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Author Topic: Near-miss between train and van at Llandovery level crossing - 6 June 2013  (Read 2323 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: July 05, 2013, 10:24:15 AM »

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is investigating a near-miss between a train and a road vehicle at Llandovery level crossing on 6 June 2013.

From the RAIB website:

Quote
Near-miss at Llandovery level crossing, Carmarthenshire, 6 June 2013

At approximately 05:56 hrs on Thursday 6 June 2013, train 2M43, the 04:34 hrs Arriva Trains Wales service from Swansea to Shrewsbury, comprising a two-car class 150 unit, passed over Llandovery level crossing when the barriers were still raised and the road open to traffic. As the train ran onto the crossing, a van also crossed, resulting in a near-miss between the two.

Llandovery is situated on the ‘Heart of Wales’ line, approximately 30 miles from Llanelli and 60 miles from Craven Arms. The A40 passes over the railway at the north east end of Llandovery station by means of a ‘trainman operated’ level crossing. The operation of this crossing for trains travelling towards Craven Arms is the responsibility of the train’s conductor, who is required to press a ‘lower barriers’ button in a control box on the platform while the train is standing in Llandovery station. This has the effect of activating the road traffic signals at the crossing and then lowering the barriers across the whole width of the road. Once the barriers are correctly lowered, a white light on a sign above the crossing control box illuminates and flashes as an indication to the driver and conductor that the crossing is closed.

On this occasion, the conductor omitted to operate the crossing. After station duties were complete, he closed the train’s doors and indicated to the driver that the train could depart. The driver started the train without observing that the white light was not flashing, and without noticing that the barriers were still in the raised position.
 


Photograph of Llandovery station showing the crossing control box on the post below the 'stop' board, the white light below the word 'Stop' on the board and the level crossing (with barriers raised)

The RAIB’s investigation will examine:
- the sequence of events leading up to the incident;
- the actions of the driver and conductor before, during and after the incident;
- the roles and responsibilities of the driver and the conductor when operating the crossing at Llandovery, and at other station crossings on the Heart of Wales line;
- relevant infrastructure arrangements at Llandovery station, including the positioning of the control cabinet, stop board and indicator lights; and
- other relevant accidents and incidents and any recommendations arising from them.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation.

The RAIB will publish its findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.

I don't normally comment on such incidents before the full facts are made available, but in this case I will be particularly interested in reading the full report on this potentially very serious incident.  Shocked
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
thetrout
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 06:58:34 PM »

I'm not at all speculating. But from initial comments it sounds like human error.

There is this documentary on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpBzGCKA0w I started watching but never quite finished which goes to show how easy a simple human mistake can be so deadly.

I will also be interested in seeing the results of the investigation. I hope my initial comments are proved wrong. But the silver lining is at least it was nothing worse than potentially brown trousers for individuals involved. Undecided Lips sealed Embarrassed
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Grin Grin Grin Grin
trainer
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 07:40:04 PM »

I'm not at all speculating. But from initial comments it sounds like human error.

With the greatest respect to one of my favourite correspondents I have to say...you are!  Cheesy
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2013, 10:52:33 PM »

Indeed: looking at the whole range of issues that the Rail Accident Investigation Branch have stated that they will be looking into, it is inappropriate to suggest any one explanation at this time.  That is why I was so careful in the wording of my comment in the original post.  Lips sealed
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
thetrout
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 05:36:24 AM »

I'm not at all speculating. But from initial comments it sounds like human error.

With the greatest respect to one of my favourite correspondents I have to say...you are!  Cheesy

Oh...

I made a right hash of that didn't I... Undecided Lips sealed Embarrassed Shocked Roll Eyes

Sentiment appreciated however trainer Grin

thetrout should probably learn not to click post whilst distracted by a phone call... Embarrassed Roll Eyes Grin
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Grin Grin Grin Grin
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 09:52:13 AM »


I'm not at all speculating. But from initial comments it sounds like human error.


I was reminded of a Tony Blair statement :

Quote

A day like today is not a day for soundbites, really. But I feel the hand of history upon our shoulders.


 Smiley
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When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 08:45:04 PM »

There is this documentary on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpBzGCKA0w I started watching but never quite finished which goes to show how easy a simple human mistake can be so deadly.

A great youtube find thetrout.  Wink

You should watch it to the end. 1970's Bristol Temple Meads features, and the scenes with the presenter doing his pieces to camera were filmed in the Bristol Panel/Power Signal Box, then fairly new, having opened in 1970. At the time it controlled the largest area of any PSB on the BR network.

Oh, and on the end credits I noticed that the camerman was called Bob Sleigh.  Grin
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 08:34:06 PM »

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released its report into a near-miss at Llandovery level crossing, Carmarthenshire, on 6 June 2013.

RAIB has made six recommendations.

From the RAIB website:

Quote
Summary

At around 05:56 hrs on Thursday 6 June 2013, train 2M43, the 04:34 hrs passenger service from Swansea to Shrewsbury, was driven over Llandovery level crossing in the town of Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, Wales, while the crossing was open to road traffic. As the train approached the level crossing, a van drove over immediately in front of it. A witness working in a garage next to the level crossing saw what had happened and reported the incident to the police.

The level crossing is operated by the train’s conductor using a control panel located on the station platform. The level crossing was still open to road traffic because the conductor of train 2M43 had not operated the level crossing controls. The conductor did not operate the level crossing because he may have had a lapse in concentration, and may have become distracted by other events at Llandovery station.

The train driver did not notice that the level crossing had not been operated because he may have been distracted by events before and during the train’s stop at Llandovery, and the positioning of equipment provided at Llandovery station relating to the operation of trains over the level crossing was sub-optimal.

The RAIB identified that an opportunity to integrate the operation of Llandovery level crossing into the signalling arrangements (which would have prevented this incident)was missed when signalling works were planned and commissioned at Llandovery between 2007 and 2010. The RAIB also identified that there was no formalised method of work for train operations at Llandovery.

The RAIB has made six recommendations. Four are to the train operator, Arriva Trains Wales, and focus on improving the position of platform equipment, identifying locations where traincrew carry out operational tasks and issuing methods of work for those locations, improvements to its operational risk management arrangements and improving the guidance given to its duty control managers on handling serious operational irregularities such as the one that occurred at Llandovery.

Two recommendations are made to Network Rail. These relate to improvements to its processes for signalling projects, to require the wider consideration of reasonable opportunities to make improvements when defining the scope of these projects, and consideration of the practicability of providing a clear indication to train crew when Llandovery level crossing, and other crossings of a similar design, are still open to road traffic.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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