2 trains in Kent forced to make emergency stop due to cyclists ignoring safety lights at crossings

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Islineclear3_1

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Reckless cyclists making a last-second dash across level crossings forced two trains to slam on their emergency brakes to avoid killing them.

Video captured on cameras by Network Rail at the crossings in Rochester and Deal have been released showing the careless and impatient bikers desperately making their way across the tracks
 
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BluePenguin

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Shocking and unbelievably dangerous behaviour. Some people will sadly never learn.

This incident hits close to home as I live in the area and always see people dashing across when out on my walks.

Having had a look at the photo of the crossing near Deal, I believe it is the crossing in Walmer rather than Ripple, with Coldblow woods visible in the background.
 
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Tallguy

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Had the drivers in question not slammed on the brakes or if one of the cyclists had slipped and fell, I imagine it would have been a fatal accident. Would be interesting to see the on board footage of both events. Well done to the drivers concerned for their actions.
 

Kite159

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Idiotic behaviour from the crossing users. Perhaps network rail should install electromagnets to lock the gate when the red light shows (with emergency release buttons on the rail side) (that is the assumption nothing like that already exists on those crossings)

But I suspect those are not the only crossings to have near misses as people make use of foot crossings on walks/rides in their local areas, especially on popular routes (that one near Newhaven springs to mind)
 

infobleep

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Totally stupid. On a minor point, how does Kent Online know they were breeching lockdown rules? Or are they just assuming one of rhe groups wasn't from the same household?
 

A Challenge

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Totally stupid. On a minor point, how does Kent Online know they were breeching lockdown rules? Or are they just assuming one of rhe groups wasn't from the same household?
They presumably have no way of knowing (given they probably haven't been identified, let alone the names released), but it makes a better story for them to say it and they're unlikely to face any consequences for it.
 

jfowkes

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Idiotic behaviour from the crossing users. Perhaps network rail should install electromagnets to lock the gate when the red light shows (with emergency release buttons on the rail side)
All that will do is trap people (however they got there) on the wrong side of the barriers.

No-one will expect a gate to be locked. Very few people read safety posters. Say someone is trapped on the wrong side: How do you inform them that the gate is locked, that there's a release button and how to operate it? Can you communicate that information effectively to a panicking pedestrian, potentially in low light conditions, in a short window of time before a train hurtles through?
 

Lockwood

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How do you inform them that the gate is locked, that there's a release button and how to operate it? Can you communicate that information effectively to a panicking pedestrian, potentially in low light conditions, in a short window of time before a train hurtles through?
[/QUOTE]

Glow in the dark crash bar like fire exits?
 

XAM2175

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No-one will expect a gate to be locked. Very few people read safety posters. Say someone is trapped on the wrong side: How do you inform them that the gate is locked, that there's a release button and how to operate it? Can you communicate that information effectively to a panicking pedestrian, potentially in low light conditions, in a short window of time before a train hurtles through?
It's an approved control method in at least one Australian state. In most installation it's actually two gates (the main gate being power-operated, with an electromagnetically-latched emergency gate beside it), but the core of the principle is the same. Note that the emergency gate is set back far enough from the line that a person who hasn't managed to operate the gate in time is still in a position of relative safety:

 

Deepgreen

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I wonder how much difference train drivers "slamming on the brakes" makes in these circumstances - trains really can't slow down that quickly!
 

ComUtoR

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I wonder how much difference train drivers "slamming on the brakes" makes in these circumstances - trains really can't slow down that quickly!

It can be the difference between life and death. Missing someone by a fraction of a second isn't something I'd wish on anyone but sadly it happens more frequently than we like to imagine.

In the video it looked like plenty of time and tbh that can often encourage risky behaviour. Both units came to a stand just on the crossing. I'm sure there will be someone who could calculate the time/distance of all parties involved. Whistle boards etc are calculated using sighting and braking distances. Thankfully the Drivwers saw them in time.
 

alex397

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I wonder how much difference train drivers "slamming on the brakes" makes in these circumstances - trains really can't slow down that quickly!

Probably not much, but may save a few vital seconds.

It is incredible how dense people can be. Even with gates and red signals, they still cross. If they can’t use comment sense here where everything is done to help them make a sensible decision, these people wouldn’t last long in many continental European countries, where there are often less fences and less warning lights.
 
