Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: Peat on February 05, 2020, 08:51:37 am

Title: Level Crossings
Post by: Peat on February 05, 2020, 08:51:37 am
So, there's a Level Crossing on one of my cycle commuting routes.

The barriers came down as I approached it last night, no problem. But then I stood there, getting cold for 9.5 minutes waiting for 3x Trains to pass. What was galling was that it was 1 train 45s to a minute after the barrier came down, then about a 7 minute wait for the next 2 in quick succession.

This pause in my ride gave me alot of time to think - I have come to the conclusion that Level Crossing barrier timings are stuck in a never-ending feedback loop.

- People get hit on crossings because they are stupid.
- Install barriers.
- People try to squeak through a closing barrier and get stuck (and perhaps struck)
- Adopt more conservative barrier timings to build in a reaction time in case of trouble
- More conservative barrier timing causes people to try and squeak through even more, knowing they'll wait for an eternity.
- Even more conservative barrier timing.
- Repeat ad nauseum
-
-
-

The extra kicker at this particular crossing is that, just after the crossing is a pinch-point over an old bridge. The traffic was so backed up on the other side that my direction crosses the LC then immediatley stops to to give away (as instructed by the signs) to the other direction, leaving some poor sods stationary on the tracks.

Anyway, in the age of 'smart' systems, surely barrier timings could be tidied up a bit. They know exactly where each train is and how fast it's going. Hardly rocket surgery.

/moan
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Greenbank on February 05, 2020, 09:40:18 am
The one at Mortlake (https://goo.gl/maps/tgMEEK9ac95DneLA8) has the extra problems of:-
a) being on a trainline where there are ~10 trains an hour each way
b) being right next to the station, so the barriers have to be down when a London bound train comes into the station all the time until it pulls away and has passed (just in case it overshoots the platform when stopping)

Luckily bikes (and pedestrains[1]) can use the stairs to cross as they're right next to the road and not the wrong side of the ticket barriers.

I've also saved some time at, umm, Elsenham station on one of the 'Uts audaxes by using the stairs but that's because the barriers are manually operated and so you can ask the person how long it's going to be and whether it's worth lugging the bike up/down the equivalent of 3 flights of stairs.

The extra kicker at this particular crossing is that, just after the crossing is a pinch-point over an old bridge. The traffic was so backed up on the other side that my direction crosses the LC then immediatley stops to to give away (as instructed by the signs) to the other direction, leaving some poor sods stationary on the tracks.

There's simply no excuse (except stupidity) for being left on the tracks. There's either space to move in to the other side of the tracks or not. Unless I'm missing something with your description. Streetview link?

1. Typo left in as I like it.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Peat on February 05, 2020, 10:03:10 am

There's simply no excuse (except stupidity) for being left on the tracks. There's either space to move in to the other side of the tracks or not. Unless I'm missing something with your description. Streetview link?

1. Typo left in as I like it.

Sure: https://goo.gl/maps/UHVrTXAuRBVrhZ1s5

Unlike your example, it's not a particually busy place, but this was at kicking out time and there is a converted barn/office on the other side of the tracks who all leave at the same time it seems, so there was solid traffic coming the other way, all desperate to get across so weren't yeilding to any of us. (there's no priority signs in the SV image, so maybe i imagined it)

The google SV cam is quite high so flattens the profile of the hump in the road, so it leaves a hidden dip. Over the other side, theres room for about 3 cars before the pinch point, the queue that formed must have been around 10.  So as soon as you're going, you're stopping again. Quite easy to get caught out, I'd think.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Ian H on February 05, 2020, 10:09:31 am
A few years ago I was approaching the level crossing by a station in a nearby town, and the barriers descended.  As I came within sight of the gantry-mounted camera, they went up again, and came down just after I passed.  I gave a friendly wave to the camera.

The camera has gone now and it all seems to be totally automated.

