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Author Topic: All trains blocked at Wokingham  (Read 5597 times)
Marlburian
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« on: December 20, 2019, 07:07:53 am »

All trains between Wokingham and Ascot have been affected after a crash early this morning at a level crossing in the Wokingham area.


Berkshire Live news website
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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 09:21:23 am »

All trains between Wokingham and Ascot have been affected after a crash early this morning at a level crossing in the Wokingham area.

Berkshire Live news website


Nothing to see from my window ... but I'm sure Wokingham station is mobbed with people wondering if it's worth going in to work today. (Of course the answer is "yes - but not for working, obviously".)

In the old railway, someone would assemble a good long train - maybe 12 coaches - and shuttle as many passengers as possible from Wokingham to Guildford, or to Reading for the Paddington route. With only some (not all) of the North Down trains running SWR» (South Western Railway - about) are not even mentioning that route.

The Guildford option has in theory now got a bit easier since the North Downs Line has closed (landslip). The same has happened near Godalming, so some Portsmouth trains are turning at Guildford. What a morning to be an emergency controller!
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jdw.wor
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 11:46:42 am »

I suspect all trains are terminating at Guildford (southbound) as it is the main Portsmouth line that is blocked. GWR (Great Western Railway) are saying blocked between Guildford and Redhill and SWR» (South Western Railway - about) are saying between Guildford and Godalming. GWR might have been clearer by saying between Guildford and Shalford
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 12:22:15 pm »

Just dropped by the station, and it's now empty - for want of useful trains. There is an SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train now in P2, ID 5Z52 - that ID was shown earlier on the line towards Bracknell. I can only assume it was involved in the accident, or blocked by it somehow, in which case the last "missing" train is last night's 5C72 (departed WKM 2324). That wasn't really a helpful move, since there is nowhere to put so as not to block the line! So (while I didn't see it go, and the ID was present all the time east of here) I presume it has gone back up the line to wait again. Unless they can squeeze two into Reading P6 ...

There only information was little notices on the machines saying you can go via Reading or Guildford. But the Guildford service is very patchy at the moment, for various reasons.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 05:00:08 pm »

More in The Merto

Quote
A suspected drink-driver cheated death by leaping from his car moments before it was crushed by a train on a level crossing. Police found the wreck of the BMW at around midnight on Thursday and shortly afterwards breathalysed the driver, 29. He was arrested on suspicion of drinking behind the wheel and endangering safety on the railway and remains in custody, British Transport Police said. The man tried to drive over the crossing in Wokingham, Berkshire, as the train hurtled towards him but jumped out of the driver’s seat at the last minute, according to witnesses. His BMW was found dragged down the track with its roof ripped in half, its windscreen smashed and its front torn off.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 05:08:25 pm by grahame » Logged

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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2019, 06:05:43 pm »

The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) report also says the collision took place at about 23:30, meaning it could have been the ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) to Wimbledon or the last train fro Waterloo. Both show as running to that point than vanish, so presumably both were stopped but only one hit the car. Where it reports passengers taken onward by coach, again it's not clear whether that train collided.

On balance, with other reports naming it as the 10:20 from Waterloo, it does look like that had the accident - which might explain why the end I saw wasn't damaged! "ECS blocked on line overnight" isn't a big news story.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 07:32:19 pm by stuving » Logged
bobm
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 07:26:51 pm »

Tran involved was the 22:20 from Waterloo to Reading.   It collided with the car on Waterloo Level Crossing.  Train was finally moved around 13:15.

There was some track damage which has been repaired.   The level crossing equipment will be replaced overnight tonight.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2019, 03:02:24 pm »

Part of the development plan for the housing that end of Wokingham was to replace one or both crossings with a bridge. Residents weren't too happy apparently, so don't know what the current situation. Waterloo crossing has had a fairly dire reputation.
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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2019, 03:39:21 pm »

Part of the development plan for the housing that end of Wokingham was to replace one or both crossings with a bridge. Residents weren't too happy apparently, so don't know what the current situation. Waterloo crossing has had a fairly dire reputation.

The road and bridge were approved some time ago, and work started about a year ago. And only this week it was announced that WBC has got nearly £5M for this out of £9.2M from the Local Growth Fund and the Business Rates Retention Pilot. (I note the principle of causality doesn't hold in local government.) I don't suppose work has yet reached the stage of building anything - that will happen next year, for opening next winter (which probably means spring).

Once the new bridge is open, the plan agreed by WBC and NR» (Network Rail - home page) is to close the Waterloo crossing, which would be quite close to it and between it and the Starlane crossing which is staying open. The consultation FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) said this:
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Why close the Waterloo Road level crossing?
The Waterloo Road level crossing has been identified by Network Rail as in need of a major level crossing upgrade. There have been a number of fatalities at the crossing and there have also been a high number of incidents where vehicles and pedestrians have misused the crossing.

The Eastern Gateway will mean the level crossing can be closed because it will create a new connection between London Road (via William Heelas Way) and Waterloo Road.

