Girls killed by train at crossing

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Max

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A very sad affair, however, it seems that it was their fault, as witnesses say the lights and bells were ringing at the level crossing :(

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/essex/3472865.stm

Two teenage girls were killed on Saturday as they tried to go over a pedestrian level crossing to catch their train at an Essex station.
The 14-year-olds were hit by a Central through-train heading from Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport.

It is believed the girls were trying to catch a Cambridge-bound train which was on the opposite side of the tracks at Elsenham station. An inquiry is under way, but it is being treated as a tragic accident.

A Network Rail manager told the Press Association: "It is my understanding that two witnesses saw the red lights flashing and the warblers were going when the girls tried to cross. Their train from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge had already come to a halt on the other side of the platform. It appears they didn't realise another train was coming and stepped out a couple of feet."

The crossing has a system of warning lights and warblers

A spokesman for Central said: "The train involved was the 0724 GMT Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport service. It was a through-train which would not have stopped at Elsenham, but calls at Cambridge, Audley End and Stansted Airport."

The type of train was a class 158 Super Sprinter with a maximum speed of 90 mph. The speed it was travelling at the time will be part of the investigation. A spokesperson for British Transport Police said they were treating it as a tragic accident.

The line to Stansted Airport was shut, but reopened at 1500 GMT. The incident also affected One Railway Services from Liverpool Street to Cambridge.
 
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Tom B

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Jordy said:
Oh dear what an awful accident, yet another disaster involving level crossings :( :roll:

Jordy
Not really, another "disaster", just two people who think the rules don't apply to them and who appear oblivious to large red lights and klaxons...
 

voyagerdude220

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ChrisA said:
Terrible shame. When will people learn?

I feel sorry for the driver. Must be hard for him (or her) to come to terms with what has happened.
Yep, that's what I first thought when I heard about this on the news. I also thought though, "I wonder how they got there in the first place" (Before I heard the full details of what had happened)
 

ChrisM

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I feel for the families involved and for the train driver but once again it 'seems' the railways are subject to blame for something that they had no control over.
 

ChrisA

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ChrisM said:
I feel for the families involved and for the train driver but once again it 'seems' the railways are subject to blame for something that they had no control over.
I quite agree with you. It clearly states there were barriers and sounds.

How could anyone cope with loosing a relative of such a young age so close to christmas?
 

91119

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Sympathies to the driver and the families of the victims.

Wonder how long it'll take Bob Crow to jump on the band wagon? :roll:
 

David

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91119 said:
Wonder how long it'll take Bob Crow to jump on the band wagon? :roll:
He jumped on the bandwagon straight away. He is also saying it will cost £1m to install a footbridge :shock: :roll:
 

Sprog

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Coxster said:
ChrisA said:
This topic has made me remember these adverts which they show in Australia. VERY effective, if you ask me. http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/safety/rail/advertising_campaign.asp
Except the mess that drivers/fitters have to see doesn't just dissappear.
that is exactly what is required in the uk....its so bloody simple..the health dept. do a stupid advert aboyt not eatibng 2 much salt, YET, when it coems to the dangers of railways, people are completly unaware..its ridiculas....

Reading the papers this morning, they are saying that everyone, including the driver is demaning a saftey enquiry. At least they arent blaming the driver... :roll:

I may get a few peoples backs up here, but it appears to me that - though i sympathise with the famillies, the driver and the witneses of theis terrible incident-it was the girls own stupid fault.

Im not going to rant on and on about it, but growing up in this generation has shown me that there an awful lot of, quite frankily, idiotic kids, who dont think twice about saying/doing something stuopid and not giving a thought about the consequences or the risks.

Ive seen it happen so many times on and around stations, for example, at Yate stn one afternoon waiting for a train, a pair of 15/16 year old girls wondered onto the platform as a Voyager was approaching and crossed the yellow line and decided to stop and have a chat about 5 inches from the edge of the platform. Strangley, the voyager driver didnt blow up, so i grabbed one of the girls by the arm and pulled her towards me (the other being further back from the edge) she looked at me as if i was a nut, untill a couple of secionds later, the Vermin flew past and she then realised what id just done. It was very concerning and it unnerved me,let alone her.

My point is, that younger people, especially younger girls, seem to be getting less intelligent in a way. Surley, it is common sense to look both ways, before you cross a Railway, just like you would if you cross a road. But then again, ive seen manyy groups of kids sprint out in front of cars while the 'man' is red and then laugh as a car stops inches from there legs....

