph has been released as Network Rail appealed to children to keep away from the tracks.

The teenager appears to be casually using her mobile phone while another girl stands next to her, despite the incredible dangers.

https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/19355598.inaudible-train-horn-closes-cononley-crossing/

Story - the IET that passes at 06:19 and 06:59 ...

Quote
‘Inaudible’ train horn closes Cononley crossing

THE closure of a well-used pedestrian rail crossing in Cononley has been extended to over a year, because there’s a slim chance people using it might not hear the horn of one early-morning train per day, a resident has said.



Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: broadgage on June 09, 2021, 06:47:06 pm
Why is this only considered to be a problem with IETs ? Surely the horns on these trains comply with all the relevant standards ?

If the horns are NOT compliant, then they should be rectified. (if the department for transport specified the wrong horns, then whoever made the decision should resign. If Hitachi fitted horns that do not comply with specifications then they should rectify this at their expense.)

If, as I suspect to be more likely, the horns are in fact compliant then the crossing should be opened forthwith.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on June 09, 2021, 09:32:47 pm
Why is this only considered to be a problem with IETs ? Surely the horns on these trains comply with all the relevant standards ?

If the horns are NOT compliant, then they should be rectified. (if the department for transport specified the wrong horns, then whoever made the decision should resign. If Hitachi fitted horns that do not comply with specifications then they should rectify this at their expense.)

If, as I suspect to be more likely, the horns are in fact compliant then the crossing should be opened forthwith.

For perfectly understandable reasons, Network Rail (as a rail infrastructure and safety provider) don't like level crossings and want to reduce or eliminate them where possible.  However, there's sometimes a feeling that they will look for any excuse / try it on and see what they can do to remove a crossing without taking an honest, measured, properly consulted and impartial consideration of the uses and requirements of the none-rail user of the crossings.   This is just one story in this thread - I recall Deganwy, Tal-y-Cafn, Angelstein Wharf, Westbury avoider and others where I would question their impartiality, and so many others where people have lost their lives - between Trowbridge and Westbury, and between Kemble and Stroud just locally to me.





Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: Lee on June 09, 2021, 10:05:45 pm
Network Rail...honest, measured, properly consulted and impartial consideration...

 ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: broadgage on June 10, 2021, 02:53:06 pm
Perhaps all level crossings on routes served by IETs should be closed ?


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 10, 2021, 05:04:11 pm
The article makes no mention of IETs which don’t operate over that crossing.  ;)


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on June 10, 2021, 06:03:19 pm
The article makes no mention of IETs which don’t operate over that crossing.  ;)

Correct - it's an Azuma

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It transpired the reason for the closure was because the horn signal on the Azuma 800 train, which is used on the Skipton to London Kings Cross service, was deemed inaudible from the crossing. This particular train only passes the Cononley crossing twice each day, both times early in the morning.

It comes out from the depot in Leeds to pick up passengers at Skipton for the 6-56 am Skipton-Kings Cross service, passing through Cononley on its way to Skipton and again shortly after on its way back to Leeds. But because people using the Cononley pedestrian crossing might not hear the horn on this one early morning train, the popular crossing was fenced off.

The alternative route for pedestrians involves walking up Crosshills Road into the village and turning right onto the footpath running past the cricket club. Although the distance to reach the railway station is about the same, this route has two fairly steep inclines, limited visibility, no pavements for most of it length and a history of problems with speeding traffic.

My apologies for introducing the red green herring - I did that amateur jorno thing of calling all class 800 trains by their local name!


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2021, 06:49:44 am
Level crossing stories ... https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/flying-scotsman-network-rail-issues-20834779 I note

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Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: "The railway is extremely dangerous if people misuse it. It's full of both obvious and hidden dangers, which carry risks of catastrophic injuries or even death."

He added: "It is never acceptable to go onto the track for any reason. Come and enjoy the spectacle of these iconic trains, but please do so from a safe place."

His context is very different and he and everyone else quoted is 100% right in condemning trespassing and creating dangers photographing Flying Scotsman, Tornado and others lineside as they pass, but his statement seems to suggest that the legitimate use of foot crossing is not acceptable too.

