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New warning system at foot crossings

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New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby John Webb » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:45 am

On another forum a correspondent has mentioned a new warning system at Crewkerne foot crossing, a short distance from a level crossing. He's included a link to a short video of the new system in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34mWp-NpAP8. A reply says that two crossings near Wivenhoe on the Claction branch have been similarly equipped.

Can anyone supply further information on the workings of this equipment, please?
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:10 pm

The only warning I hear or see in this appalling seasickness-inducing video is the driver sounding the horn. What's your point?

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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:16 pm

The warning actually came from local loudspeakers which play a recording of a train horn (and then the actual train sounds a single tone directly afterwards, which is, strictly speaking, not required any more). The theory is that this system is not subject to the vagaries of wind noise and where, when or whether the driver sounds the horn, and causes less of a nuisance in the surrounding area. It's also quite cheap.
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:22 pm

Ah well, you might know that but there is nothing in that video and comments that says that!

John

PS - if you subscribe to Network Rail's train journey alerts a similar noise comes out of your mobile phone without warning!
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:35 pm

OK, so how does it work and has this new system been given a name as they usually do?
Presumably train approach is detected by a TC or treadle at a suitable distance, suppressed on departure, perhaps by a timer.
The topmost thing on the post looks like a solar panel to power it, the lower boxes house the speaker/electronics/battery backup (solar panel obviously won't work after dark)?
The post assembly is duplicated on the other other side of the footway (but not the other side of the line, which would be marginally better), presumably to mitigate risk of failure of a single component.
Is that an REB by the house in the distance, and if so does it play any part in the system (fault monitoring or reporting perhaps) ?
Stuart says the driver 's use of the horn is redundant, but the driver probably can't tell whether the recording is working if the volume is much lower than the train's own horn as he indicates. Unless they tell the driver with a driver's white light or similar. So the driver would presumably also sound his horn if required by a whistle board (though I don't see one),or to warn the blokes filming if he thought somebody was about to cross. Maybe just force of habit.

I don't see the usual collection of warning notices for pedestrians, probably just a case of being out of shot lower down on the fence
From John Webb's comment, perhaps it is still experimental at this stage?
Sounds like a good idea, and certainly doesn't look expensive.
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby John Webb » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Sorry, perhaps I should have posted a link to the complete discussion, which in post #5 has a couple of close-up still photos of the installation - see http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?p=2932446#post2932446.

A further correspondent suggests it may be this: http://www.dynniq.co.uk/storage/app/media/UK%20Brochures/X-Alert.pdf. It uses a radar detection unit to sense the approaching train and sends a radio signal to the unit on that side of the crossing to give the warning hoot, so indicates the direction the train is coming from as well.
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:18 am

Thanks John. It seems this is more in the nature of an enhancement to existing warning arrangements rather than a change to a new type of crossing.

The manufacturer's literature you linked to shows whistle boards, so the driver is still required to whistle, and so it won't reduce noise nuisance as configured. Retaining the whistle board presumably keeps it compliant with existing rules applicable to the crossing without needing to go through approval formalities. If they want to use it somewhere noise reduction is the issue, they would presumably still have to evaluate the risk of equipment failure in order to remove the whistle board. Having said that, there is of course the existing risk that train horns can also fail.
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Re: New warning system at foot crossings

Unread postby micron » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:49 pm

It's called COVTEC, and as mentioned it's there to enhance the present warning arrangements. It's completely stand alone, solar powered and the signage hasn't been changed so the user crosses the crossing in the same way as they always did, Stop, Look, Listen before crossing. If for some reason it fails you still have a he train horn to warn you.
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