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Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 3, 2015 12:08 am
by DaveHarries
Just found this link on another group.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sh ... e-31694929

Dave

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 3, 2015 6:06 am
by John Hinson
From reading this it appears the crossing worked as designed and no irregularities occurred.

John

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 3, 2015 12:35 pm
by Fast Line Floyd
I concur, this crossing certainly did work as designed.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 6:26 am
by Mad Mac
I agree with the opinions of my learned friends.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 7:50 am
by JRB
So should the thread title be changed? Alleged failure? Media failure?

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 8:47 am
by Mike Hodgson
The media is failing because it reports that a level crossing is working as designed?

The fact remains that Joe Public gets worried when a train uses a crossing with the barriers up.
This never used to happen in the good old days when the platelayer's wife came out to swing the gates.
The trouble with wig-wags is that the average motorist doesn't think they are compulsory stop signals (whereas they would understand an ordinary road traffic light). He thinks that flashing lights are just a hazard warning (much the same as yellow a flashing light on a truck or a blue get-out-of-my-way light on an ambulance) and they mean the barriers are about to come down. It is the barrier itself that they understand as the stop signal. Such niceties as applicability to the emergency services just don't come into it.

I wonder whether any research has been carried out into the observance of wig-wags at other special hazards such as fire stations, runway ends. As long as they don't actually collide with the emerging fire engine or an overshooting aircraft, non-compliance probably won't be noticed let alone prosecuted. As regards their use at swing bridges, they are generally like level crossings in that they are accompanied by barriers, and if somebody goes through the barriers into the canal, people will simply laugh.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 9:14 am
by colin1501
Following from Mike's point about people being worried by a train passing with the barriers up - not sure what the rules are here, but wouldn't it have been more reassuring if one of the train crew had walked ahead and physically held up traffic, thus reinforcing the message of the 'wig-wags'?

Colin

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 9:31 am
by Chris L
colin1501 wrote:
not sure what the rules are here, but wouldn't it have been more reassuring if one of the train crew had walked ahead and physically held up traffic, thus reinforcing the message of the 'wig-wags'?

My understanding is that railway personnel are not normally legally allowed to direct road traffic by use of handsignals etc. - only Police and similar Road Traffic enforcement officers are so authorised.

Chris.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 9:32 am
by StevieG
colin1501 wrote:Following from Mike's point about people being worried by a train passing with the barriers up - not sure what the rules are here, but wouldn't it have been more reassuring if one of the train crew had walked ahead and physically held up traffic, thus reinforcing the message of the 'wig-wags'?

Colin
I'm unsure of the actual permitted duties of traincrew these days (which might in any case, vary between different TOCs), but it may well be the case that if such action was take place, the driver may be the only person allowed to walk to the crossing in these days when duties of guards/conductors/train managers are so greatly (or entirely?) now focussed on matters inside the train, and (except in dire emergency) may not be authorised to be outside their train at other than station platforms.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 1:39 pm
by micron
If we had designed them to lower, but not clear the signals, would we still be in the wrong, as the report would have accused us of trapping someone within the barriers? Although it might be a better option, if we still pass a train at extreme caution?

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:52 pm
by JRB
Mike Hodgson wrote:.............. the average motorist doesn't think they are compulsory stop signals (whereas they would understand an ordinary road traffic light). He thinks that flashing lights are just a hazard warning (much the same as yellow a flashing light on a truck or a blue get-out-of-my-way light on an ambulance) and they mean the barriers are about to come down. It is the barrier itself that they understand as the stop signal. Such niceties as applicability to the emergency services just don't come into it.

Remember that the 'niceties' include such things as open swing bridges, all part of the different urgency which so many motorists interpret the wrong way round. Dutch people get it right (or drown).

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:54 pm
by JRB
Chris L wrote:My understanding is that railway personnel are not normally legally allowed to direct road traffic by use of handsignals etc. - only Police and similar Road Traffic enforcement officers are so authorised.
Chris.

Police are not permitted to overrule level crossing signals.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:58 pm
by Danny252
StevieG wrote:I'm unsure of the actual permitted duties of traincrew these days (which might in any case, vary between different TOCs), but it may well be the case that if such action was take place, the driver may be the only person allowed to walk to the crossing in these days when duties of guards/conductors/train managers are so greatly (or entirely?) now focussed on matters inside the train, and (except in dire emergency) may not be authorised to be outside their train at other than station platforms.


Assuming there's any other staff on the train at all, given the increasing prevalence of Driver Only Operation.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 3:17 pm
by Chris L
JRB wrote;
Police are not permitted to overrule level crossing signals.


My point was that, as I understand it, ONLY Police or Road Traffic Enforcement Officers are authorised to direct road traffic by use of handsignals in any case, regardless of under what circumstances they themselves are permitted to do so - or not!

Chris.

Re: Wem LC failure

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 4, 2015 4:36 pm
by John Hinson
I really don't see the issue here. I have re-read the report and all seems to have dealt with correctly and safely.

A few ill-informed motorists have apparently "tittered" to the effect that it was dangerous but we can clearly see it wasn't. Unfortunately Social Networking encourages people to write ill-informed twaddle and there it is for all to see. It is best ignored. Network Rail have given a very good and clear response which has been published with the article. For once I credit the journalist who was undoubtedly invited to write a sensational article but stuck to facts.

John