Dangerous crossing - North Downs line.

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Death

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Hi everyone! <D
Firstly, apologies if this is the wrong place for this kind of post. It's pretty much P-Way as far as I can tell, but again I'm still a forum :sign2: so please don't flame me for a minor rules breach just yet! :D

Anyhow...There is a pedestrian crossing on the North Downs line, roughly half way between Blackwater and Farnborough North that I use occasionally. Although there are stiles and track boards that allow pedestrians to cross safely, the biggest problem is that directly south of this crossing is a bend and associated trackside obstacles that make it impossible to see approaching Northbound traffic...Not exactly a good thing as the speed limit there is about 100mph IIRC, and there was one occasion in the past where I had a near miss with a Voyager speeding towards Reading whilst I was using the crossing. :eek:

Now, there's no track telephone near the crossing, and the only visible signal is one controlling southbound traffic, which can be seen from about 3/4 of a mile away anyway. There is a signal for Northbound traffic, but it's parallel to the southbound one and can't be seen from the crossing. What we could do with there is either for the latter signal to be moved another 200m North up the line so that crossing users can see it and use the aspect as a clue for when it's safe to cross, or even better a small red/green LED set wired into the TPWS so that users know that it's safe to cross the line! :)

From what I can tell - Going on how overgrown the approach footpath was last time I used the crossing - It's possible that I am the only person who actually still uses it. Therefore, is it actually worth reporting this to Network Rail, and if so who should I report it to?

Farewell, and thanks for any info! <D
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Tom

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The signals you refer to will be an auto signal - so basically will clear to green as long as there is no train ahead.
 

TheSlash

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Death,
Can you have alook around the area for any identifing marks such as mileage or a name given to the crossing. Failing that, a map showing it's location would be good and i'll pass it onto somebody i know who works for Network Rail, in the meantime going by what you've written, may i suggest you stop using the crossing with immediate effect
 

Death

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Hi Slash! <D
I just had a look at MultiMap to try and get the aerial photo up, but the quality is useless. I'll try Microsoft Mapping if I can and see if that does the trick, but I currently can't seem to find it! :eek:

Alternatively, when I have the time I'll go down there and see if I can get either a crossing referance and/or the number(s) of the signals in the vicinity, provided I can do it safely and without trespassing on the line. I know that it's no help, but I'm sure that they're part of the Guildford region setup, so the numbers would be of the form GDxxx. :)

Looking at the aerial photos, the bend in question doesn't look very tight from above, but it's pretty much impossible to see around at ground level. Moreso, any train passing that bend at over 35-40mph probabally wouldn't be able to stop in time, and I've seen Voyagers do it at no less than 80 or so. :eek:

At the end of the day I could try using my ears, but with sections of the M3 and the A331 passing nearby, that won't be easy in the slightest! :p

Farewell, and thanks again! <D
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Death

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Hi again! <D
Damon's got it right...That is the crossing that I'm referring to. There are whistle boards installed before the crossing in both directions (As I've observed from the trains themselves), but as whistles aren't compulsory (To my knowlege anyway) it would seem that a lot of drivers ignore it. Maybe I should just go down there with a can of red spray paint and attempt to turn the Northbound advisory whistle sign into a compulsory one? :D (Joke BTW! :))

Like I said, I appear to be the only person who actually uses that crossing nowadays (Last time I was down there the western approach path was seriously overgrown!) but having a compulsory whistle sign for Northbound traffic would at least put my mind at rest whenever I have to use the crossing! :)

If I'm on the Northbound road when the train comes, I only have 4-6 seconds of observation/evasion time before the train hits me. Worse still is crossing west-east (Something I try and avoid doing if possible, but this crossing is on the shortest/quickest walking route between Hawley Road and Frimley Stn.) where one crosses the Northbound road first, and the observation/evasion time drops down to something like 1.5-4 seconds. <(

Assuming that I've got my observation/evasion times right (I'm going on an in-brain simulation here.) then I hope to the Gods that I and NR employees are the only people who ever use that crossing! :eek:

Farewell... <D
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Coxster

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If it is out-of-use then it should surely be fenced off and signs erected telling you of that?
 

paul1609

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According to the latest ordance survey map this is a public footpath so the crossing is unlikely to be closed. I have a copy of the relevant railway safety principles and guidance book which states that for a footpath crossing;
"The warning time should be greater than the time required by users to traverse the crossing surface between the decision points at either end of the crossing. In assessing the speed at which the users will traverse the crossing, allowance should be made for the mobility of the likely users and the type of crossing"

The decision point is where the user faces the Stop, Look and Listen Board.
The crossing speed is normally calculated at 1 to 1.2 metres per second.