There was a news item a few weeks ago about a crossing where the timings were wrongly set so that the last car passing was almost under the approaching train.  You might be able to find the slightly scary video on the BBC news website.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: grams on February 05, 2020, 11:27:21 am
The timing of barriers has nothing to do with road traffic. They’re closed ages in advance so the signalling can be “cleared” far enough in advance that the trains can run at full speed on approach without having to slow down to prepare to stop.

Anyway, in the age of 'smart' systems, surely barrier timings could be tidied up a bit. They know exactly where each train is and how fast it's going. Hardly rocket surgery.

A surprisingly large number of trains still run on “somewhere between signal box A and signal box B” principles. Only one line in the UK has “smart” signalling, which was converted as a test a decade ago. No more have been done since.

Keeping track of trains up to a failsafe, safety critical standard *is* apparently rocket surgery.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Peat on February 05, 2020, 11:35:22 am
Thanks for the info.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Greenbank on February 05, 2020, 11:42:21 am
Sure: https://goo.gl/maps/UHVrTXAuRBVrhZ1s5

Unlike your example, it's not a particually busy place, but this was at kicking out time and there is a converted barn/office on the other side of the tracks who all leave at the same time it seems, so there was solid traffic coming the other way, all desperate to get across so weren't yeilding to any of us. (there's no priority signs in the SV image, so maybe i imagined it)

The google SV cam is quite high so flattens the profile of the hump in the road, so it leaves a hidden dip. Over the other side, theres room for about 3 cars before the pinch point, the queue that formed must have been around 10.  So as soon as you're going, you're stopping again. Quite easy to get caught out, I'd think.

Just sounds like people aren't following HWC Rule 291 properly:-

"
Rule 291

A level crossing is where a road crosses a railway or tramway line. Approach and cross it with care. Never drive onto a crossing until the road is clear on the other side and do not get too close to the car in front. Never stop or park on, or near, a crossing.
"

If you can't see the road the other side of the barriers isn't clear enough for you to get past the far barriers then you don't go. If someone just blindly follows the car in front then they're an idiot.

There may be a dip but I doubt it's big enough not to be able to see the back of the vehicle in front and whether there's enough space between the barriers and it. If it's not obvious then don't go. Anyway.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 05, 2020, 12:09:44 pm
It's sadly not uncommon to see cars waiting on the tracks to turn onto the A22 on the crossing near where I live. They seem to assume the queue will move before a train comes or they simply drive out onto the other side of the road to escape. There are eight trains going through an hour.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Ian H on February 05, 2020, 01:54:30 pm
The timing of barriers has nothing to do with road traffic. They’re closed ages in advance so the signalling can be “cleared” far enough in advance that the trains can run at full speed on approach without having to slow down to prepare to stop.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-50688515
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 06, 2020, 10:07:54 am
The traffic was so backed up on the other side that my direction crosses the LC then immediatley stops to to give away (as instructed by the signs) to the other direction, leaving some poor sods stationary on the tracks.
Level crossings should be treated as box junctions. Do not enter them until you can see there is sufficient space beyond the far barrier for your vehicle. In fact, I'm sure some of them used to be painted as yellow box junctions.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 06, 2020, 10:47:14 am
The timing of barriers has nothing to do with road traffic. They’re closed ages in advance so the signalling can be “cleared” far enough in advance that the trains can run at full speed on approach without having to slow down to prepare to stop.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-50688515

Quote
In a report the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the barriers were lowered until the train was about 200 metres from the crossing.

"The barriers then lifted, the level crossing warning lights went out and cars began to cross the railway.
Green light problem, ie interpreting a green light (in this case the opened barriers) as meaning "GO!" rather than "Go if your way is clear." Either that or people did look, see the train 200m away and ignore it.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 06, 2020, 11:08:08 am
The traffic was so backed up on the other side that my direction crosses the LC then immediatley stops to to give away (as instructed by the signs) to the other direction, leaving some poor sods stationary on the tracks.
Level crossings should be treated as box junctions. Do not enter them until you can see there is sufficient space beyond the far barrier for your vehicle. In fact, I'm sure some of them used to be painted as yellow box junctions.

