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  • FIRST POST
    • modsandmockers
    • By modsandmockers 8th Jan 15, 4:19 PM
    • 752Posts
    • 224Thanks
    modsandmockers
    Railway level crossings
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 15, 4:19 PM
    Railway level crossings 8th Jan 15 at 4:19 PM
    Every now and again, I get a bee in my bonnet about some issue or other, and I have recently been enjoying a discussion on this forum about whether or not it is reasonable for cyclists to expect to be allowed to continue with their historic rights to unencumbered access to the public highway when every other group of highway users is extremely tightly regulated, and at considerable cost to themselves.

    Near where I live, there is a taxpayer-subsidised railway branch line which passes through several villages on its route from one major town to another. It mostly consists of an occasional single diesel-powered railway coach which trundles across the countryside at a very leisurely pace, with never more than a handful of passengers, except at commuter times.

    Each village on its route has a train station which is immediately adjacent to the village High Streetís railway level crossing, and every train stops at every station. I recently stood on the platform at one of the village stations, and I watched my train pull into the station previous to mine and come to a halt in order to drop off and pick up probably no passengers at all. But in the meantime, the road next to where I was standing had been closed by the automated level crossing gates, and a large number of road users, including cyclists, had to stop for many minutes in order to wait for the single train carriage, probably carrying very few passengers, to get its act together and exercise its historic right to be allowed to take priority over the otherwise free access to the public highway.

    There are regular reports of fatalities on unmanned level crossings because road users fail to respect the idea that they should have to stand in a stationary queue of road traffic for many minutes at a time, whilst the next scheduled train is stationary at a previous station somewhere down the line.

    Modern trains, especially single-coaches, are no less able to stop at a level-crossing than a lorry of a similar size. In fact, since many lorries are not particularly well-maintained, it might well be true that trains are better able to stop.

    IMHO, the reason why rural railway branch lines are allowed to continue to shut down the highway purely to suit their own convenience is a historical accident which is in urgent need of review. What would be wrong with the idea that it should be the train carriage which should be required to stop at a level crossing, and wait until its path is clear?

    Obviously, none of this applies to existing high-speed mainline rail services, but I very much doubt whether the plans for HS2 include any kind of level crossing.
Page 5
    • RedheadFred
    • By RedheadFred 25th Feb 15, 1:01 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    RedheadFred
    Surely it's common sense that a train has right of way on a railway track.

    Fun level crossing story - I often cross a crossing on a farm, and once it got stuck on green without me knowing. I was in the middle of it, with a horse, in a storm, and a train came blaring round the corner. I almost defecated myself!
    • modsandmockers
    • By modsandmockers 25th Feb 15, 1:36 PM
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    • 224 Thanks
    modsandmockers
    Surely it's common sense that a train has right of way on a railway track
    Originally posted by RedheadFred
    Well yes - if you say so - but your fun story could easily have resulted in yet another avoidable fatality. If you had followed procedure and called the signal box, you would have been told to wait.

    On the other hand, if normal procedure was that the train should always stop at the crossing, you would have been in no danger, and experienced no unnecessary delay.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 25th Feb 15, 8:06 PM
    • 9,070 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    esuhl
    Well yes - if you say so - but your fun story could easily have resulted in yet another avoidable fatality. If you had followed procedure and called the signal box, you would have been told to wait.
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    The procedure for crossing a light-controlled level-crossing is to go by the lights! Can you imagine if every driver had to stop, get out of their car, phone the signal box. The tailback of cars at level-crossings would stretch for miles!

    Do you really think this is what people are procedurally advised to do at a level-crossing?! No wonder you think it would be easier for the trains to stop for cars!
    • modsandmockers
    • By modsandmockers 25th Feb 15, 8:36 PM
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    • 224 Thanks
    modsandmockers
    The procedure for crossing a light-controlled level-crossing is to go by the lights! Can you imagine if every driver had to stop, get out of their car, phone the signal box. The tailback of cars at level-crossings would stretch for miles!

    Do you really think this is what people are procedurally advised to do at a level-crossing?! No wonder you think it would be easier for the trains to stop for cars!
    Originally posted by esuhl
    RedHead was referring to a farm crossing, and I assumed that the green light was for the train driver - road users generally have either a red light or no light at all.

    An earlier contributor to this thread assured us that the railway currently operates a failsafe system.
    • Rolandtheroadie
    • By Rolandtheroadie 25th Feb 15, 8:53 PM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 4,251 Thanks
    Rolandtheroadie


    Some users should be calling to cross, and the greens for road users

    Think Redhead had started to cross, encountered a problem with the horse and the light had went to red. Horse possibly startled by the yodel?
    • timbo58
    • By timbo58 25th Feb 15, 9:33 PM
    • 1,131 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    timbo58
    IMHO if you use 'avoidable deaths' as an argument point, then you'll be closing almost every road in the UK as well.
    Unless specifically stated all posts by me are my own considered opinion.
    If you don't like my opinion feel free to respond with your own.
    • modsandmockers
    • By modsandmockers 25th Feb 15, 10:15 PM
    • 752 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    modsandmockers


    Some users should be calling to cross, and the greens for road users

    Think Redhead had started to cross, encountered a problem with the horse and the light had went to red. Horse possibly startled by the yodel?
    Originally posted by scotsman4th
    According to the experts on this thread, it is the train which cannot be relied upon to stop where and when required, and therefore all other road users need to wait patiently for many minutes at a time. A compulsory stop sign on one side of the road, and a green light on the other side is just confusing - especially to horses.