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LSWR Cavalier

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I observed a motorist ignoring a red light at a level crossing yesterday. I was cycling, I stopped well back to enjoy watching the train go by.
 

Dieseldriver

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I wonder how much difference train drivers "slamming on the brakes" makes in these circumstances - trains really can't slow down that quickly!
I’ve had a near miss on a foot crossing where I’m 99% certain that if I hadn’t slung it into emergency, I’d have hit them.
 

A Challenge

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This is worse than passing lights, even on a road level crossing, given they had to dismount and lift their bikes over something - I hope the cycling lobby realise they shouldn't be trying to defend the cyclists here.
 

peters

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If the cyclists were out for exercise purposes they have no excuse for running red lights, in fact stopping at red lights is beneficial to their exercise.

The thing I don't get is why their faces have been blurred when Network Rail are appealing for information. Surely, that's preventing people who have broken the law from being traced.
 

bassmike

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What a lot of trivial bickering all round. There are always Darwin awardists around --let them get on with it.
 

frediculous

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I’ve had a near miss on a foot crossing where I’m 99% certain that if I hadn’t slung it into emergency, I’d have hit them.
This may seem like a silly question, but is the emergency brake just the normal brakes but applied harder? Or does it have some kind of extra brake (like a car handbrake) or put the wheels in reverse or something else? I presume use of the emergency brake requires some kind of reset and paperwork afterwards.
 

jfowkes

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I would like to apologise for turning this thread into a discussion about cyclists jumping red lights on the road!

That was actually what my rather flippant comment earlier was sort of seeking to avoid.
 

norbitonflyer

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It can be the difference between life and death. Missing someone by a fraction of a second isn't something I'd wish on anyone but sadly it happens more frequently than we like to imagine.

In the video it looked like plenty of time and tbh that can often encourage risky behaviour. Both units came to a stand just on the crossing. I'm sure there will be someone who could calculate the time/distance of all parties involved. Whistle boards etc are calculated using sighting and braking distances. Thankfully the Drivwers saw them in time.
It was only plenty of time because the drivers were able to make an emergency stop - had the train continued at full speed it would have reached the crossing much sooner. Poor visibility, maybe being unsighted by another train going the other way, or a wheel stuck between boards and rail, and we could be looking at a fatality.
 

172007

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This may seem like a silly question, but is the emergency brake just the normal brakes but applied harder? Or does it have some kind of extra brake (like a car handbrake) or put the wheels in reverse or something else? I presume use of the emergency brake requires some kind of reset and paperwork afterwards.
Conventional friction brake Diesal trains it just squeezes the normal brakes on harder. Not sure how trains with blended brakes work I.e. 195 / 196 but I imagine it's extra normal braking on friction and full no friction brake.

Trams have an extra magnetic brake which grips the rails.
 

Dieseldriver

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This may seem like a silly question, but is the emergency brake just the normal brakes but applied harder? Or does it have some kind of extra brake (like a car handbrake) or put the wheels in reverse or something else? I presume use of the emergency brake requires some kind of reset and paperwork afterwards.
Not a silly question.
It’s exactly the same as the service brake. On modern multiple units it ensures that the brakes operate in a fail safe manner and you are unable to release them until you are at, or nearly at a stand. With some modern units, the emergency position/plunger will also give you a slightly harsher application than a regular full service brake application.
On older trains (particularly loco hauled trains) and freight trains, the emergency position/plunger bypasses the usual controlled way of letting air out of the brake pipe to apply the brakes and it effectively opens up a big hole in the brake pipe allowing the air to rush out quicker. It doesn’t necessarily provide any more brake force than a normal full service application but the brakes will start to apply slightly quicker than in the normal way.
 

ComUtoR

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Our more modern unit will also autmatically apply sand.
 

Mcr Warrior

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I would like to apologise for turning this thread into a discussion about cyclists jumping red lights on the road!
No problem. Just that those cyclists who for whatever reason or mindset are prepared to jump red lights at a road junction are (probably, in my considered opinion) going to be more likely to misuse railway crossings.

Of course, not all cyclists should be tarred with the same brush, just those that give all the rest a bad name.
 

ComUtoR

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Most modern units will automatically apply sand under service braking when WSP activity is detected.
Very true but WSP doesnt always happen under emergency braking. Ours will apply the sand irrespective of WSP.
 
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