Ours is painted as a box junction, but everyone in the UK ignores box junctions.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: lahoski on February 06, 2020, 02:08:40 pm
The traffic was so backed up on the other side that my direction crosses the LC then immediatley stops to to give away (as instructed by the signs) to the other direction, leaving some poor sods stationary on the tracks.
Level crossings should be treated as box junctions. Do not enter them until you can see there is sufficient space beyond the far barrier for your vehicle. In fact, I'm sure some of them used to be painted as yellow box junctions.
Presumably not treated in the manner with which most people actually treat box junctions...
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: grams on February 06, 2020, 02:26:01 pm
Green light problem, ie interpreting a green light (in this case the opened barriers) as meaning "GO!" rather than "Go if your way is clear." Either that or people did look, see the train 200m away and ignore it.

There’s no requirement to look out for or give way to trains on a level crossing*. Very few have the sight lines that would enable that.

If the lights are off and the barriers are open, you may go. On the very rare occasions when a train does cross during that time, it’s a failure of the railway and no one else.

(* unless it’s one of the few with no lights or barriers)
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 06, 2020, 03:14:45 pm
Green light problem, ie interpreting a green light (in this case the opened barriers) as meaning "GO!" rather than "Go if your way is clear." Either that or people did look, see the train 200m away and ignore it.

There’s no requirement to look out for or give way to trains on a level crossing*. Very few have the sight lines that would enable that.

If the lights are off and the barriers are open, you may go. On the very rare occasions when a train does cross during that time, it’s a failure of the railway and no one else.

(* unless it’s one of the few with no lights or barriers)
True, but in this particular case the barriers had just lifted and the train was only 200m away.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 06, 2020, 03:17:25 pm
This thread does give a sense of why Network Rail are keen to get rid of all level crossings. I don't suppose they'll ever manage that and if they do, people will probably find other ways to do stupid things on railways.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: hellymedic on February 06, 2020, 03:38:29 pm
Getting rid of level crossings is a nightmare for those who can't do stairs.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: rafletcher on February 06, 2020, 04:21:35 pm
In fact, I'm sure some of them used to be painted as yellow box junctions.

Yep, I think the one in the centre of Chichester was - and that was another that was hard up to the end of the platforms.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: rafletcher on February 06, 2020, 04:30:11 pm
This thread does give a sense of why Network Rail are keen to get rid of all level crossings. I don't suppose they'll ever manage that and if they do, people will probably find other ways to do stupid things on railways.

Not only level crossings. In Aylesbury there was for years an ungated pedestrian / cycle accessible crossing that saved about a half mile walk to some local shops. There was another directly behind the main station as well.  Both closed in the last 5 years for safety reasons (some very near misses) despite being public footpaths. Neither has been replaced with a footbridge, which would at least have kept pedestrian traffic open.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Johnny Faro on February 06, 2020, 04:40:03 pm
We had a level crossing in witham that crosses the main line from Liverpool Street to Norwich replaced with a bridge a few years ago. There had been fatalities there. However due to it being a bridleway it's been made with steps and a slope so in theory a horse could be ridden over. I doubt one ever will but can easily be cycled up. Thing is it looks to have cost around 2.5 million pounds so a substantial investment when no cars can access it.

The old crossing had gates for vehicles but can't recall if they were locked shut
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 06, 2020, 04:44:59 pm
This thread does give a sense of why Network Rail are keen to get rid of all level crossings. I don't suppose they'll ever manage that and if they do, people will probably find other ways to do stupid things on railways.

Not only level crossings. In Aylesbury there was for years an ungated pedestrian / cycle accessible crossing that saved about a half mile walk to some local shops. There was another directly behind the main station as well.  Both closed in the last 5 years for safety reasons (some very near misses) despite being public footpaths. Neither has been replaced with a footbridge, which would at least have kept pedestrian traffic open.

Seems to be happening in the countryside too – there's a footpath crossing near Uckfield that closed a good few years back because, as far as we could tell (yeah, we ignored the signs), there was one broken step on the steep slope down to the track. It may have re-opened since, but I think the last time we went that way, it was still closed (I think everyone habitually ignores these things, given the alternatives are cryptic and involve significant detours that will delay beer o'clock or leave you stumbling around a field by torchlight).

