Container lorry brings services to a halt

Edders23

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-51063699
A number of train services have been cancelled after a lorry became wedged under a railway bridge.

The container on the back of the lorry got trapped under the bridge on Saxham Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Greater Anglia's services between Ipswich and Cambridge and Ipswich and Peterborough have been halted.

Network Rail said the lorry has been freed and the damage is being assessed. It said there was "no excuse" for not knowing the height of a vehicle...
 
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GB

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Bit more than 13k this one, its moved part of the bridge and knocked one of the lines out of alignment (slightly).
 

TrafficEng

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Not the most conspicuously marked railway bridge. And right next to a busy industrial area.

A shame that whoever designed the new(ish) sign on the bridge didn't feel able to stretch to a yellow backing board rather than a grey one (the cost diference is marginal, if not zero).

Incidents like this will continue to happen until the highway and railway authorities also do their bit and make sure low bridges (especially ones where lorries are more likely to be) are conspicuously marked.

Just venting anger and frustration at the lorry (and bus) drivers won't solve the problem.
 

GB

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Bridges with chevrons and yellow stuff still get hit all the time. If you can see the sign with the red circle you have no excuse, if you can't see the sign you shouldn't be driving.

If the sign indicates higher than what is actually available then NR and the Highways Authority need a good talking to.
 

edwin_m

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https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.2...4!1sxFQtBqhKsK1OqLb5XOGjAw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
I assume it's this one. No circular sign (prohibition) just a triangular one (warning), and no metric dimension either which seems a strange omission considering how many Continental drivers there must be in that part of the world. The bridge is also on the route between the main road and a combine harvester sales site to the south of the railway.

Compare Barrowby Road in Grantham - three signs (a fourth out of shot), multiple chevrons and a sacrificial beam:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9...324.02875&pitch=0&thumbfov=100!7i16384!8i8192
 

TrafficEng

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I assume it's this one. No circular sign (prohibition) just a triangular one (warning), and no metric dimension either which seems a strange omission considering how many Continental drivers there must be in that part of the world. The bridge is also on the route between the main road and a combine harvester sales site to the south of the railway.
Yup, but the streetview image is from 2009. The press photos show the sign has been replaced, and it looks like the Class site frontage has been redone.

I'd like to see the current signage on the approach roads.
 

theking

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Yup, but the streetview image is from 2009. The press photos show the sign has been replaced, and it looks like the Class site frontage has been redone.

I'd like to see the current signage on the approach roads.
Going back roughly 200 yards on that street view there are two warning signs with the height on. No excuse
 

Spartacus

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Yup, but the streetview image is from 2009. The press photos show the sign has been replaced, and it looks like the Class site frontage has been redone.

I'd like to see the current signage on the approach roads.
I can confirm that the bridge currently carries circular prohibition signs in both metric and imperial.
 

TrafficEng

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Going back roughly 200 yards on that street view there are two warning signs with the height on. No excuse
....in 2009.

And what about for vehicles that pull out of the industrial area and try to turn right after what might have been an extended stop? The nature of the site could even involve overnight stays.

Would you expect the driver to remember a sign they might have passed many hours ago?
 

Spartacus

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....in 2009.

And what about for vehicles that pull out of the industrial area and try to turn right after what might have been an extended stop? The nature of the site could even involve overnight stays.

Would you expect the driver to remember a sign they might have passed many hours ago?
2014 according to Google, but either way there's now a circular prohibition sign attached to either side of the bridge. So no excuse. Photo in link

https://www.eadt.co.uk/polopoly_fs/...e.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/image.jpg
 
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theking

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....in 2009.

And what about for vehicles that pull out of the industrial area and try to turn right after what might have been an extended stop? The nature of the site could even involve overnight stays.

Would you expect the driver to remember a sign they might have passed many hours ago?
Yes.

They are supposed to be "professional" drivers who plan their routes in and out of their drops to avoid height,weight and width restrictions.

That wagon is not even close to getting under that bridge.

Although its marked 12,9 I bet it's at least 13 something that wagon is closer to 15 than 12,9.

If you see a 12,9 bridge you can't just carry on and wedge yourself under it because you forgot.
 

HowardGWR

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I query the NR spokesman quoting an average cost to NR of £13000. OK, the HGV's insurance will cover both the repair to the damage and the legal costs in getting redress (their insurance of course will pay both parties' solicitors)
- but what of the payments to TOC's and FOCs? A bridge strike is counted as 'NR's fault' and in this case there will be surely many 10s of thousands to pay GA and others.
 

TrafficEng

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Yes.

They are supposed to be "professional" drivers who plan their routes in and out of their drops to avoid height,weight and width restrictions.
Train drivers are "professional". They have a lot more training than lorry/bus drivers. They are also required to have specific route knowledge that lorry and bus drivers don't necessarily have. In some locations there are 'Check signal' signs on platforms as a reminder because having stopped for just a few minutes the driver might be thinking about other things.

Yet from time to time train drivers pass signals at danger. Even the ones where a sign just told them to check.

Do we hang them? Or do we recognise that humans are fallible and mistakes happen? The most important thing, rather than just taking revenge, is to examine all the circumstances and see if there is anything that can be learned so the chances of the same mistake happening again can be reduced.

That includes looking at the infrastructure and seeing if it can be improved. Is it doing all that is reasonably possible to help the driver, or is it setting a trap for those of us who don't manage to be perfect 100% of the time?