Its very very worrying :( :(
 

ChrisCooper

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A lot of the disregard for safety start at a young age, infuenced by parents. I was on a bus not long ago at a traffic light controlled junction with pedestrian signals. The pedestrian lights went to red and as is typical with many modern crossings there was quite a delay until the road lights went green. During this time a mother with pushchir and small child who was waiting oviously got fed up and decided to go, just as the lights were changing, and just as she began to move the bus driver hit the accelerator, but luckely both he and her had quick reactions and she and the children were on the pavement in seconds and he had hit the brake as soon as he saw her stepping out, nearly putting me and another passenger who were waiting to get off at the bext stop through the window (luckely the other, older man was holding on tight, and I grabbed on as soon as I saw her step out into the road). It's not the first time I have seen this sort of thing happen, and on one occassion I saw someone get hit by a lorry as she crossed right infront of it as the lights changed, and often the people taking the risks are mums with children (or of cource just walking across and ignoring the lights anyway). You feel that they have this attitude that the cars will stop, and pass this onto their children. Maybe (although I wouldn't count on it) the parents have the sense to no that whilst cars will stop when they walk infront of them, trains can't, but their children probably don't know this, an probably imagine the worst case scenario being a bollocking from a train driver who has screeched to a halt inches from them, as has happened with road vehicles so many times.
 

Tom B

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It is utterly stupid. Their parents are now moaning that the gates should have been locked? Excuse me? If there's a bleedin' great siren going off, the barriers are down and there's a large, red light and you are stupid enough to go accross the line, what can be done to stop you? If the gates were locked they'd just climb over them.
 

91119

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ChrisA said:
It clearly states there were barriers and sounds.
spm_43030 said:
I may get a few peoples backs up here, but it appears to me that - though i sympathise with the famillies, the driver and the witneses of theis terrible incident-it was the girls own stupid fault.
The BBC report also states that the train they were trying to catch had already stopped in the opposite platform. Perhaps they thought that the red light and warning sounds were for that train and didn't think to check the other line. A naive decision to make, but hardly one that warrants "they got what they deserved" comments. A bit of empathy wouldn't go amiss here.

The photo on the report shows a photo with the old style crossing gates. I thought foot crossing gates were locked at the same time as the road gates? If this is the case can anyone explain why Elsenham is different (I'm assuming the foot crossing is in the same place as the road one)?
 

Tomnick

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In many cases the 'wicket' gates aren't lockable, as at Elsenham (however there's the added protection of the red/green miniature lights in this case). Even where they can be locked, they're generally not interlocked with the signalling, so pedestrians can be allowed to cross after a train has been signalled. I suppose that if they were locked at the same time as the road gates were closed, then people would be tempted to cross directly between platform faces, diagonally across the crossing, rather than waiting the usual four or five minutes. If the gates are locked at a later stage, then it's always possible that the crossing keeper's attention may be distracted at the crucial moment - offering little or no protection to anyone crossing, with no warning other than 'stop, look, listen' of an approaching train. The existing system seems ideal for a fairly busy crossing (flexibility of allowing pedestrians to cross later than road traffic, but some form of additional warning of a closely approaching train), but does rely on users following the instructions. However, if you did lock the gates - would everyone stand patiently waiting for the train(s) to pass? I think not.
 

Sprog

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I have empathy alright, but, as i stated, its more for the famillies, witnesses and driver. A report on the incident tells of a woman on the opposite side witnessing the girls being hit and at the same time, a woman working on the station hearing a 'thud' and comming out of the station buuilding to find the appalling 'mess' left over and the previosuly mentioned woman screaming uncontrollably.

I have persoanlly witnessed a suicide at Stafford ( AS it happened) and the resulting 'mess' afterwards, and it makes me sick to the stomach everytime i think about it.

But, you missed my main point 91119, that the girls should have looked both ways, as most peoples common sense would tell them before darting across a double track railway line. This essential percaution was comnpletley disregarded by the girls, and for that, it is almsot entirely their fault.

I never claimed they got what they deserved, no one deseves to be hit by hundreds of tonnes of steel moving at speed.

Thats my say, i did warn it may annoy a few of you...
 

ikar

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Cockfosters said:
It is utterly stupid. Their parents are now moaning that the gates should have been locked? Excuse me? If there's a bleedin' great siren going off, the barriers are down and there's a large, red light and you are stupid enough to go accross the line, what can be done to stop you? If the gates were locked they'd just climb over them.
Then they would need to put a electrified wire on to it.

