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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Discussion concerning level crossings

Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:21 pm

I haven't seen that variety before - large "miniature" warning lights! I like the style but I'm not convinced that combination of signage is idiot-proof. I do hope nobody around here is NFN.

It looks like a green traffic light to me - even though there's gates across the road. I appreciate that the Highway Code says "GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear" but most drivers think it means "Go". How long do we give it before somebody stops in the 4-foot with a mangled gate under his motor?

The lights are adjacent to both road and pedestrian gates, so it obviously apply to all users? ... or the push button is associated with "the traffic lights" and there's no "little red man" so obviously none of that applies to pedestrians?

Underneath 6 clearly numbered instructions, there's a line before the bit about large/slow vehicles phoning in a separate box. So that's obviously not one of the instructions, right?

"Open both gates" .... that will be the metal one and the wooden one beside it, yes?
OK so the wooden one sprung back, but the green light is still showing, so I'll drive as far as the next set of gates.

That main instructions notice is set back from the crossing 5 or 10 yards. But fortunately there's a simplified set of instructions by the lights themselves - so you don't need bother going back to read all that small print, do you?

To be fair, the signage is better than some other crossings - at least it doesn't tell me to get off my horse or that I must carry a dog.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby Chris Osment » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:58 pm

Mike Hodgson wrote:..........
It looks like a green traffic light to me - even though there's gates across the road. I appreciate that the Highway Code says "GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear" but most drivers think it means "Go". How long do we give it before somebody stops in the 4-foot with a mangled gate under his motor?

The lights are adjacent to both road and pedestrian gates, so it obviously apply to all users? ... or the push button is associated with "the traffic lights" and there's no "little red man" so obviously none of that applies to pedestrians?....


Exactly my first thoughts when I saw the picture. Also, if the light is green and you have to open both gates, does that mean the near gate and the far gate, or the large gate and the small gate on the same side? And if you opt for the former, once you have crossed to the far side - presumably safely - in order to open that gate, why bother going back to check the light is green? And what happens if it turns red (or goes out) while you're on your way back?

On a practical note, I have used many farm gates with that type of sprung handle and I find them a real ****. It can be difficult to get a good grip, especially if they are wet and/or you are wearing gloves, you need more strength than some people may have to counteract the spring, and - perhaps most importantly for railway safety - only the slightest amount of 'settling' due to wear-and-tear means that the lock plunger no longer goes into the hole, so a good gust of wind and the gate will blow open.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:52 am

Chris Osment wrote:Exactly my first thoughts when I saw the picture. Also, if the light is green and you have to open both gates, does that mean the near gate and the far gate, or the large gate and the small gate on the same side? And if you opt for the former, once you have crossed to the far side - presumably safely - in order to open that gate, why bother going back to check the light is green? And what happens if it turns red (or goes out) while you're on your way back?

I think you and Mike are being particularly contrary.

To me it seems pretty obvious:
  • You need to open both large gates to get a vehicle across
  • You need to go back to your vehicle to drive it across, in which case you will have the opportunity to see if the light has turned red or gone out.

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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby beast66606 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:03 pm

beast66606 wrote:It was one of the new "Press button and wait for green light" crossings, which are being trialled - the train stopped just beyond the next crossing which was conventional. (I visited and photographed the scene this afternoon)

The user controls had been bagged, except for the button and presumably degraded working was in use but I'd have to say the operating procedure wasn't immediately clear when the light is bagged but the button is clear. I couldn't get near to the controls as it was taped off as a crime scene.

10 injuries, only 1 - the tractor driver - was serious.


Whether the lights were confusing or not is academic - at least as far as this incident is concerned - as I have already posted, they were bagged out of use.
Better to be thought a fool than to type a response that confirms it.

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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:51 pm

I have been hearing some stories that the NR Product Approval has been withdrawn (not as a result of this incident). I believe the equipment is known as 'EBIGate 200'.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:06 pm

davidwoodcock wrote:Hmm! "Press button ....." on the list of instructions, but "Push Button" label above the actual button.

Surely it should have failed its safety case just on that alone?


Err? Why?
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:48 pm

LlaniGraham wrote:
davidwoodcock wrote:Hmm! "Press button ....." on the list of instructions, but "Push Button" label above the actual button.

Surely it should have failed its safety case just on that alone?


Err? Why?


Inconsistent use of words in the public instructions for the use of the crossing ........ and if the those responsible for both the design and the safety review of the equipment didn't realise that that is a potential source of confusion then, frankly, they need a lot more basic training.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:00 pm

I am afraid you have well and truly got me there.

What exactly is the difference between pushing a button and pressing it?

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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:08 pm

davidwoodcock wrote:
LlaniGraham wrote:
davidwoodcock wrote:Hmm! "Press button ....." on the list of instructions, but "Push Button" label above the actual button.

Surely it should have failed its safety case just on that alone?


Err? Why?


Inconsistent use of words in the public instructions for the use of the crossing ........ and if the those responsible for both the design and the safety review of the equipment didn't realise that that is a potential source of confusion then, frankly, they need a lot more basic training.


Don't agree.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with those instructions, and no reason for any confusion.
Perhaps you would be a little more explicit with your criticism?
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:31 pm

EBIGate 200 down the page under level crossings here: http://www.railengineer.uk/2012/09/06/s ... -plymouth/
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:18 pm

The description of the EBIgate says that a feature Bombardier are keen to promote is an interlock to prevent the gate/wicket being opened if the red light is displayed - although it sounds as though that feature might be optional?
So if somebody opens the near gate whilst it's on green and a train strikes in before he's opened the far gate, he's trapped rail side (hopefully following the instructions and therefore still on foot) until the train strikes out?
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby scarpa » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:55 pm

Was this Crossing prior to accident operating in Dark Mode ?
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby micron » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:09 pm

scarpa wrote:Was this Crossing prior to accident operating in Dark Mode ?

Very dark, as it was signed out of use, and bagged, users had to phone the signaller before crossing. The signage should have been changed to reflect this.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby Yabbadabba » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:21 pm

Our EBigate 200 crossings were signed OOU weekending 23rd Jan and remain so, all users need to phone and seek permission to cross and then phone again to advise that they are safely accross and gates are closed, whether that's the same for this crossing or not I do not know.
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Accident at Hockham Road level crossing, Norfolk, 10/04/2016

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:43 pm

Sounds like it wasn't just the accident crossing that had its gates out of use. S&T Engineeer said he had heard product approval had been withdrawn for EBIgates - would that be sufficient reason for these devices to be bagged out of use at existing crossings, or would it only affect new works?
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