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Author Topic: Misuse of level crossings - highlighting but not limited to Marlow branch  (Read 23370 times)
grahame
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« on: June 11, 2020, 12:13:42 »

From Network Rail Media Centre

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Shocking picture captures the moment a child was left on tracks as worrying stats show surge in people risking their lives at level crossings

Network Rail and British Transport Police are concerned at the dramatic increase in the number of people risking their lives at level crossings after a surge in people not using them correctly.

The worrying trend includes on the Marlow branch line where 16 people have risked their life since March 23, an increase of 433% on the same period last year, with seven of those resulting in people almost being hit by a train.

One of the most shocking incidents took place on May 24 at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire where a small child in a pushchair was left in the middle of the tracks just so the irresponsible adult with them could take a picture.



Another image at the same level crossing shows someone kneeling on the track while holding a dog, again so a picture could be taken.



Meanwhile a few miles away at Mill Lane level crossing, footage shows two people almost walk out in front of a moving train before rushing back to safety.


(A frame from the video from the train's camera - see linked source for full video)

The warning for people not to risk their life comes as the number of services on the railway are starting to be increased with trains on some lines travelling up to 125mph with a stopping distance of more than a mile.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “It is shocking to see people unnecessarily risk their life and it is happening too often.

“When people lose their lives through not using level crossings correctly it’s tragic, not only for the families involved but also the drivers, passengers and wider communities.

“We strongly urge people using crossings, to stop, look, listen and stay alive.”

Darren Burridge, British Transport Police embedded inspector said: “Thousands of people use level crossings safely across the rail network each year.

“To do this it is essential that users take the time to stop, look and listen at the crossing, follow any guidance on the signage, avoid distractions and in particular, at Mill Lane, allow yourself plenty of time to cross avoiding going lineside while a train is in view.”

Rob Beveridge, ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) lead for footpath crossings on the Western Route said: “Great Britain's level crossings, although among the safest in Europe, still pose a significant safety risk to the public.

“Since lockdown, we’ve become aware of an increase in the number of near miss incidents at level crossings on this line and we urge the public to stay safe, follow the directions on the signs, and get clear.”

Ian Aston, Network Rail’s level crossing manger, said: “While it’s understandable that people want to get out of the house after having been locked down for so long, it’s really important that safety doesn’t go out the window.

“Since lockdown began, there have been four times as many incidents along the Marlow branch line compared to the same time last year, so it’s vital that users pay attention, obey the signs and take extra care when crossing the railway to prevent more near misses, or worse, serious injury or death.”

Edit to add images
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 12:37:52 by grahame » Logged

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 14:01:48 »

Could just be down to the increased number of people out and about on foot since lockdown began, though we might also infer that people have been taking less care because they assume the trains are not running.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 15:31:29 »

Mind you with lots of vegetation/weeds growing in the track around the foot crossing, broken notices and a general (and increasingly typical) uncared for impression, a person not familiar with the local area and railways could be forgiven for thinking the line was not in use.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 10:38:44 »

The reason that Network Rail released those images yesterday was that it was International Level Crossing Awareness Day. I'm surprised that they didn't mention that in the article.

But they did in this tweet.
https://twitter.com/NetworkRailWssx/status/1270979218189492224
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JontyMort
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 14:11:22 »

Mind you with lots of vegetation/weeds growing in the track around the foot crossing, broken notices and a general (and increasingly typical) uncared for impression, a person not familiar with the local area and railways could be forgiven for thinking the line was not in use.

Except that the rails are very shiny.

And why are the faces of these idiots blanked out?
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 14:33:30 »

Mind you with lots of vegetation/weeds growing in the track around the foot crossing, broken notices and a general (and increasingly typical) uncared for impression, a person not familiar with the local area and railways could be forgiven for thinking the line was not in use.

Except that the rails are very shiny.

And why are the faces of these idiots blanked out?

