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January 20, 2018, 09:16:24 AM *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: Yesterday at 10:48:52 AM
Be interesting to see if they hold it back a minute to ensure the HEx has time to clear airport junction then itís a 10 minute gap. The train in front being the 1035 to Paignton

Actually left 1/2 minute early if RTT is to be believed
2  Journey by Journey / Swindon to Gloucester / Cheltenham / Re: Fatal collision at Frampton Mansell Level Crossing - man and dog killed - 7 Feb 2017 on: January 12, 2018, 05:41:04 PM


A Landrover driver who was killed when he was hit by a train on a level crossing had been given the all clear to drive over the track by a railway signalman, a coroner heard today.

Farmer Colin Cameron, 60, of Bisley rd, Stroud, Glos, died on February 7 last year as he used the  unmanned crossing at Frampton Mansell, nr Cirencester, Gloucestershire. One of his dogs also died.

Today Gloucestershire coroner Katie Skerrett held a pre-inquest hearing to discuss with lawyers what issues the jury will have to consider when the full inquest is held on a date to be fixed between April and June this year.

During today's hearing it emerged that Mr Cameron had stopped at the crossing and spoken on the phone to the nearest signalman.

He allegedly told the signalman that a train had passed by not long before. He was then allegedly told it was clear for him to drive across - but was then hit by an inter-city express and killed.

The coroner said it appeared to her that the key issues for the jury would be what Mr Cameron told the signalman about a train having passed recently and the signalman's reliance on that information when giving the go ahead to cross.

Barrister Sarah Le Fevre, representing Mr Cameron's family, told the coroner "Users (of the crossing) cannot be left to their own devices and are necessarily reliant on instructions given by Network Rail's signaller.

"There were three pieces of information which were available to the signaller or should have been available to him.

"If he had applied them he would have known that there was a train in the immediate approach to the crossing.

"One of those pieces of information was that the train itself had stopped at a red signal and had restarted upon the permission of this same signal box.

"That train could not have travelled that distance before Colin got there and asked for permission to cross.

"Secondly, there are two different light systems in the signal box, a red light system and a white light system. The red light system was working and it showed the signaller which bit of track the train was within.  It would have shown that the train which hit Colin was within a relatively short section of railway that took 4 minutes to traverse from one end to the other.

"That information was known in the signal box.

"The white light system was out of action at the time of the accident. It was repaired immediately after the accident.

"It would have shown the signaller whether the train was in or not in the Sapperton Long Tunnel, from which it comes out just 30 yards before this crossing.

"We say that there were three pieces of information that either were or could and should have been available to the signaller so as to properly inform Colin that it would not be safe for him to cross when the instruction was given for him to cross.

"He would have had information that would have told him (the signalman) for sure that there was a train coming."

The coroner said "We will have to focus on what was said between Colin and the signalman; what Colin said from his point of view.

"Also, we will look at the issue of what information was available to the signaller. And also the appropriateness of the signaller's response.

"Was it appropriate for him to be relying on information provided by the user, Colin."

The coroner also discussed with Ms Le Fevre and Network Rail's lawyer, Richard Crockford, what witnesses should be called to give evidence at the inquest.

She said that while it is not mandatory for her to empanel a jury to hear the case she had decided to do so. Ms Le Febre had submitted that a jury would be mandatory because the death occurred in a working environment.

The coroner stressede that the inquest would not be considering the safety or otherwise of such crossings in general. It would focus on the specific incident that day.

Witnesses would include the train driver and also Katie Rowan, who had been a passenger in Mr Cameron's vehicle but was standing outside it when the accident happened, she said.

A post-mortem into Mr Cameron's death has revealed he died from multiple injuries.

After the tragedy the vice chairman of Sapperton and Frampton Mansell parish council Charles Houldsworth called for extra safety precautions at the crossing.

Following the death of motorcyclist Paul Martin in 2014 safety recommendations made by investigators were put into operation but Mr Houldsworth says more is needed to prevent further tragedies.

At today's hearing Mr Crockford told the coroner that the crossing is one of many of its kind that Network Rail would like to close if legally possible.

Such unmanned crossings were installed in the mid 19th century to preserve the rights of way across the railway when it was being built, he said.

The Sapperton crossing had been used for a trial of a new system whereby there would be a red light showing on the crossing at all times and a driver would have to get out and press a button,whereupon the light would turn green if it was safe to cross, he said.

However, that had not been adopted because it was 'found not to have the safety integrity required.'

3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: Fire at Nottingham station 12 January 2018 on: January 12, 2018, 05:38:05 PM
I'll bet it was arsoff pretty quickly though.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Great British Railway Journeys - Michael Portillo's television series on: January 10, 2018, 05:14:24 PM
I spent 10 minutes during the first episode trying to adjust my television.

Turns out his jacket is supposed to look like that...
5  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Various 'open-top bus conversion' incidents, usually involving railway bridges on: December 21, 2017, 02:00:14 PM
The ad on the side of the bus seems splendidly ironic.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR IET diagrams. on: December 20, 2017, 04:51:58 PM

Is it only me who is tickled by the idea that there's actually a street in Virginia called 'Warp Drive'?  Grin
7  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: Learning where GWR's priorities lie ... on: November 27, 2017, 01:40:16 PM
I'm either very sensitive to tildes or I'm suffering late-onset dyslexia.

I read it as
8  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) - heritage line on: November 18, 2017, 10:45:26 AM
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: New Train on: November 16, 2017, 10:46:38 AM
Just to clarify - I was referring to platform 2 above. I very rarely alight at Didcot Parkway so I'm not over-familiar with platform numbers! 1A03 - the 0600 BRI - PAD is what I was aboard on all occasions.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: New Train on: November 16, 2017, 10:11:30 AM
The automated announcements seem to be working now but the train manager appears to have to over-ride them to announce short platforms at both Bath Spa and Didcot Parkway.

Going back a few posts to this comment - why are the rear two carriages locked out at Didcot? I have been in the rear coach of a 10-car service from SWI - PAD on several occasions (before they turned the sets round so that first class is now at the rear) and it has always appeared to be well within the bounds of the useable platform.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: BBC Anthropologist Alice Roberts finds a very permissive stance from GWR's WiFi. on: November 13, 2017, 10:23:26 PM
Or the version in which they need to travel on a peak ticket: Five Get Royally Screwed Again.

Don't forget that one of the Five is a dog. Disgraceful.

Mind you, I've heard that Thatcham Crossing has moved up to the more adult Enid Blyton books - The Commute of Adventure...
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: November 10, 2017, 07:46:14 PM
I saw actual wires in place around RWB. Fantastic - they are going through with it after all!

RWB area wiring was never in doubt, was it? Beyond Thingley was where it all got a bit questionable...

13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: November 02, 2017, 11:42:02 AM
I have already experienced the window blind stand-off. Difficult to see how it could be done any other way though.

Perhaps they could invest some of the revenue from my exorbitant ticket price and install electronic-dimming windows like those on the 787 Dreamliner  Wink
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Lack of Welsh signage on IET fleet on: October 27, 2017, 05:57:39 PM
Now that's something to have on your tombstone: 'Pioneer of the earth closet'. Excellent.
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Railway bridges struck by road vehicles - merged topic, ongoing discussion on: October 27, 2017, 11:35:56 AM
All our road authorities provide updated roads data to the official National Street Gazetteer, which is not published nor open data; you need to buy a license to use it. 

Stuving describes it well. The ever-useful Wikipedia says:

The National Street Gazetteer is a public database that is kept private

If I could spell 'oxymoron', I'd look that up too  Grin
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