They're only really dangerous, in most cases, to people whom I assume are drunk and/or stupid.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 06, 2020, 05:46:06 pm
Footpath crossings are included in level crossings. Network Rail have a classification of umpty types according to what traffic crosses them, who owns it (some are privately owned, they're not all rights of way) and how it's operated (which includes "user operated").
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: grams on February 06, 2020, 06:12:41 pm
They're only really dangerous, in most cases, to people whom I assume are drunk and/or stupid.

No, just human.

It sounds like you need to take up the relaxing Sunday afternoon hobby of reading rail accident reports*. It turns out humans are terrible at judging the speed of trains heading straight for them, or how long they need to cross, and that you need ridiculously long minimum sight lines for the fastest trains, which is inevitably encroached on by vegetation, and that un train peut en cacher un autre.

Add in that crossings are either used by people who've never encountered them before and don't know the risks, or by people who use them every day and no longer take as much care as maybe they should.

You then need lots of signs explaining all this, but too many signs leads to clutter that everybody ignores.

And that's when you decide the only solution is to close them all.

(* and imagining the same applied to every near miss on the road)
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ElyDave on February 06, 2020, 08:05:22 pm
There are loads of both ped level crossings and crossings on private land round here, used operated. We also had one in Castle Donnington when I lived there, a good back way out when monsters of rock had the place logjammed.

I can only remember ever hearing of one accident on one of those. Perhaps people are just more careful if they are needing g to take the decision on their risk themselves.  We have so many round here and its so flat that I instinctively look both ways as I cross, just in case
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: grams on February 06, 2020, 10:40:16 pm
I can only remember ever hearing of one accident on one of those. Perhaps people are just more careful if they are needing g to take the decision on their risk themselves.  We have so many round here and its so flat that I instinctively look both ways as I cross, just in case

No, the users get sloppier over time. Keeps the RAIB busy:

https://www.gov.uk/search/all?keywords=user+worked&organisations%5B%5D=rail-accident-investigation-branch&order=relevance

https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&tbm=isch&sxsrf=&ei=&q=uk+tractor+train+crash
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Kim on February 07, 2020, 12:16:20 am
Getting rid of level crossings is a nightmare for those who can't do stairs.

Stairs are probably the biggest cause of injury on the railways after level crossings...
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ElyDave on February 07, 2020, 06:06:11 am
I can only remember ever hearing of one accident on one of those. Perhaps people are just more careful if they are needing g to take the decision on their risk themselves.  We have so many round here and its so flat that I instinctively look both ways as I cross, just in case

No, the users get sloppier over time. Keeps the RAIB busy:

https://www.gov.uk/search/all?keywords=user+worked&organisations%5B%5D=rail-accident-investigation-branch&order=relevance

https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&tbm=isch&sxsrf=&ei=&q=uk+tractor+train+crash

The Roudham one is the one I remember as it is local. That's the level of interest they get, local rather than national, but given the number around here if they were that bad I'm sure wed hear more about them. My limited work for railtrack did not bring this kind of thing up. They were more voluble about cows on the line, describing it as needing a mop and bucket.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2020, 08:10:07 am
They don't get national interest but that doesn't make the consequences any less for users, their families and friends, train drivers, passengers and the railways generally.

Some of those user-worked level crossings are bad designs though. I read of one where red and green lights were used not to say you could or could not cross but that the barrier had been unlocked (and could then be raised by the user). Unfortunately, unlocking had nothing to do with approaching trains.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ElyDave on February 07, 2020, 11:09:02 am
agree entirely, which is why I look both ways at the half-barriered LCs around here where I have visibility to do so.  On the self-operated ones I take a stop-look-listen approach. I am under no illusion of the impact of several hundreds of tonnes of train vs 70-100kg of runner/cyclist.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Peat on February 07, 2020, 11:18:42 am
Footpath crossings are included in level crossings. Network Rail have a classification of umpty types according to what traffic crosses them, who owns it (some are privately owned, they're not all rights of way) and how it's operated (which includes "user operated").