    IMHO if you use 'avoidable deaths' as an argument point, then you'll be closing almost every road in the UK as well.
    Originally posted by timbo58
    Railway branch lines close the road at regular intervals, but the deaths (and the delays) continue.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 25th Feb 15, 10:25 PM
    • 8,849 Posts
    • 7,762 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    A compulsory stop sign on one side of the road, and a green light on the other side is just confusing - especially to horses.
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    Do horses read stop signs?.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 25th Feb 15, 10:28 PM
    • 18,662 Posts
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    wealdroam
    Is a horse a vehicle?
    • armyknife
    • By armyknife 25th Feb 15, 10:35 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 2,502 Thanks
    armyknife
    Is a horse a vehicle?
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    It has HPs, so yes.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 25th Feb 15, 10:35 PM
    • 9,070 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    esuhl
    A compulsory stop sign on one side of the road, and a green light on the other side is just confusing
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    You obviously don't drive then. A "stop" sign means "stop and give way". The green light means "it is safe to proceed". So both in combination mean that you should stop, confirm that it IS ACTUALLY safe to proceed, and continue. A red light would mean "stop and wait, regardless of whether it appears to be safe to proceed".

    To reduce the chance of accident in case of a signal fault OR if a train is unable to stop as expected, the green light is a guide only.

    - especially to horses.
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    Ha ha ha! Where do you come up with this stuff?!
    • modsandmockers
    • By modsandmockers 25th Feb 15, 11:07 PM
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    modsandmockers
    The green light means "it is safe to proceed"

    the green light is a guide only
    Originally posted by esuhl
    Please clarify...
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 25th Feb 15, 11:10 PM
    • 9,070 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    esuhl
    Please clarify...
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    What don't you understand...?

    If the light is red, you stop and wait. If the light is green, you stop and confirm visually that it is safe to proceed before proceeding.
    • Rolandtheroadie
    • By Rolandtheroadie 25th Feb 15, 11:58 PM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 4,251 Thanks
    Rolandtheroadie
    Please clarify...
    Originally posted by modsandmockers
    The stop line's there because no matter what, you need to stop. (that was a random picture, I've never seen stop written at a user worked crossing before)

    You'll then need to then check that the light's green. If it is, dismount your horse/exit your vehicle and pump up the barriers.

    Once back in/on your mode of transport, check the lights.

    Still green? Cross line, dismount/exit, and lower barriers again.

    If you have any doubt about your ability to cross safely, contact signaller from the convenient phones and he/she will assist you.
    The picture I've posted also has a CCTV camera so someone should be keeping an eye on you too.


    For areas with overhead lines, there will probably be bells tied to a wire between two poles either side of the crossing. If you hit the bells, dont cross.
    Last edited by Rolandtheroadie; 26-02-2015 at 12:49 PM.
    • RedheadFred
    • By RedheadFred 26th Feb 15, 2:50 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    RedheadFred
    To clarify - the light was for the users of the crossing - cars, pedestrians, animals etc. No stop sign or automatic barriers - manual gates and a sign saying to check the light.
    I use the crossing many times a day and have done for about two years and that was the only time I had issues - but it is the sort of issue you never want to happen!
    It would have been worse if the light had been for the train - they'd have been given a green light and I would have possibly assumed it had a red and was going to stop. Although there's no real good outcome to light errors - just another reason to stop, look, listen!
    • armyknife
    • By armyknife 26th Feb 15, 7:39 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 2,502 Thanks
    armyknife
    There wouldn't be this problem if railway lines were significantly widened, then the carriages/trains could travel singularly, orientated at right angles to the tracks, then modsandtrollers et al in their cars could nip across in the resulting gaps; no one need to stop at all.
    Last edited by armyknife; 26-02-2015 at 7:45 PM.
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 21st Mar 15, 12:51 PM
    • 1,532 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    Stigy
    I seem to recall a while ago that NWR were to decommission a lot of less busy level crossings by closing roads, and busier ones by investing in road bridges. This seems to be the best thing to do given how some idiots treat level crossings.
    • armyknife
    • By armyknife 21st Mar 15, 12:58 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 2,502 Thanks
    armyknife
    I seem to recall a while ago that NWR were to decommission a lot of less busy level crossings by closing roads, and busier ones by investing in road bridges. This seems to be the best thing to do given how some idiots treat level crossings.
    Originally posted by Stigy

    [mods...]

    Those would be the train drivers.

    [/mods...]
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