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Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

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Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:17 pm

Article herewith, spotted on another railway forum:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-34224084
A "temperamental" rail barrier that has repeatedly broken down is to be updated.

There have been more than 15 closures of the crossing in West Dyke Road, Redcar over the past 18 months, the town's Labour MP Anna Turley said.

Strong winds regularly mean the crossing has to close for safety reasons, causing traffic disruption.
Work will begin in the next few weeks to install custom-built telescopic sliding barriers.
Network Rail said the work had been fast-tracked.
A spokesman said a start date would be confirmed early next week.
"The new barrier system should bring an end to the frequent failures and closures that have brought our town centre to a standstill," Ms Turley said.

The above article shows a photo of a rather heavy-duty security type gate extending outwards.

Anyone any idea what NR are proposing to use?
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:42 pm

I wouldn't go by the photograph, that's probably just the only picture of a sliding gate they could find.

Boom gates generally are on their last legs these days and are therefore rather prone to failure, but maybe here it is considered that lifting barriers wouldn't be secure against the high number of pedestrians in the town centre as experienced elsewhere - such as Lancing.

I was quite pleased to see them still in use when I passed there a few weeks ago. Not too many survive now.

John

PS - Boom gates can outrun pedestrians. Not to be argued with.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:47 pm

John Hinson wrote:I wouldn't go by the photograph, that's probably just the only picture of a sliding gate they could find.....

That's what I thought when I saw it, and made me pose the question here in case someone knew what was actually to be used.

PS - Which boom gates are still in use?
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:44 pm

See http://signalbox.org/last/crossings.php .

About half of these have gone now.

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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:09 pm

NR have now issued a press release:
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/novel-level-crossing-to-be-installed-at-west-dyke-road

A bespoke barrier which could change the appearance of level crossings across the country is set to be installed in Redcar.

The existing boom gate crossing on West Dyke Road in the seaside town suffers frequent reliability issues during strong winds, meaning the barriers must be closed to motorists and pedestrians for extended periods of time until the wind speed drops.

As the barrier has approached the end of its working life the issue has intensified, with Network Rail engineers carrying out regular repairs and upgrades over the last 12 months in an attempt to improve its reliability, including a new battery, a new motor, new wheels and reducing the size of the slats across on the barrier face.

Initially the replacement barrier was not due to be installed until 2018, but Network Rail and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have fast tracked the approval process – which can often take over a year - to allow work on the novel crossing design to start in October this year.

The new, telescopic barrier will slide out across West Dyke Road from alongside the railway tracks, meaning they will no longer swing out into the road and battle against the wind. This will also allow the barriers themselves moved nearer to the railway and create more space in the area around the crossing. The bespoke barrier will also mean that the signal box at Redcar can remain, reducing the amount of time the work will take to complete.

Gary Walsh, area director for Network Rail, said: “We are all too aware of the problems suffered at West Dyke Road in high winds and decided that the level of disruption caused needed addressing ahead of the original programme.
“The new barrier has been designed with this specific problem in mind and is unlike any existing crossing on the network, and we are confident that its installation with help improve the flow of traffic and pedestrians in Redcar.”

Councillor Helen McLuckie, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, at Redcar Borough Council, said: “We welcome the developments that Network Rail are bringing forward the replacement barrier system and are extremely pleased we can facilitate this two years earlier than originally planned.

“There will obviously be some disruption to residents and that’s why we are co-ordinating this with planned road widening and resurfacing works as well as essential utilities repairs with Network Rail’s improvements at the crossing.
“This will reduce the possibility of longer and more frequent periods of disruption.”

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Network Rail are looking to synchronise the improvements at the crossing with other planned roadworks and essential utilities repairs in order to reduce disruption.

Residents are advised that there will be some short term disruption while the existing barrier is replaced, with clearly signposted diversions in place. It is hoped that the new barrier will be operational before the end of the year. There are not expected to be any disruptions to train services while the work takes place.

Network Rail and the British Transport Police have also worked together to help reduce misuse at the crossing, with more awareness days set to take place once the new barrier is installed.