The document continues" Where the warning time is insufficent, additional protective equipment may be provided as follows;
a) audible warnings from trains - whistle boards positioned not more than 400m from the crossing.

I've assessed all the crossings on the K&ESR as part of our safety case exemption and you really have to carry out a site visit to say whether a crossing meets the criteria or not.

For my money the most dangerous crossings on NR must be on the Brighton Line north of Gatwick where there are footpath crossings over 4 lines all with a line speed of 90 mph and a very high frequency of trains
 

TheSlash

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For my money the most dangerous crossings on NR must be on the Brighton Line north of Gatwick where there are footpath crossings over 4 lines all with a line speed of 90 mph and a very high frequency of trains
If thats the one i am thinking of, it's got very good sighting distance, i know a few foot crossings that would make you cringe ;)
 

turbo mick

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hi everyone

Most of the crossing are not to my taste i drive the north downs regular.

I had a near miss at farnborough north stn a 165 pulling out of the station going towards north camp some passangers walked out behind the train when i was approaching doing 70mph.

One of our drivers had a fatality he hit a guy down at gomshall some time back and the H&S CHECKED all the Whistle boards allong the route for timing .

I blow my whistle all the time even early hours at foot crossing

cheers

mick
 

Coxster

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I had a near miss at farnborough north stn a 165 pulling out of the station going towards north camp some passangers walked out behind the train when i was approaching doing 70mph.
Seems that is a fiarly common thing to happen at Farnborough North, despite very clear red/green lights. A report dating from as far back as 1994 can be found at http://www.hants.gov.uk/scrmxn/c13945.html but still no footbridge has been erected. I have heard of a few incidents and near-misses at the Farnborough crossing.
 

The 158 Man

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whistles aren't compulsory (To my knowlege anyway) it would seem that a lot of drivers ignore it.
Whistle boards are compulsory.

There's around 15 whistle boards on the York - Scarborough line and a lot of those get ignored by some drivers too. It really annoys me. It's asking for trouble. :sad11:
 

paul1609

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Theres been a lot of aggravation over the use of horns down here in Sussex. The coastway line has loads of crossings. The problem came about when the slammers were replaced by the 377s. The horns are much too load, at night I can hear a 377 start away from Angmering station which is 3 miles away from my house!
When residents complained they got the usual railway industry its all for safety bull**** and nothing was done. The local council got involved measuring the db experienced and threatened to issued a noise abatement order against Southern the local TOC. Suddenly there was a huge amount of back pedalling by the rail industry and a lot of the whistle boards have been removed and the trains no longer sound their horns when starting accross the cctv crossings. Ive even seen the local nimbys out taking the train numbers of rogue drivers sounding their horns (either that or they are closet trainspotters).
 

rmt

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Theres been a lot of aggravation over the use of horns down here in Sussex. The coastway line has loads of crossings. The problem came about when the slammers were replaced by the 377s. The horns are much too load, at night I can hear a 377 start away from Angmering station which is 3 miles away from my house!
When residents complained they got the usual railway industry its all for safety bull**** and nothing was done. The local council got involved measuring the db experienced and threatened to issued a noise abatement order against Southern the local TOC. Suddenly there was a huge amount of back pedalling by the rail industry and a lot of the whistle boards have been removed and the trains no longer sound their horns when starting accross the cctv crossings. Ive even seen the local nimbys out taking the train numbers of rogue drivers sounding their horns (either that or they are closet trainspotters).
Thats daft that.

I live about 3/4's of a mile from a busy line, and at certain times of day, I can hear the trains approaching Kirton Lane LC (about 3 miles from my house) and sounding their horns. Perhaps its because theres not much between me and there. No one has complained yet.
 
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