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Vertical warning lights - how common?

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Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby John Webb » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:09 pm

While looking at the freight line from Shaftholme Junction to Knottingly on the GeoGraph website, I came across this picture (click on picture to access the full-size original):
The Spring Lodge level crossings north of Womersley
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© Copyright Ian S and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I can't recall having seen a vertical arrangement of the two red lights before - how common is this arrangement and is it done for sighting reasons?
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Aitken » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:11 pm

I've seen it at Lincoln High Street.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Danny252 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:00 pm

John Webb wrote:I can't recall having seen a vertical arrangement of the two red lights before - how common is this arrangement and is it done for sighting reasons?


I seem to recall an example on this forum from somewhere in Wales where nearby buildings and a narrow road restricted the space available, necessitating these vertical lights.

(Or am I getting confused, with the lights being positioned oddly with regards to the crossing, but being of the normal form?)
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby MRFS » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:37 pm

Quarry Lane crossing, Minffordd on the Festiniog was the first. Lights all vertical.

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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:39 am

I have seen a fair number of vertical examples in my travels but there has always been a specific reason - space constrictions or sighting difficulties - for them. I have never seen any other example without there being an obvious reason.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby John Webb » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:40 am

davidwoodcock wrote:I have seen a fair number of vertical examples in my travels but there has always been a specific reason - space constrictions or sighting difficulties - for them. I have never seen any other example without there being an obvious reason.

That's what struck me when I first saw the picture - there doesn't seem to be any reason for the vertical arrangement - if one goes to Streetview and looks at the crossing approaches there seems to be nothing restricting the view or preventing the use of the normal horizontal arrangement.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Danny252 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:53 pm

Given that the crossing is on a skew, I wonder if it might be a restriction between the loading gauge of the railway and that of the road (or whatever the road equivalent is called!) - however, it doesn't look that tight by a long stretch. The "perhaps a building once existed there" argument is very dubious given that there is another vertical light on the opposite side of the crossing.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Brandon » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:53 pm

There are some on the CCTV crossing at Elmswell between Bury St Edmunds and Haughley Junction. The crossing alignment is at right angles to the line.

I also think one of the AHB's In the Three Horseshoes area has vertical lights on one corner. However the road is at an angle there and the crossing is used by a lot of farm machinery with bits sticking out.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Alex » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:49 am

Are these vertical wig-wags lawful? I seem to recall only the standard horizontal alignment is allowed, there being a "compact" version for use when the standard size head is too big.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:02 am

Alex wrote:Are these vertical wig-wags lawful? I seem to recall only the standard horizontal alignment is allowed, there being a "compact" version for use when the standard size head is too big.


Lawful or not it's a good idea to stop if they're lit. I would also stop if the lights were out, the barriers up and there was train across the line!
If the old bill loses a case because of that configuration, I think they would still win if they changed the charge to driving without due care.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby JRB » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:40 am

Mike Hodgson wrote:
Alex wrote:Lawful or not it's a good idea to stop if they're lit. I would also stop if the lights were out, the barriers up and there was train across the line!

............or someone was holding up a red flag, but we've been there before!
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby micron » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:49 pm

Mike Hodgson wrote:
Alex wrote:Are these vertical wig-wags lawful? I seem to recall only the standard horizontal alignment is allowed, there being a "compact" version for use when the standard size head is too big.


Lawful or not it's a good idea to stop if they're lit. I would also stop if the lights were out, the barriers up and there was train across the line!
If the old bill loses a case because of that configuration, I think they would still win if they changed the charge to driving without due care.



They are legal, just not very common, you will find that the red light of a normal wig wag, or one of these straight ones, are no further away from the carriage way, I.E. the nearest red road light will be between 800mm and 1500mm from the edge of the carriage, so will meet the standard.

And for the record, Dagenham Dock, used to have one of these too, when there was a crossing there.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby MRFS » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:11 pm

Really sorry to be pedantic but these are not 'wig wags'.

They are not mechanised and they do not move. Just to make it easier for those searching for actual wig wags...
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby StevieG » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:42 am

...Agreed, and I understand any frustration, but the fact remains that the term, although probably not 'official', is used quite a lot in UK 'big railway' internal circles; - I first heard it there, amongst professionals, at least 13 years ago.
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Re: Vertical warning lights - how common?

Unread postby DaveHarries » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:03 pm

Marshbrook LC, between Shrewsbury (Sutton Bridge Jcn) and Hereford also has one set of vertical lights.

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