What alternatives were looked at instead of closing the Waterloo Road level crossing?
A pedestrian bridge and underpass were considered near the existing level crossing. However, the feasibility assessment found that both options would have a significantly negative visual impact on nearby properties. Both options would also have needed land purchased to accommodate the structures. An alternative pedestrian and cycle route will be provided via Clay Lane and the new SWDR – Eastern Gateway, with shared surfaces adjacent to the new road.

When will the level crossing be closed?
Once the new rail bridge and the Eastern Gateway road are open.

While WBC have obviously promised to support closure, I think it's down to NR to make the case for it at the time. This accident can only make that task easier.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2019, 05:30:41 pm »

Last week was a bad week on the North Downs line, not helped by some poor Journey Check and on-station information. On Tuesday the homeward bound train for Guildford (19-26) did not appear even though it was shown as "Delayed" both at the station and on Journey Check. After 15 minutes and phone calls to 0345 700125 it was discovered that the train did not exist, but had been cancelled. It was only starting from Shalford

Friday morning's problems were compounded by daft passenger management at Reading. I arrived for the 7-58 for Redhill, to find that Platforms 5 and 6 were closed by a red tape, with 5 or so staff standing around.When questioned, they told us it was because no Waterloo trains were running - and there were indeed empty SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains on Platforms 4 and 6. But there was an inbound GW (Great Western) train on its way in which would be packed with passengers who would otherwise be using SWR trains, and a crowd behind the tape blocking their exit! As the train pulled in the tape was released, so there was a surge of passengers onto the platform to greet those about to get off the train arriving!

By the time the train was on its way, messages about a landslip between Guildford and Redhill began to appear on Journey Check. Being in the rear compartment of the rear coach I started to hear the concerned voice of the train manager. At the next stop (Blackwater if I recall correctly) any relief that the effect of the Wokingham level crossing incident had not closed the North Downs line was tempered by the fact that Journey Check was showing our train as being entirely cancelled! Mercifully the message got through that the train could after all get to Guildford.

"Must try harder"

   
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 06:21:03 pm »

The trial of the driver in involved in the 19/12/19 collision concluded last week. He was, in fact, not particularly irresponsible at the accident - for a driver who was so drunk. From the Bracknell News:
Quote
Wokingham level crossing crash driver jailed

[Claudiu] Ilinca, of Nettlecombe in Bracknell, was at the wheel of his ex-partner?s car on his way back from a works night out and was over the drink-drive limit on December 19, 2019. He lost control, hit the kerb, a lamppost and finally ploughed through a fence onto the railway line at the level crossing on Waterloo Road, a court heard.

When the 30-year-old's car came to rest, he found it was stuck on the tracks and prosecutors told how, although Ilinca desperately attempted to push it free, it remained in place when the 10.20pm service from London Waterloo to Reading approached at 70mph.

Prosecuting, Russell Pyne said: ?The train driver Sherifat Shode-Taiwo says that the first that she saw was lights reflecting in the bushes as she drove her train. She thought that is must be night workers in the dark so she sounded her warning horn but she got no acknowledgement.

?It seems almost immediately afterwards she saw there was a car perched on the railway line and across the track so that it was clear her train would impact on it. She could see that the car was stationary, the driver's door was facing towards her and was open.

?She immediately applied the full emergency brake. She says that she collided with the vehicle within seconds and the impact was very loud but the train did not derail. It stayed on the tracks and the car became wedged beneath the wheels of the train,? said the prosecutor.
...
At the sentencing on Friday, November 13, Judge Nott jailed Ilinca for 10 months and banned him from driving for 23 months, while the defendant?s partner watched from the public gallery. 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 04:44:17 pm by stuving » Logged
stuving
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2021, 02:54:43 pm »

Part of the development plan for the housing that end of Wokingham was to replace one or both crossings with a bridge. Residents weren't too happy apparently, so don't know what the current situation. Waterloo crossing has had a fairly dire reputation.

The road and bridge were approved some time ago, and work started about a year ago. And only this week it was announced that WBC has got nearly £5M for this out of £9.2M from the Local Growth Fund and the Business Rates Retention Pilot. (I note the principle of causality doesn't hold in local government.) I don't suppose work has yet reached the stage of building anything - that will happen next year, for opening next winter (which probably means spring).
...

That was just over a year ago, and since then I've not seen much about it. The bridge is for a new road, and put there as there isn't another nearby, so it's not possible to go and see by road. And while progress would be visible from trains to and from Bracknell, of course I've not been on one for most of that year.

But Balfour Beatty have been beavering away, and over the weekend of 16/17 January they put the two spans in place:


Presumably the embankments behind the abutments will be built up later.

This is a "distributor road" - needed to serve new houses around its route. However, after the plan was all decided on, WBC started saying the road would also serve as a by-pass or ring road. This led to a series of letters to the local paper, notably from a retired engineer with experience of road design. He pointed out that it was not sized for this kind of traffic flow, neither in volume nor in the HGVs this would include.

Now that the houses north of the railway are built and occupied, the residents are complaining about exactly the same thing.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2021, 07:03:17 am »

Now I know what the rail replacement buses were for!
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