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Author Topic: What happened near Dauntsey on Wednesday 20th May?  (Read 6496 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2020, 10:41:55 am »

Whilst those who are so inclined are allowing themselves a chuckle, perhaps some thoughts could also be spared for the animals, the feelings of the Farmer and his family, those who were left to clean up the mess, and any witnesses to the incident or the scene afterwards, which, having been involved in a similar incident some years ago, I know would have been horrific.

I absolutely "get" gallows humour if it's in the right place, but like so many things it's subjective and in the eye of the beholder - to some a particular line is humorous, to others it's simply crass or in poor taste. That's just a personal observation...

My views are very similar, although I’m rather more concerned about any cattle that weren’t quite killed rather than those killed outright – at least they wouldn’t have known much about it...

There will also be quite an insurance claim for someone to deal with, depending on whose fault it was that they were there in the first place.

On the wider matter of humour, as I worked as a guitarist/ comedian for 25 years i have some experience of this! If I had £1 for every punter who didn’t get the joke I’d probably be writing this from the Cayman Islands.

Humour is subjective – what makes one person roll on the floor with laughter will get another throwing tomatoes. It’s even more stark where the written word is involved, because facial expression, timing and intonation of delivery makes up a large part of the gag, and when any of those are absent it is much easier to take something the wrong way.

I am equally as guilty myself. We had a thread a few weeks ago where the possibility of sharing sleeping cars with our Commonwealth brethren post-Brexit was raised. The idea was absolutely preposterous of course, but the trouble was I could see arch-dangerous nits like Rees Mogg delivering that sort of drivel as gospel in an interview (he has promoted dafter things before now...). It was only after I got a personal message from my “adversary” in that thread that the penny dropped...

Some of my readers might think that I have a rather bombastic and arrogant writing style at times, but in fact most of it is written tongue-in-cheek and trying to introduce humour into the thread. Such as, for example, a recent reference to finding somewhere to stick an umbrella in the absence of bus shelters. As I wrote it I was imagining Kenneth Horne delivering the line. Luckily I think Graham saw the funny side of that, but it could have gone down like a lead parachute by those who took it seriously.

Finally, an example from my past. Following an incident with a heavy late fall of snow in Tredegar in April 1984, I started my set with “White Christmas.” It went down a storm and I introduced it as a regular feature of the act during the Spring and Summer. I did it at the Hewlett Arms in Cheltenham one Sunday evening in July that year with a suitable big build up: “There’s a song coming next that you all know but nobody – absolutely nobody else in the country - will be singing it tonight.” As usual it went down very well.

On the Monday morning the landlord complained to my Agent about “that bloody idiot you sent last night who sang White Christmas in July”

You can’t win ‘em all...  Grin
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2020, 03:41:53 pm »

Obviously very unfortunate, to say the least, for all concerned but I am more interested in why 'animals on the line' still keeps happening with apparent monotonous regularity when it shouldn't.

Some questions, to which I don't know the answers, therefore arise:
Is Network Rail (NR» (Network Rail - home page)) always solely responsible for the maintenance of lineside fencing or are there instances where the landowner might be (partially) liable?
Either way is there a process by which landowners can quickly inform NR of lineside fencing damage?
Similarly can landowners make direct contact with the signallers if they become aware that their animals have strayed onto a line?
Do NR have a routine lineside fencing inspection programme which could identify issues, and get them fixed, before they result in a major issue such as this one?
Is it possible that the old concrete post & wire fencing is life expired and should be replaced in all 'at risk' locations by more robust palisade fencing?
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2020, 03:49:19 pm »

Obviously very unfortunate, to say the least, for all concerned but I am more interested in why 'animals on the line' still keeps happening with apparent monotonous regularity when it shouldn't.