I am not standing up for idiots who put themselves and others in danger, and who set a precedent / example for those who know no better, but I am concerned at the wording that appears to condemn the legal use of crossing such as this one:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/lc_pack.jpg)



Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: ChrisB on June 17, 2021, 09:13:46 am
I think the point being made is that these crossings have only one purpose - to cross the line from one side to the orher, without stopping - including to take photos.

Photos are fine from outside the railway boundaryif course, eg from where your example was taken


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2021, 11:30:50 am
I think the point being made is that these crossings have only one purpose - to cross the line from one side to the orher, without stopping - including to take photos.

Photos are fine from outside the railway boundaryif course, eg from where your example was taken

I'm sure that is the point that was supposed to be made.  However, it's not what the Network Rail person said - he threw out the very reason these crossings exist and can be properly used with the stupid things that should not be done. Almost as if Network Rail would rather not have them used at all.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: ChrisB on June 17, 2021, 12:09:01 pm
Absolutely that's what they want - and if money was no object, they'd all be replaced with bridges/underpasses.

In the meantime....and people (including those that DO know better - so deliberately), will continue to misuse them.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: johnneyw on July 07, 2021, 10:43:36 am
BBC reports on toddler posed to be photographed on level crossing in what I would describe as verging on child abuse.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-57738291


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: johnneyw on August 14, 2021, 05:25:54 pm
This just released by Network Rail.  I had to watch it twice to make sure that I had actually seen what I had seen.
What the train driver must have felt I wouldn't like to imagine.

https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/cab-cctv-films-car-inches-away-from-hitting-train-on-level-crossing?fbclid=IwAR1FEKYODx9nBO_sJW3XvLo7Ao8O8Lla7YGTv90OR1NQ81PpOP5Lv64Kues


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: grahame on August 15, 2021, 07:58:01 am
And on a different crossing - from the Strathspey Herald (https://www.strathspey-herald.co.uk/news/anger-in-dalwhinnie-after-well-used-level-crossing-is-locked-246348/)

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Network Rail has been accused of acting in a high-handed manner after locking the gates to the public without any consultation at a level crossing in Dalwhinnie serving locals and hill-goers.

Community leaders and businesses are angered Ben Alder car park is now out of bounds, and fear it could hit visitor numbers and income in the small village.

They believe many pedestrians and cyclists will continue to use the point to cross the Highland main rail line – as proved the case during a recent temporary closure – and put themselves in greater danger following the move on Wednesday.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on August 15, 2021, 10:16:09 am
Re the Burneside incident, not trying to excuse the car driver at all, but ensuring there are adequate sight lines for both car drivers and train drivers (at this type of crossing) is essential.  So the height of the hedge on the train’s left and the car’s right should be maintained accordingly. 

Sight line issues are often mentioned in investigations into uncontrolled crossing incidents.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: stuving on August 15, 2021, 10:32:17 am
Re the Burneside incident, not trying to excuse the car driver at all, but ensuring there are adequate sight lines for both car drivers and train drivers (at this type of crossing) is essential.  So the height of the hedge on the train’s left and the car’s right should be maintained accordingly. 

Sight line issues are often mentioned in investigations into uncontrolled crossing incidents.


Sighting is essential where there are no traffic lights. Where there are, as here, vehicles are often required to stop and wait so far back that the drivers can't see (e.g. because of buildings).


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: rogerw on August 15, 2021, 03:22:03 pm
This was a controlled crossing with flashing "zig zag" red lights, which signify an absolute stop (even for emergency vehicles). The NR report makes it clear that the car driver had driven past the red lights. Whether there was inter-visibility between the car and the train is immaterial. the only test is whether the car driver could see the lights


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: broadgage on August 16, 2021, 04:59:42 am
There seems to be view among some motorists that the red warning lights at level crossings are in some way "only advisory" and that ignoring them is either OK, or at least less serious than ignoring other traffic signals.

In my view there should be more prosecutions for level crossing misuse, and the penalties should be more severe.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on August 16, 2021, 08:57:55 am
I was thinking more about minimising risk, not apportioning blame.  Of course the motorist should have obeyed the red lights, but seeing the train approaching might have helped avoid the incident (and the train driver may have had the chance to hoot – again?).  A building in the sight line can’t be moved, but a hedge can be cut down.  It’s all a question of doing whatever can be done AFAIRP to minimise risk.