Sad thing indeed, similar things happen here in Croatia, but then everebody starts to think about rail saftey and how we got only 20% AHB LC, and the other 80% has a sign that saies STOP. Still people get killed every day.
 

yorkie

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every time an incident like this the same (needless) argument crops up.
91119 said:
ChrisA said:
It clearly states there were barriers and sounds.
spm_43030 said:
I may get a few peoples backs up here, but it appears to me that - though i sympathise with the famillies, the driver and the witneses of theis terrible incident-it was the girls own stupid fault.
The BBC report also states that the train they were trying to catch had already stopped in the opposite platform. Perhaps they thought that the red light and warning sounds were for that train and didn't think to check the other line. A naive decision to make, but hardly one that warrants "they got what they deserved" comments. A bit of empathy wouldn't go amiss here.
Unfortunately, due to the times we live in, certain people try to blame the railways for tragic incidents like this.

People then (righty) point out that it is not the railways to blame, and that the correct procedures were not followed by the unfortunate victims.

I don't see anything wrong with that. spm_43030 does not say "they got what they deserved". As far as I can tell "they got what they deserved" was not a quote used or even implied by spm_43030 or anyone else.

I would like to ask for people to please respect other people's opinions, not to misquote people and not to accuse people of saying things, or implying things, that they did not say.

As for the safety aspect, I concur with Tomnick's assessment.

At the end of the day you cannot stop the occasional incident like this.

Why is it that when someone runs into a car on a road it's accepted as a tragic accident, yet on the railways the HSE mafia go crazy?
 

Tomnick

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Precisely - as has been said elsewhere, there's far more pedestrian crossings on roads (the vast majority of which are completely unsignalled - indeed, crossing a road at any point away from a proper crossing point is fairly normal) than on railways, and no doubt (though I've not got the figures to back this up) many more people are killed while crossing roads than crossing railways. Yet I don't hear calls for roads to be securely fenced off, and lockable gates to be provided at certain crossing points only...
 

91119

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I may have over reacted slightly with my last post. I'd came here from reading "they got what they deserved" comments elsewhere. Comments like these annoy me just as much as ones blaming the railway. This was an accident and in my opinion doesn't warrant such comments. Those two girls made a silly mistake, if they'd been playing chicken then maybe such comments could have been justified, but not in these circumstances.
I wasn't trying to suggest that anyone had said that on this thread.

Thanks for the clarification about the crossing gates.
 
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no disrespect to the dead... but shame they didn't live to learn the lesson. they were irresponsible, and paid dearly. where was the guy who shuts the gate? couldn't he have yelled? or was it too late? we dunno.

i'll bet their parents will need to live with the fact that they may not have taught their precious little darlings how to read signs and listen to warning buzzers.
 

jd

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I think there's a bit of confusion here - if I understand correctly, this wasn't a road level crossing but a crossing for passengers to get from one platform to the other. I'm guessing there isn't a crossing keeper, or barriers.
 

Tomnick

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Methinks that's possibly a little harsh, given the circumstances - and that you're also confusing 'irresponsible' with 'excited'. I'm sure we've all been rushing to get to something we've been looking forward to, and maybe, with our mind on other things, overlooked something pretty important. That's all the two girls in question did - they were very unlucky this time though. It's an easy mistake to make, I'm sure - with very tragic consequences, in this case.

I'm also not quite sure we can blame the crossing keeper - having shut the road gates and released the signals for the two trains, there's no more for him to do until the trains have cleared the track circuits and he's able to release the gates. There's certainly no need to keep watching the crossing continuously - and in any case, a couple of seconds was all it would have taken for the girls to open the gate and start crossing the line.
 

Tomnick

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jd said:
I think there's a bit of confusion here - if I understand correctly, this wasn't a road level crossing but a crossing for passengers to get from one platform to the other. I'm guessing there isn't a crossing keeper, or barriers.
Just to clarify - the pedestrian crossing was provided alongside the main road crossing, to allow pedestrians to continue crossing after the road gates had been closed to traffic. The crossing keeper is responsible for the main gates only.
 

Jim

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TBH, why should the parent's get any media attention (as on the beeb a few days back), it was the girls' fault, why should any thing be changed. For example, If i walked on to the 3rd rail & burnt myself, even if there is a warning, does this mean we should get rid of 3rd rails. IMO, this is crazy, if her kids obeyed the rules, the would not ave been killed :roll:
 

jd

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AlexS said:
I do find this all very interesting... and I wonder which of you all would have the guts to go up to the bereaved parents and say this to them?
Alex has a point. It's all very well saying they should have done this, aren't they silly etc...

Basically it was an accident, they were in a rush to catch the train and didn't look before they crossed - probably a bit silly, but who can honestly say they've never made a mistake before? However, the parents are totally wrong to say we should remove all LCs! If someone gets killed at a pelican crossing because they cross when the red man is lit, does that mean we should get rid of road crossings, and only use bridges? Of course not!
 
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