Some questions, to which I don't know the answers, therefore arise:
Is Network Rail (NR» (Network Rail - home page)) always solely responsible for the maintenance of lineside fencing or are there instances where the landowner might be (partially) liable?
Either way is there a process by which landowners can quickly inform NR of lineside fencing damage?
Similarly can landowners make direct contact with the signallers if they become aware that their animals have strayed onto a line?
Do NR have a routine lineside fencing inspection programme which could identify issues, and get them fixed, before they result in a major issue such as this one?
Is it possible that the old concrete post & wire fencing is life expired and should be replaced in all 'at risk' locations by more robust palisade fencing?

Or did someone perhaps leave an occupation crossing gate open?
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stuving
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2020, 04:07:01 pm »

Obviously very unfortunate, to say the least, for all concerned but I am more interested in why 'animals on the line' still keeps happening with apparent monotonous regularity when it shouldn't.

Some questions, to which I don't know the answers, therefore arise:
Is Network Rail (NR» (Network Rail - home page)) always solely responsible for the maintenance of lineside fencing or are there instances where the landowner might be (partially) liable?
Either way is there a process by which landowners can quickly inform NR of lineside fencing damage?
Similarly can landowners make direct contact with the signallers if they become aware that their animals have strayed onto a line?
Do NR have a routine lineside fencing inspection programme which could identify issues, and get them fixed, before they result in a major issue such as this one?
Is it possible that the old concrete post & wire fencing is life expired and should be replaced in all 'at risk' locations by more robust palisade fencing?

Or did someone perhaps leave an occupation crossing gate open?

All of those things, and no doubt more, are possible; only factual information will tell you if they are.

But what you want is the "Analysis of the risk from animals on the line – Issue Issue 2" produced by the RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) in 2014. It is available to download from Spark, so I can't give a link to it (but anyone can register). Oddly the current version (PB027137) isn't issue 2 and is dated 2013!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2020, 09:29:30 pm »

I don't know of any occupation crossings on that section but I am happy to be corrected - I can't see any on the OS (Ordnance Survey), don't know of any, and was on first name terms with blades of grass in the Dauntsey area when I worked for North Wiltshire District Council!

As regards boundary responsibility, it is common convention that when a new boundary is created (eg if only part of an existing parcel of land is sold) the purchaser will have responsibility for that new boundary written into the conveyance. Clearly on that basis, if a railway comes along and runs through an existing field, two new boundaries are created so the purchaser (the fledgling railway company) will be responsible for them.

There may be many cases wher the railway has sold off a redundant site such as s staion or goods yard which would bring with it another new boundary, and in that case the new owner may be responsible. That said, I can see a potentiasl safety issue with any Tom Dick or Harry having responsibility for a boundary with a railway line, so it could be that there would be a legally-enforceable clause whereby NR» (Network Rail - home page) could do the work and charge the new owner for it. That last bit, I emphasise, is merely speculation on my part.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 09:36:08 pm by Robin Summerhill » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2020, 10:22:38 pm »

I remember that in NZ the railways in rural areas were mostly unfenced. Whether this led to many incidents of animals on the line, I don't know.
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2020, 10:40:27 pm »

Some info about boundary fencing here: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/living-by-the-railway/fencing/

Key part to an earlier question is this bit though:

Quote
We check the fences on a regular basis, typically annually. The type of fence we provide depends on the use of the land adjacent to it. We will identify the use of the adjacent land from these inspections.

and this bit:

Quote
Fences between your property and the railway
We’re responsible for the fencing that forms the boundary to the railway. If there’s a problem with our fencing we will either fix the fence or replace it. This doesn’t apply to other fences that may be parallel to our boundary measure.
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stuving
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2020, 10:45:19 pm »


Some questions, to which I don't know the answers, therefore arise:
There answers to most of them.

Quote
Is Network Rail (NR» (Network Rail - home page)) always solely responsible for the maintenance of lineside fencing or are there instances where the landowner might be (partially) liable?
From the RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) report cited earlier:
Quote
3.3 Fencing
The relationship between railways, landowners and farmers was established in our industry’s earliest days. Landowning interests were extremely powerful in Victorian Britain and the arrival of a new line was not always welcome.