There is also a photo in the press release which shows these barriers are rather long and on one side of the railway only. I would imagine the length doesn't help with respect to the wind affecting them.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby JG Morgan » Tue Oct 6, 2015 7:12 pm

If you want more pictures of these barriers, see Geograph:
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3030801
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3885700
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby rower40 » Wed Oct 7, 2015 8:10 am

Shirley the way to make a level-crossing barrier more wind-resistant is to have it rising UP out of the roadway? Rising bollards on bus lanes are becoming more common. Discuss...
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Wed Oct 7, 2015 9:04 am

I suspect the reason we are so comfortable with the traditional massive wooden gates painted conspicuously is psychological. They looked impenetrable to the ubiquitous horse drawn traffic of the era when they were introduced - the horse certainly knew better than to try and jump them. As we moved to motor transport, it was still obvious that our precious motors would suffer if we tried. So they still; worked as a means of stopping traffic. By comparison, barriers look much more flimsy, and although they are designed to break in a collision the average motorist probably doesn't know that. They still look imposing enough to discourage motorists from crossing, at least where they cover both sides of the road. The boom gates are closer to the traditional gates than barriers, and this is probably a factor in local popular support for them.

As for rising bollards, they work in places like entrance to private car parks, in bus lanes in cities like Cambridge where street corners force traffic speeds to be very low anyway. I doubt they would be sufficiently comnspicuous on roads with higher speeds. They don't block cycle, pedestrian or motor bike traffic either (and generally that is desirable in bus lanes). Of course the type of forceful defences built around sites like Downing Street can prevent vehicles from ramming their way through, but they would hardly be practical on major roads carrying fairly high speed through traffic, and might perhaps even contribute to more casualties and damage than they saved. And when some idiot does thump a rising bollard, it's probably a more labour-intensive job to repair it than it is to replace a broken barrier.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Wed Oct 7, 2015 9:24 am

rower40 wrote:Shirley the way to make a level-crossing barrier more wind-resistant is to have it rising UP out of the roadway? Rising bollards on bus lanes are becoming more common. Discuss...

I thought I'd posted on this Forum a picture taken several years ago taken in Russia by one of my colleagues from St Albans South. This showed a rising 'Sector Plate' coming up out of the road surface as well as lightweight lifting barriers. My colleague was left with the impression that this might be done to stop skidding vehicles in their more severe winters from impinging on the track. I can't find the post nor the picture he gave me, alas.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Wed Oct 7, 2015 12:27 pm

Rising barriers seem to have been installed in various places around the world, and it is possible to find compilations of video clips showing what happens when they rise underneath vehicles which have failed to stop at the lights.

While they are effective in stopping vehicles, I think that overall they probably increase the risks to road users compared to descending barriers, because a vehicle driver can see and react to a descending barrier much more easily than one that comes up out of the road surface. For the overwhelming majority of road users, barriers (of whatever sort) are there as a deterrent, and (as Mike says) they ceased to be a means of actually preventing access at the end of the horse and cart era.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Wed Oct 7, 2015 2:09 pm

As I understood it, there were still the dropping/lifting barrier arms, and it was only once they were down that the more substantial barrier rose out of the road.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby Mike Stone » Wed Oct 7, 2015 3:03 pm

Why can't they just install a conventional crossing - the box is going sooner or later, so that's surely a red herring.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Wed Oct 7, 2015 5:30 pm

John Webb wrote:As I understood it, there were still the dropping/lifting barrier arms, and it was only once they were down that the more substantial barrier rose out of the road.

You are right, but on googling them I see that the twist is that the level crossings (apparently in Russia) where these were installed have conventional lowering half-barriers- but after those come down (very quickly by our standards) then the rising barriers block the full width of the road. There are safer and less expensive ways of stopping the zig-zag merchants than this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPt7bASfsGs

However, we are drifting away from the topic.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby John Webb » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:15 pm

The new 'sliding gates' at Redcar have been brought into use. See http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/new-railway-crossing-gates-signal-the-end-of-traffic-issues-in-redcar for details and link to a large (80Mb approx) video of them in use.
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Re: Redcar West Dyke Road Boom barrier replacement

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:31 pm

Interesting. Bet that arrangement isn't in the Highway Code.
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