On a walk just last year, I was shocked to come across a footpath crossing over the same line I was refering too in the OP. (GWR - Bristol to London) Shocked, in a good way. Just a kissing gate with some very clear signage saying you cross at your own risk, you stop/look/listen as trains are travelling heckin fast here. It felt nice not to be treated like a lobotomy outpatient for once.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: rafletcher on February 07, 2020, 11:41:19 am
Here's one of the ones closed in Aylesbury - looks to have no barriers whatsoever!

https://www.thametoday.co.uk/news/death-trap-aylesbury-railway-crossing-could-be-replaced-by-bridge-1-5161741

The other was gated...

https://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/network-rail-closes-two-level-crossings-after-tragic-death-and-two-near-misses-748676
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 07, 2020, 12:17:08 pm
I'll admit that I'm sure there are badly designed and sited crossings, these seem to have clear sightlines for oncoming trains. Even if you aren't looking, the track thrums when they're a significant distance away.

The problem with closing them is that detours are typically 10-15 minutes, which isn't going to happen for people who have any alternative.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 07, 2020, 01:13:32 pm
Forgot to quote NR.

Quote
The surest way to reduce risk at a level crossing is to close it and under our current safety programme we have successfully closed more than 700 in the last three years.

That's the same kind of logic as celebrating a reduction in cycling casualties on the road by making sure fewer people cycle.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: nicknack on February 07, 2020, 01:19:00 pm
Footpath crossings are included in level crossings. Network Rail have a classification of umpty types according to what traffic crosses them, who owns it (some are privately owned, they're not all rights of way) and how it's operated (which includes "user operated").

On a walk just last year, I was shocked to come across a footpath crossing over the same line I was refering too in the OP. (GWR - Bristol to London) Shocked, in a good way. Just a kissing gate with some very clear signage saying you cross at your own risk, you stop/look/listen as trains are travelling heckin fast here. It felt nice not to be treated like a lobotomy outpatient for once.
There's quite a few of those around here (N. Kent).
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 07, 2020, 01:58:28 pm
As a regular walker in Kent and the Sussexes, I can verify there are loads and loads of footpath crossings that simply state STOP, LOOK, LISTEN. They mostly have a stile to clamber over, I suppose.

I can't think of any that are particularly dangerous, they're mostly fairly open sections of track, and given by the number of other walkers we meet, probably don't see massive use and mostly by savvy people familiar with crossing the lines. There's a couple on the Uckfield line that don't have such great sightlines, but the diesel trains are loud and they don't move that quick.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2020, 02:14:42 pm
Stop, Look, Listen, Beware of trains, is the "conventional" signage on foot crossings, visible in rafletcher's Thame Today link. Sometimes red and green lights and/or a siren are added to deal with higher speeds or poor sight lines. The bad design comes when red and green lights are used for meanings other than go and stop.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Jurek on February 07, 2020, 02:26:26 pm
As a regular user of the London to Whitstable line I have come to notice that, as one increases ones distance from The Great Wen, so increases the number of footpaths crossing the line using wholly uncontrolled crossings.

What I have also noticed by the trackside is a 'W' sign / instruction for the train driver to deploy The Whistle (which in itself is an indicator of the glacial speed at which railway signage has been dragged into The Modern World™) thereby giving anyone on or about to use the crossing, approximately 14 or 15 seconds notice of the train's imminent arrival at said crossing.
This assumes, of course, that the driver is looking for and spots the 'W' sign in the first place.

My friends in Whitstable advise me that the line is frequently closed, due to a 'person on the tracks'.
Sadly, more often than not, the person is there due to tragic, self-inflicted circumstances, rather than carelessness on the crossing.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2020, 02:41:08 pm
Some also have a black cross on a white background, probably only lines with a very low speed limit.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Davef on February 07, 2020, 06:51:04 pm
Forgot to quote NR.