Each line was subject to a separate Act of Parliament. In order for them to be successful, arrangements had to make to made to maintain farmers’ access to their land, by means of bridges or crossings. It therefore became the railways’ responsibility to ensure that livestock
could not stray onto the track. These requirements were embodied in the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act 184527 which is still in force today.

Section 68 of the Act states:
The (railway) company shall make and at all times thereafter maintain… sufficient posts, rails, hedges, ditches, mounds, or other fences, for separating the land taken for the use of the railway from the adjoining lands not taken, and protecting such lands from trespass, or the cattle of the owners or occupiers thereof from straying thereout, by reason of the railway, together with all necessary gates, made to open towards such adjoining lands, and not towards the railway, and all necessary stiles; and such posts, rails, and other fences shall be made forthwith after the taking of any such lands, if the owners thereof shall so require.

This effectively made the GB (Great Britain) rail industry responsible for erecting and maintaining fences along the entire length of the network, both to prevent trespass and straying animals; today the onus falls on Network Rail as the direct successor of the original railway companies. This arrangement is unusual internationally and railways are not routinely fenced in continental Europe or North America, except on high-speed lines. Indeed, the line involved in the Langenhorn incident had been fenced by the farmer, not the railway (although in this case the cattle had accessed the line via a level crossing).

What is more difficult to deal with is when livestock escape but not to the railway, either to a road or to land not fenced for livestock.

Quote
Either way is there a process by which landowners can quickly inform NR of lineside fencing damage?
From the NR web site:
Quote
Please call our emergency 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41 if there's a safety threat to you or to others such as:

    People, animals, trees or objects on or near the track
    Damage or fault at a level crossing
    A vehicle has hit a bridge
    A broken fence or open gate allowing access to the track

If you report a problem relating to safety, we will give this priority.

Quote
Similarly can landowners make direct contact with the signallers if they become aware that their animals have strayed onto a line?

I doubt there is a direct number, only lineside phones at crossings - not intended for that, but unlikely to lead to objections.

Quote
Do NR have a routine lineside fencing inspection programme which could identify issues, and get them fixed, before they result in a major issue such as this one?
More from the RSSB report:
Quote
3.3.3 Fencing management
Network Rail carries out routine inspections at varying intervals and takes into account condition of fencing the number of instances of trespass or vandalism or livestock incursions through the fence by large or small boned animals.

All the company’s Delivery Units have a plan for carrying out fencing inspections. Records are kept and faults are reported through control. If the nature of the fault is severe enough, the inspector will stay at the fence until the repair team arrives. Network Rail is also informed at local level if adjacent land use changes (from, say, arable to animal).

As a result of accidents like Letterston Junction, and other near miss events, however, Network Rail has put standards in place to mitigate the different types of risks posed at different locations. The current standard for the Management of fencing and other boundary measures (NR/L2/TRK/5100, Version 2) was updated and re-issued in 2008.

The standard uses the likelihood of unauthorised access, the consequences of unauthorised access, adjacent land use and the condition of existing boundary measures to determine the initial level of fencing required and the subsequent level of inspection, repair or replacement needed.

[The process was originally devised to prevent trespass on the railway by people; later versions have addressed livestock incursions and principles of evaluating risk.]

Quote
Is it possible that the old concrete post & wire fencing is life expired and should be replaced in all 'at risk' locations by more robust palisade fencing?
The above continues:
Quote
Furthermore, the company has considered three separate papers on animal incursions since April 2010; as a result, NR/L2/TRK/5100 Version 3 has been drafted for publication.
Version 3 will require the fence inspector to verify the condition of the fencing physically, rather than just visually, and sign to confirm that they have done so. Network Rail envisages that this physical verification of fence condition will reduce the number of incursions caused by fencing being in a poor condition.

