Author Topic: Closed level crossings  (Read 4522 times)

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #25 on: 08 July, 2021, 07:05:28 am »
I can't think offhand of any roads bisected by closed level crossings round here though I'm sure there must be some. In fact when the Swindon to Gloucester line was redoubled, some of the crossings were updated; the one at Minety was made automatic and the one at Purton got lights.
I remember going over one of them about 20 years ago, on a CTC ride.  A man popped out and put the gates across for us.  Must have been the Minety one (on Crossing Lane, natch).
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #26 on: 08 July, 2021, 07:45:33 am »
Yep, it was like that till 2014, I think. Must have been a great job, like a Bernard Cribbins impersonator! (okay, I'm sure there were lots of other duties as well, not to mention being responsible for actual lives)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #27 on: 14 July, 2021, 07:26:22 am »
Apparently automated crossings became a thing in the UK when British Railways realised some people were being paid a full-time wage to move the gates twice a day. There were a few jobs on the railways like that.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #29 on: 14 July, 2021, 09:38:19 am »
I just see a road  ???
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #30 on: 14 July, 2021, 09:39:40 am »
I just see a road  ???

I'm guessing the Google street view is out of date and rafletcher is suggesting it no longer looks like that.

The real question is whether they are going to build a crossing or expect you to go round via Risborough Rd.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #31 on: 14 July, 2021, 09:43:58 am »
I'm guessing the Google street view is out of date and rafletcher is suggesting it no longer looks like that.

I wonder why they haven't sent a car along it?

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #32 on: 14 July, 2021, 09:45:23 am »
I wonder why they haven't sent a car along it?

 ;D
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Salvatore

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Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #33 on: 14 July, 2021, 09:54:23 am »
The last on-request railway crossing I used* was, I think, here near Droitwich. I got into a conversation with the crossing keeper, which was rudely cut short by a loud bell and the crossing keeper running back to his building to close the gates before the approaching train smashed them to matchwood. I don't think he got much custom.

*Actually this is a lie. I used one in Poland in 2018.
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et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Beardy

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Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #34 on: 14 July, 2021, 10:11:06 am »
Woodbridge and Melton has eleven level crossings within about a mile and a half, many of which were ungated with warning lights, and the remaining gated but with no warning lights. Only one of these crossings actual has a road over it, the rest being tracks serving a few businesses and/or homes and the very popular river footpath. Most of the crossings have extensive foot traffic over them with vehicle traffic being quite light on all but the road crossing. There are two footbridges over the railway, both at the stations for rail passengers. It’s a quite branch line with there being at most one train an hour.
In the twenty or so years we’ve lived here I’ve never heard of any incidents on any of the crossings but Network rail have just finished upgrading them all to having self locking gates or barriers. I’m in two minds about this, I mean how difficult is it to get wrong. Trains are both very predictable and rather hard to miss being as they are very large and quite noisy. On the other hand, none of the new barriers or locks have added any inconvenience, but they are ugly.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #35 on: 14 July, 2021, 10:12:06 am »
Shame they've demolished his little hut operational control centre.

As for Polish level crossings, the automatic ones can be unreliable – best used on a "stop and look" basis.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #36 on: 14 July, 2021, 10:22:11 am »
best used on a "stop and look" basis.

That might be OK as long as you don't have high-speed trains on the line. I remember being on a station somewhere in the south of France when the TGV came through - it was a hot day in August and the heat haze over the line meant you wouldn't have seen the train until it was too late to get out of the way.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #37 on: 14 July, 2021, 10:27:06 am »
In the twenty or so years we’ve lived here I’ve never heard of any incidents on any of the crossings but Network rail have just finished upgrading them all to having self locking gates or barriers. I’m in two minds about this, I mean how difficult is it to get wrong. Trains are both very predictable and rather hard to miss being as they are very large and quite noisy. On the other hand, none of the new barriers or locks have added any inconvenience, but they are ugly.
Trains can be travelling twice as fast as cars on the road and take far more than twice as long to stop. I'm not sure they're predictable in a useful way for crossing the tracks. More to the point, people don't always use the crossings sensibly. Kids run across them as a dare and adults are just in a hurry.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
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Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #38 on: 14 July, 2021, 10:57:48 am »
Shame they've demolished his little hut operational control centre.

As for Polish level crossings, the automatic ones can be unreliable – best used on a "stop and look" basis.

I noticed that on my 2018 and 2014 tours. Everyone stopped at level crossings and looked both ways. The most extreme example was where a disused line crossed a campsite (in the Masurian Lake District I think), dividing it in two. The track was overgrown in both directions. There was a permanently flashing light, but so dim it wouldn't have been visible at all in bright sunlight.  But everyone I saw stopped and checked before crossing.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #39 on: 14 July, 2021, 05:48:38 pm »
Apparently automated crossings became a thing in the UK when British Railways realised some people were being paid a full-time wage to move the gates twice a day. There were a few jobs on the railways like that.
My maternal grandparents.
Although I only remember my grandmother, they both ended their railway careers on a level crossing box (with a once-a-week coal siding) on the branch line between Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable /Luton.
If I remember correctly the station at Stanbridgford had a permanent staff member for three trains a day each way.
Many happy memories, but completely unsustainable economically.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #40 on: 16 July, 2021, 10:13:09 am »
St Ann's Rd/Upper St Ann's Rd, Faversham - I'm assuming this was once a level crossing... there's now a footbridge over the railway here, but cars have to go a few hundred metres in either direction for a bridge to get to the other side.
https://goo.gl/maps/2PXsTyVwMUxYgKdx7


St Ann's Rd by citoyen, on Flickr


Upper St Ann's Rd by citoyen, on Flickr


I grew up in the house visible ahead in the first picture, on the right in the second. There was a crossing that was only used by oversized vehicles that were too big for the bridges on the other routes into the town. They had to phone and be escorted across. They often got stuck and blocked the London to Dover trains for hours. When the new relief road was built in the 90s, there was a bridge free route into Faversham so it was removed completely, along with the crossing keepers hut which was still there at the time - it was on the left of the second photo.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Wowbagger

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Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #41 on: 16 July, 2021, 10:48:12 am »
Ten years ago I wrote this about our encounter at a level crossing near Doncaster:

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=40489.msg917536#msg917536

That crossing is now closed and an elaborate bridge has been erected over the railway.