Quote
The surest way to reduce risk at a level crossing is to close it and under our current safety programme we have successfully closed more than 700 in the last three years.

That's the same kind of logic as celebrating a reduction in cycling casualties on the road by making sure fewer people cycle.
“Closed” includes “closed and replaced by a bridge”


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: yorkie on February 07, 2020, 08:30:49 pm
Some also have a black cross on a white background, probably only lines with a very low speed limit.


Those are generally AOCL - Automatic Open Crossing Locally monitored


This type of crossing doesn't have barriers or gates, is triggered automatically by treadles on the approach of a train and the driver is able to monitor the safe operation of wigwags and sirens locally from the train (as opposed to remote monitoring from a signalling centre by CCTV), as a white light pointing along the track will only flash when the wigwags and sirens are operating correctly.


These crossings are no longer being installed and the existing ones are starting to have an obstacle detection system fitted to supplement the driver's Mk1 eyeball, where traffic doesn't make it more cost effective to install a barrier crossing instead.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2020, 09:04:07 pm
Okay, the place I'm thinking of there are several farm crossings near each other (just gates with the "Stop Look Listen" sign) then a B road which has barriers and lights now but I think might have been open till a couple of years ago. It's a quarry line that only has about one train a day.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: hatler on February 08, 2020, 01:06:27 am
Keeping track of trains up to a failsafe, safety critical standard *is* apparently rocket surgery.
Rocket 'surgery'?

'Rocket engineering', surely.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: hatler on February 08, 2020, 01:08:33 am
A surprisingly large number of trains still run on “somewhere between signal box A and signal box B” principles. Only one line in the UK has “smart” signalling, which was converted as a test a decade ago. No more have been done since.
Moving block I presume. Where's that ?
And no more have been done doubtless because of signalling engineers being notoriously conservative and the cost.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 08, 2020, 01:53:41 am
Keeping track of trains up to a failsafe, safety critical standard *is* apparently rocket surgery.
Rocket 'surgery'?

'Rocket engineering', surely.

This joke is now in orbit.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: MikeFromLFE on February 08, 2020, 09:23:21 am
A surprisingly large number of trains still run on “somewhere between signal box A and signal box B” principles. Only one line in the UK has “smart” signalling, which was converted as a test a decade ago. No more have been done since.
Moving block I presume. Where's that ?
And no more have been done doubtless because of signalling engineers being notoriously conservative and the cost.
I think that the line to Aberystwyth was converted to the European signaling standard (? ERTS?) and of course there's HS1
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: rogerzilla on February 08, 2020, 09:32:49 am
You shouldn't stop on a level crossing but, if you do and your car stalls, the DSA advice used to be to put the car into first gear and crank the starter.  The starter motor is quite capable of moving the car.  Sadly, most modern cars won't operate the starter unless your foot is on the clutch or the brake (it varies).
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: orienteer on February 08, 2020, 09:39:49 am
You shouldn't stop on a level crossing but, if you do and your car stalls, the DSA advice used to be to put the car into first gear and crank the starter.  The starter motor is quite capable of moving the car.  Sadly, most modern cars won't operate the starter unless your foot is on the clutch or the brake (it varies).

Doesn't work for automatic transmissions
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Jurek on February 08, 2020, 09:44:17 am
You shouldn't stop on a level crossing but, if you do and your car stalls, the DSA advice used to be to put the car into first gear and crank the starter.  The starter motor is quite capable of moving the car.  Sadly, most modern cars won't operate the starter unless your foot is on the clutch or the brake (it varies).

Doesn't work for automatic transmissions
Also, second gear is likely to move you further, sooner.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: yorkie on February 08, 2020, 03:45:27 pm
A surprisingly large number of trains still run on “somewhere between signal box A and signal box B” principles. Only one line in the UK has “smart” signalling, which was converted as a test a decade ago. No more have been done since.
Moving block I presume. Where's that ?
And no more have been done doubtless because of signalling engineers being notoriously conservative and the cost.
I think that the line to Aberystwyth was converted to the European signaling standard (? ERTS?) and of course there's HS1


ERTMS - European Rail Traffic Management System, a system of standards for the management and interoperation of railway signalling in Europe. This incorporates GSM-R communications and ETCS (European Train Control System (Signalling)) among other things. The Cambrian line version is effectively the UK test bed for ERTMS, before it is rolled out nationally.