In addition, animal incursions are a standing item at the company’s regular boundary risk management liaison meetings, and will also be covered by an ‘objects on the line’ deep dive review, which will start in July and end in September 2014.

The challenge comes with wild animals like deer, as these not only sit outside all legislative requirements, they also have a great capacity for jumping fences of any height. Furthermore, as many are wild, the railway cannot always control their movement in conjunction with the relevant land owner.
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grahame
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2020, 05:58:50 am »


Quote
Either way is there a process by which landowners can quickly inform NR» (Network Rail - home page) of lineside fencing damage?

From the NR web site:

Quote
Please call our emergency 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41 if there's a safety threat to you or to others such as:
    People, animals, trees or objects on or near the track
    Damage or fault at a level crossing
    A vehicle has hit a bridge
    A broken fence or open gate allowing access to the track

If you report a problem relating to safety, we will give this priority.


03457 11 41 41
should be known to all observant passengers and people who work, live, relax or undertake other activities within sight of a National Rail line.   For "once in a lifetime" use ...
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2020, 10:14:49 am »


I am equally as guilty myself. We had a thread a few weeks ago where the possibility of sharing sleeping cars with our Commonwealth brethren post-Brexit was raised. The idea was absolutely preposterous of course, but the trouble was I could see arch-dangerous nits like Rees Mogg delivering that sort of drivel as gospel in an interview (he has promoted dafter things before now...).


I once had a gentle warning from a moderator about a comment I had posted about a civil servant which was perceived as a personal attack too far, although it was milder than that above.  I hope that the Forum rules will be applied consistently whoever the poster is targeting, whether they be a civil servant or a politician of the "wrong" (in the opinion of the poster) sort.  So I look forward to the moderators intervening regarding Robin's comment about Jacob Rees-Mogg.
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grahame
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2020, 10:40:50 am »

I hope that the Forum rules will be applied consistently whoever the poster is targeting, whether they be a civil servant or a politician of the "wrong" (in the opinion of the poster) sort.  So I look forward to the moderators intervening regarding Robin's comment about Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The forum guidelines have consistently allowed a greater degree of opinions about those who seek positions of power and influence than they have allowed for those who find themselves thrust through no choice of their own into the limelight.   Comes down to some extent to the "invasive of privacy" thing in the forum agreement - http://www.passenger.chat/1761 - where (to confirm) members agree that they are responsible for the contents of their own posts.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2020, 10:53:21 am »


I am equally as guilty myself. We had a thread a few weeks ago where the possibility of sharing sleeping cars with our Commonwealth brethren post-Brexit was raised. The idea was absolutely preposterous of course, but the trouble was I could see arch-dangerous nits like Rees Mogg delivering that sort of drivel as gospel in an interview (he has promoted dafter things before now...).


I once had a gentle warning from a moderator about a comment I had posted about a civil servant which was perceived as a personal attack too far, although it was milder than that above.  I hope that the Forum rules will be applied consistently whoever the poster is targeting, whether they be a civil servant or a politician of the "wrong" (in the opinion of the poster) sort.  So I look forward to the moderators intervening regarding Robin's comment about Jacob Rees-Mogg.

I've reread my original post again very carefully, and I don't see the name "Jacob" in it. You appear to have added that in your response.

I understand that there is more than one child of that union, including at least one other parliamentary candidate, and the head of that particular family was himself a well-known figure in journalism.

I have now also read Graham's response, but I'm still not going to tell you which member of the family I had in mind   Grin
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2020, 11:35:33 am »

Well, I admit to being less clear than I was about the Forum guidelines, but I’ll happily leave it there. 

Robin, having re-read a few of your post I support your general attitude to humour and your frustration that it sometime backfires or gets misinterpreted.  So I accept your RM comments in that context.  Don’t change your style – I like a little stir myself sometimes.
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