On another occasion we were, by sheer good luck, the first people to cycle across the Rounton bridge on the A19:

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=7486.msg182522#msg182522

Bach without a doubt.

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #42 on: 16 July, 2021, 10:55:55 am »
St Ann's Rd/Upper St Ann's Rd, Faversham - I'm assuming this was once a level crossing... there's now a footbridge over the railway here, but cars have to go a few hundred metres in either direction for a bridge to get to the other side.
https://goo.gl/maps/2PXsTyVwMUxYgKdx7


St Ann's Rd by citoyen, on Flickr


Upper St Ann's Rd by citoyen, on Flickr


I grew up in the house visible ahead in the first picture, on the right in the second. There was a crossing that was only used by oversized vehicles that were too big for the bridges on the other routes into the town. They had to phone and be escorted across. They often got stuck and blocked the London to Dover trains for hours. When the new relief road was built in the 90s, there was a bridge free route into Faversham so it was removed completely, along with the crossing keepers hut which was still there at the time - it was on the left of the second photo.

As a teenager there was a local lady who my mum spotted looking as though she was going to jump off the bridge. She invited her down for a cup of tea and called for help. The police arrived and we all had tea. After it had happened a couple of times, the lady used to knock on the door and say she wanted to jump and it cut out the cold bit of the process. Last I heard she was doing much better and was married and happy.

I sprained my foot running down the bridge in high heeled sandals when I was 15. My sister, aged about 4, rode her toy tractor down the steps the way the big kids did with their bikes - my mum saw her from the house and got to the bottom in time to pick her up after the crash.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #43 on: 16 July, 2021, 11:04:30 am »
I grew up in the house visible ahead in the first picture, on the right in the second. There was a crossing that was only used by oversized vehicles that were too big for the bridges on the other routes into the town. They had to phone and be escorted across. They often got stuck and blocked the London to Dover trains for hours. When the new relief road was built in the 90s, there was a bridge free route into Faversham so it was removed completely, along with the crossing keepers hut which was still there at the time - it was on the left of the second photo.

Aha! Thanks for the insights, that's really interesting. And the anecdotes! Hadn't occurred to me that the bridges would be a problem for lorries, but it seems obvious now you mention it.

Also I didn't realise the relief road was that recent.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #44 on: 16 July, 2021, 11:46:25 am »
I grew up in the house visible ahead in the first picture, on the right in the second. There was a crossing that was only used by oversized vehicles that were too big for the bridges on the other routes into the town. They had to phone and be escorted across. They often got stuck and blocked the London to Dover trains for hours. When the new relief road was built in the 90s, there was a bridge free route into Faversham so it was removed completely, along with the crossing keepers hut which was still there at the time - it was on the left of the second photo.

Aha! Thanks for the insights, that's really interesting. And the anecdotes! Hadn't occurred to me that the bridges would be a problem for lorries, but it seems obvious now you mention it.

Also I didn't realise the relief road was that recent.

Until the 90s there was also a bridge across Whitstable road at the end of the Rec.

I suspect the St Ann's crossing became less used when Forbes Road was built. Prior to that, I believe there was a level crossing at the top of Preston Street which now has a foot tunnel to The Mall. (back on topic!)

https://goo.gl/maps/bqVCQVx3cC54Ww2A6
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #45 on: 16 July, 2021, 12:11:58 pm »
Until the 90s there was also a bridge across Whitstable road at the end of the Rec.

A road bridge? That is surprising.

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I suspect the St Ann's crossing became less used when Forbes Road was built. Prior to that, I believe there was a level crossing at the top of Preston Street which now has a foot tunnel to The Mall. (back on topic!)

https://goo.gl/maps/bqVCQVx3cC54Ww2A6

Yes, it is pretty obvious from the street view pics that there would have been a crossing on Preston St once upon a time. Forgot about that one, though I've used the foot tunnel many times.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #46 on: 17 July, 2021, 08:55:12 pm »
Until the 90s there was also a bridge across Whitstable road at the end of the Rec.

A road bridge? That is surprising.


No it was a rail bridge. I assume for freight, but I don't know.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #47 on: 17 July, 2021, 09:08:16 pm »
Oh, I see! Very interesting…

<google>

Yes, you can see it in this old map - it goes down to Standard Quay (which is all trendy boutiques and sourdough pizzerias nowadays):
http://www.archiuk.com/cgi-bin/build_nls_historic_map.pl?search_location=,%20Faversham,%20Kent&latitude=51.312600&longitude=0.882705

Also shows the crossings at Preston Street and St Ann’s Road.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #48 on: 17 July, 2021, 09:19:06 pm »
Cor! That's fascinating, thank you.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Closed level crossings
« Reply #49 on: 17 July, 2021, 09:42:01 pm »
Interesting stuff. I'll need to investigate next time I'm DFL.