On a slightly different tack, the motorist may well have been local, but I wonder whether non-locals from urban backgrounds are more used to level crossings where it’s light first, then barriers come down, then train (and look at the second bullet point at the bottom of the NR press release).  Again, no excuse for the motorist, but an avoided incident is better than a real incident and a prosecution. 


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: broadgage on August 16, 2021, 11:36:57 am
I disagree, in my view blame SHOULD be apportioned to the road vehicle driver, unless there is some extenuating circumstance.
Even partial reliance on sight lines is in my view most unwise for two reasons. Firstly a fast train could be out of sight initially but still come dangerously close as a vehicle crosses.
Secondly, a whole new can of worms is opened about sight lines and changes thereto.

IMHO, it should be a simple case of "were the red lights clearly visible and in working order" ? If yes then the blame should fall entirely upon the car driver. Penalty points on the driving licence would be reasonable. If this results in a driving ban, then a new driving test should be a requirement to drive after the expiration of the ban.


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: Clan Line on August 16, 2021, 04:03:34 pm
I disagree, in my view blame SHOULD be apportioned to the road vehicle driver,

I think you have to very careful saying something like that. Shall we say that, you personally, are well known for being a fan of rail transport against all others which MAY just have "flavoured" your response. The UK has a superb reputation when it comes to transport accident investigations air, maritime and rail. All these reports are completely impartial - blame is never apportioned in these reports. Their reports (especially aviation) often say that the actions of the pilot "caused" the incident - but they never "blame" the pilot. That is not their job. Once blame becomes the sole object people will clam up and the real reason may never be known. Just imagine the driver of a train being questioned after some incident or other............."no comment,...... no comment,........ no comment".......is that what you really want ?

It is possible that the driver's vision was obstructed by his interior sun visors, he may have had a medical incident, the sun shining at a particular angle on that particular model of car's windscreen may have distracted him...............he may have just made a "error of judgement" (like politicians always do !) .

It is very easy to cast blame. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7)


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: broadgage on August 16, 2021, 07:36:01 pm
I did state that blame should be apportioned to the road vehicle driver "unless there was some extenuating circumstance"
Sudden illness would be an extenuating circumstance, as might be unexpected* mechanical failure. Not sure about "view obstructed by sun visor" since that could be considered the drivers fault if they had so adjusted the sun visor such that observation of traffic signals was thereby obstructed.

What happens to a train driver who passes a signal at danger, without extenuating circumstances ?
And how does this compare with the treatment of a car driver who jumps a red traffic signal ?

Rail is far safer than road transport, The ONLY fatal rail accident for many years was at Stonehaven. The DAILY death toll on the roads far exceeds the ANUALL  toll in rail accidents.

*Mechanical failure is only in my view an extenuating circumstance if truly unforeseen, and not the result of poor maintenance.



Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: CyclingSid on August 23, 2021, 10:48:29 am
There are also cyclists that don't help their own cause https://road.cc/content/news/cycling-live-blog-23-august-2021-285801 (https://road.cc/content/news/cycling-live-blog-23-august-2021-285801)


Title: Re: Level Crossing Stories
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 14, 2021, 11:54:37 am
This level crossing incident is special due to the participants.
Quote
Network Rail signalman, 27, jailed for driving his Range Rover into an LNER Azuma train at a level crossing near Doncaster - then claiming it was stolen

Michael Rochford worked for Network Rail as a signalling technician before the incident at the Rossington level crossing on the East Coast Main Line near Doncaster on June 13.

CCTV captured the moment his 4x4 collided with the LNER Azuma - which sustained damage while several passengers suffered whiplash injuries and a man in a nearby garden narrowly missed being struck by falling debris. Rochford fled the scene after the collision but was arrested three days later.
https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/network-rail-signalman-27-jailed-for-driving-his-range-rover-into-an-lner-azuma-train-at-a-level-crossing-near-doncaster-then-claiming-it-was-stolen-3381110



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