HS1 is currently signalled with TVM430 (Transmission Voie-Machine 430km/h) which is the system used on all French High Speed Lines, as well as the Channel Tunnel, although there are plans to upgrade this to ERTMS in the future.


Both of these systems are cab signalling systems, where the train has a display in the cab authorising the driver to travel at a given maximum speed over the next section of track, as well as the maximum authorised speed for the section after. The sections are denoted by reflective lineside signs,rather than fixed signals,as fixed signals are difficult to read above 250km/h.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: MikeFromLFE on February 08, 2020, 04:22:35 pm
Thank you Yorkie
This is what's great about YACF someone, somewhere knows stuff!
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 08, 2020, 04:26:45 pm
Thank you Yorkie
This is what's great about YACF someone, somewhere knows stuff!
And not just on the obvious topics; it's a community of cyclists rather than a cycling forum.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Kim on February 08, 2020, 10:49:46 pm
Keeping track of trains up to a failsafe, safety critical standard *is* apparently rocket surgery.
Rocket 'surgery'?

'Rocket engineering', surely.

This joke is now in orbit.

Also, the joke[1] became real back in 2018: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/11/russian-eva-45a/


[1]
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Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ElyDave on February 09, 2020, 06:21:34 am
One of my ex-colleagues used the phrase"come on, its not rocket science" at n environmental audit of a USAnian facility that did...

Yes, you've guessed it :facepalm:
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 09, 2020, 05:30:33 pm
A friend of mine is (or was1) a rocket scientist. She was dead set on marrying on brain surgeon just for this reason2.

1Turns out the majority of rocket science jobs concern stuff that goes bang on earth or near to it, unpleasantly for those in the vicinity.

2Surgeons, it turned out, tend to be egotistical jerks. But points for trying.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 09, 2020, 05:43:26 pm
Getting rid of level crossings is a nightmare for those who can't do stairs.

Stairs are probably the biggest cause of injury on the railways after level crossings...

Stairs in general are just dangerous. They are one of the most dangerous things we interact with in every day life in the home. It's not helped that the design is such a compromise. They could be made a lot safer if they were designed to have one set for going up, an one for going down.

Curiously you also get interesting variation across age groups and also across countries with where people get hurt on stairs.

Obviously the roads are more dangerous overall. But if stairs were invented today, they'd never get past a health and safety evaluation...

J

Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: ian on February 09, 2020, 06:13:29 pm
I got the better part of £1000 out of Southern trains some years back when I landed painfully on my coccyx on un-gritted stairs. Evidently, weather forecasts were for other people and despite the obvious problem none of the station staff were qualified to put grit on the platforms and steps.

Reminds me of the other week, passing through West Croydon station, someone had spilled a drink and there was a little warning board next to it. Six hours later? It was still there, unmopped. Literally a ten-second task.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 09, 2020, 10:09:48 pm
Keeping track of trains up to a failsafe, safety critical standard *is* apparently rocket surgery.
Rocket 'surgery'?

'Rocket engineering', surely.

This joke is now in orbit.

Also, the joke[1] became real back in 2018: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/11/russian-eva-45a/


[1]
(click to show/hide)
That link is disappointing. I thought it was going to be a case of emergency brain surgery performed on a rocket.
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: Tigerbiten on February 09, 2020, 11:08:04 pm
Try this link for a case of emergency rocket brain surgery from the Apollo era -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4TXNZW3JBo&ab_channel=ScottManley
Title: Re: Level Crossings
Post by: HTFB on February 12, 2020, 12:13:31 pm
That link is disappointing. I thought it was going to be a case of emergency brain surgery performed on a rocket.
I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that.