It is hypocritical to expect the drivers to be 100% and do better if the same expectations aren't applied to those responsible for providing and maintaining the infrastructure.
 

TrafficEng

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2014 according to Google, but either way there's now a circular prohibition sign attached to either side of the bridge.
Thanks. I was looking at the junction sign from a position nearer to the bridge where the image is still only 2009. One click further away from the bridge it transitions to 2014. The sign around the corner at the junction with the westbound onslip is also only shown in 2009.

I wanted to know what the signs currently look like - what this driver would have seen, not what they looked like some time ago.

The junction signs weren't right in 2009, and if they haven't been changed since then they are less right now.
 

30907

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Not the most conspicuously marked railway bridge. And right next to a busy industrial area.
Fair point about the signage of whatever date, but it's next to a small business park and on a minor road to nowhere in particular apart from a tyre depot (unless you have local knowledge). I would be surprised to hear that it was frequently bashed.
 

TrafficEng

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Fair point about the signage of whatever date, but it's next to a small business park and on a minor road to nowhere in particular apart from a tyre depot (unless you have local knowledge). I would be surprised to hear that it was frequently bashed.
I know the area from some years ago, but haven't been there recently. On the north side of the railway you have the Class UK depot that handles the import of various farm machines including combines. On an aerial photo you can see them parked up in an area of the industrial estate. On the south side of the railway there is a different company called Combine World who buy and sell used equipment. It isn't hard to see the possibility of someone delivering to the combine depot at Saxham to get the wrong site, especially as this kind of equipment is often coming from or to mainland Europe. Having a low bridge between the sites would appear to me to be a risk that warrants clear and conspicuous marking of the bridge.

The tyre depot is a wholesale company. I don't know them well, but would expect they are likely to get container loads of tyres delivered from time to time. In fact the google aerial image of the site helpfully shows what looks like a container lorry coming in or out of a loading bay.

To get to the southern side of the railway from the A14 involves a not very obvious route through 'nowhere in particular'. The least the highway authorities could do would be to put up signs that show where the bridge is relative to the junction, and the alternative route to get to the other side of the railway.

I don't know about the frequency of bashing there - but as a single bash could have fatal results (as the NR route Director reminds us) then why take the risk of not having more conspicuous signage?
 

30907

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Having a low bridge between the sites would appear to me to be a risk that warrants clear and conspicuous marking of the bridge.

The tyre depot is a wholesale company. I don't know them well, but would expect they are likely to get container loads of tyres delivered from time to time. In fact the google aerial image of the site helpfully shows what looks like a container lorry coming in or out of a loading bay.

To get to the southern side of the railway from the A14 involves a not very obvious route through 'nowhere in particular'. The least the highway authorities could do would be to put up signs that show where the bridge is relative to the junction, and the alternative route to get to the other side of the railway.
Agreed, and thanks for the local knowledge. But in terms of priorities, I can understand why it's low on the local authority/NR list - compared with (say) the A52 at Grantham (or A205 at Tulse Hill...) both of which are major routes.
 

LAX54

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I query the NR spokesman quoting an average cost to NR of £13000. OK, the HGV's insurance will cover both the repair to the damage and the legal costs in getting redress (their insurance of course will pay both parties' solicitors)
- but what of the payments to TOC's and FOCs? A bridge strike is counted as 'NR's fault' and in this case there will be surely many 10s of thousands to pay GA and others.
There is also a 'watchman' on site 24/7 to keep the bridge checked, at least until Monday, and then if all is well, it will be a weekly check, until they can arrange a repair
 

furnessvale

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Fair point about the signage of whatever date, but it's next to a small business park and on a minor road to nowhere in particular apart from a tyre depot (unless you have local knowledge). I would be surprised to hear that it was frequently bashed.
One of the most bashed bridges in the country was at Disley, Cheshire. The minor road involved led to ONE factory and, by virtue of a second bridge beyond the factory, was not a through route for anything larger than a Transit van.

Every HGV visiting that factory must have been known in advance but they still managed to send overheight lorries. Thankfully the factory is now closed and the site is housing.
 

TrafficEng

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But in terms of priorities, I can understand why it's low on the local authority/NR list - compared with (say) the A52 at Grantham (or A205 at Tulse Hill...) both of which are major routes.
I see the issue having a parallel with that of embankment/parapet protection for road over rail bridges. We had a long series of accidents (e.g. Great Heck, Oxshott being some of the later ones) in which looking back it was obvious that a more comprehensive approach needed to be taken.

Holding drivers entirely to blame didn't remove the risk, it required a systematic assessment of each site and the right kind of engineering measures. Which eventually happened when someone sat up and took notice (and found the money).

I agree with your point about prioritisation, but in a lot of cases improvements can be made with very little cost, and the needs are spread around a large number of authorities. To use this case as an example, using a yellow backing board rather than a grey one wasn't a decision that needed to be subordinate to fixing Tulse Hill. Likewise, ensuring the approach signage complies with regulations and guidance should be a requirement, not a 'nice to do if we get round to it one day'.
 

R G NOW.

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Another bridge I know of that is often bashed, is one just below Newnham on the A48 where the line from Gloucester to Chepstow passes above it.
 

HSTEd

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A52 through Grantham should hopefully get bypassed soon.
Supposedly work has commenced on the ground on the Southern Relief Road, complete with enormous viaduct.
 

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