I think you have missed the point AMLAG was making.  That was, censoring people for missusing a level crossing when you yourself don't ensure the asset you are responsible for is looked after correctly as well.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 15:34:14 »

With parents often accompanying children on small cycles a little way ahead, it is essential that the return on gates (where fitted) are working properly too as well as signage and other maintenance. This stuff should be bread and butter really.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2020, 20:59:45 »

Talking of gates, I was under the impression that where footpaths or cycle paths cross tracks, gates should open outwards – that is, away from the tracks – and there should be a certain minimum distance (which I can't remember, might have been 2m – idea being there's space for an average bike between rails and gate) between gate and rails. However, I can think of some instances, for instance on the Westerleigh oil terminal line, where this isn't the case.
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2020, 08:14:41 »

Talking of gates, I was under the impression that where footpaths or cycle paths cross tracks, gates should open outwards – that is, away from the tracks – and there should be a certain minimum distance (which I can't remember, might have been 2m – idea being there's space for an average bike between rails and gate) between gate and rails. However, I can think of some instances, for instance on the Westerleigh oil terminal line, where this isn't the case.

There is likely to be foot crossing that do not meet the current requirements and standards, the change in the requirement would not be immediately retrospective but based on the level crossing risk assessment.

I'm not involved in level crossing risk assessments but I suspect it will include line speed, density of rail traffic and public use, sighting distances and probably a whole list of other factors.  The changes to bring a crossing to modern standards will be prioritised on the risk assessment.

The risk assessment and the costs to bring a crossing to standard is used by NR» (Network Rail - home page) as factors to recommend closing a crossing to local Authorities
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2020, 11:29:33 »

Network Rail now publish a lot of detailed data about level crossings on their web site. There are several linked pages, and among the downloads is an Excel file containing the assessment data for all crossings, including ALCRM risk codes (though only a general explanation of these). There are a few examples of full ("narrative") assessments too, in their set of FOI (Freedom of Information) responses ("Discolsure log").

You might also like to have a poke about in Network Rail's Safety Central, which has a lot of downloadable content. Only a small fraction is about level crossings, but you will find Network Rail's own safety bulletins, for example, as well as loads of guides, instructions, videos, etc.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2020, 13:16:49 »

Talking of gates, I was under the impression that where footpaths or cycle paths cross tracks, gates should open outwards – that is, away from the tracks – and there should be a certain minimum distance (which I can't remember, might have been 2m – idea being there's space for an average bike between rails and gate) between gate and rails. However, I can think of some instances, for instance on the Westerleigh oil terminal line, where this isn't the case.

Bearing in mnd the speed of trains arriving and departing from Westerleigh and visibilty sight lines, I wouldn't have thought that there was a problem that needed resolving there
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2020, 19:09:29 »

From this weeks NR» (Network Rail - home page) operating notice:

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GW185 MAIDENHEAD TO MARLOW
BETWEEN MAIDENHEAD AND MARLOW UNTIL FRIDAY 02 OCTOBER 2020
An additional whistle board has been provided above the existing one, in both direction at the crossings shown below, requiring drivers sound both the high and low tones on the horn
Spade Oak at 0m 58ch
Vineyard 2 at 1m 08ch
Ivory Field at 1m 76ch
Mill Lane at 2m 29ch
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 06:46:12 »

From this weeks NR» (Network Rail - home page) operating notice:

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GW185 MAIDENHEAD TO MARLOW
BETWEEN MAIDENHEAD AND MARLOW UNTIL FRIDAY 02 OCTOBER 2020
An additional whistle board has been provided above the existing one, in both direction at the crossings shown below, requiring drivers sound both the high and low tones on the horn
Spade Oak at 0m 58ch
Vineyard 2 at 1m 08ch
Ivory Field at 1m 76ch
Mill Lane at 2m 29ch

Good.   I wonder whether there will be residents complaints about the noise of train horns like we've had in my home town ... (and to be fair, as I understand it, it was multiple complaints from a single household)
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bobm
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 15:31:23 »

Looks like this double whistle board answers the question I posed on the Golden Valley Line a few years back.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17205.0
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patch38
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 16:31:01 »

Looks like this double whistle board answers the question I posed on the Golden Valley Line a few years back.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17205.0

As does this page: https://www.railsigns.uk/sect15page1/sect15page1.html

...which specifically mentions Kemble to Standish Jcn.
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