How many flat crossings are left?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by richieb1971, 17 May 2015.

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  1. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    [​IMG]

    The picture above is where the Hitchin/Bedford railway (Hitchin going off in the distance) crosses the Oxford/Cambridge line circa 1964.

    I have seen one north of Newark but I don't know anything about the line. Anymore? And can you get near them?
     
  2. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    The (official?) term for them is flat crossing. Newark is the only one left where two standard gauge passenger lines cross. One also exists at Porthmadog, where the NR line crosses with the narrow gauge Welsh Highland Railway.
     
  3. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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  4. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I think Lewisham is a Switch Diamond.

    The pic above just has lines going across each other so I'm not sure if there is any point work. They just cross and would be protected by signals ?

    Lewisham has moving points and is protected by signals and diverging routes with the points.

    I assume that with the interlocking and higher levels of protection required nowadays that the flat crossings are no longer to standards ?
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I don't know about protection, but they are hard on the wheels. Hitting the Newark one at linespeed (110mph I think) can result in a very lively response.
     
  6. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I think that one is still 100. To be honest I think they need to get rid of obstacles like these (on main lines) so trains can run at higher average speeds and to reduce maintenance costs.
     
  7. High Dyke

    High Dyke Established Member

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    Access to the one at Newark is fairly difficult, there is no public access. One of the best views is from the A46 bypass flyover... (not my photo) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2740089

    Which is why the maximum linespeed over the ECML side of it is 100mph - however you are correct it does give a lively response.

    The crossing is protected by signals and also SPAD indicators on both the Down ECML and Down Midland. The signal on the Up ECML means that approaching trains are held at the previous signal due to the overlap distance. Up Midland trains are a sufficient distance back from the crossing when stopped at a protecting signal.
     
  8. dzug2

    dzug2 Member

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    You can get near the site of the Bedford one on a Bedford Bletchley train.

    Not sure where the new spur to the new St Johns and Midland stations is in relation to the old flat crossing though
     
  9. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    Also think its time it went, more important to get rid of things like this than spend money on other things. Would reduce maintenance costs and also train delay cost and be far safer knowing that regardless of safety items fitted that a train could not run into a train running across it at the same time. Is there trap points fitted to in case signals are passed to derail the train then?

    In 2014 its something that should be high priority to be removed, a higher priority than maned level crossings but then these get rid of staff who man them so more cost effective for them to be removed.
     
  10. High Dyke

    High Dyke Established Member

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    It looks like the spur now runs to the east of the Hitchin alignment and crosses over near to where the flat crossing was situated.

    Old maps here: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/bedford_st_johns/
     
  11. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    NR have said many times that they want to be rid of it, but it is a very difficult one to manage given the geography of the area. An opportunity was missed when the A46 bridge was built, but at the time BR (RailTrack?) didn't have the money.
     
  12. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    There's now a scheme in the road programme to dual the A46 Newark relief road, which will presumably involve either widening the bridge over the ECML or building a new bridge alongside. It still has to go through all its design and approval stages so it's probably 6-10 years away from starting construction.
     
  13. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Attached is a map of the old St Johns with drawings showing the crossing location. It is not accessible without trespassing on NR land.

    I am assuming the Newark crossing picture posted above has a fair amount of zoom on it? No point me going there to video if I have to zoom 30x to get a view like that.

    Which station on RTT is best to represent what cross the ECML at that location? Does any freight go over it or just units?
     

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  14. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Judge the distance from Google maps, doesn't look that far to me.
    If you mean at Newark, then Newark Castle is the closest station.
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2015
  15. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    The location appears to be a busy road, so probably not a great spot for video.
     
  16. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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  17. 45rpm

    45rpm Member

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    Not in the U.K but not too far away,there is one at Limerick Junction,just north of the station.
     
  18. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    There does seem to be a path around the sewage works from the Newark Castle car park. How much of it is public access I have no idea. There is only one video showing the crossing on youtube and appears to be filmed by a network rail worker walking along the track.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiffBGWTjjk
     
  19. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    If you're after a timing location rather than specifically a passenger station, all trains on both routes (and around the 1980s - ? - curve) appear to be timed at Newark F.C.. There's a reasonable amount of freight on each line but, as others have said, the A46 flyover (whilst very close) is rather busy and noisy.
     
  20. Trog

    Trog Established Member

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    The picture is looking towards Bedford with Hitchin behind you. The spur you refer to can be seen crossing the double track as a second flat crossing under the train. The new St Johns station is now under the bridge in the right background of the photo.
     
  21. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Your right. I thought the double arched bridge in the background looked a bit weird.
     
  22. Ploughman

    Ploughman Established Member

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    This was Newark being relaid in the early 80's.
    It has been redone at least once since then.
     

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  23. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    Just look what plant they are using for the replacement job then? no very large road mounted cranes to be seen. Its just the good old breakdown cranes from the nearest loco depot,s one most probably been Doncaster Carr Loco,s crane and the rest of the breakdown train just in case it had to go to a derailment.

    In them days all the cost was kept in house in this case instead of hiring in large road cranes needing bases constructing beforehand .

    Them was the days.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2015
  24. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would have thought one of Volker Rails Kirow family of rail cranes would be able to just as a good a job as those in the picture above. No road cranes required...
     
  25. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    Actually the bulk of the work done with the heavy breakdown cranes was always jobs for the engineers; derailments needing the "big hook" were actually few and far between, most just needed the tool vans which contained jacks and ramps etc. Sure, they were always kept on the front road of their loco depot, mainly for ready availability of a loco to go anywhere, but most of their work was planned in advance. There were various procedures if there was an incident while they were in use, just like there were if you were unlucky enough to get two incidents together, or one which needed two cranes (as big civils jobs often did).

    I've forgotten where the big hook came from for Taunton jobs, something tells me it was Swindon. A photo I recall of the crane once overturned in Swindon scrap yard attempting to pick up a boiler from a scrap loco shows there were all sorts of things to use them for (presumably the Old Oak Common one had to come and pick up it's sibling).
     
  26. Strathclyder

    Strathclyder Established Member

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  27. satisnek

    satisnek Member

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    In terms of safety, surely a flat crossing is no different to a converging junction?
     
  28. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Except that a converging accident is usually not as spectacular as a head on one.
     
  29. zuriblue

    zuriblue Member

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    Quite a few on the Continent, there are a couple near me in Switzerland where tramways or interurbans cross the big railway.

    For instance in Oberentfelden near Aarau there's a crossing at a level crossing where the local metre gauge interurban (Wynental und Suhrental bahn) crosses the Standard Gauge SBB line from Suhr to Zofingen. To make it even more interesting the WSB is electrified at 750 VDC (due to street running) and the SBB line at the standard 15 kV 16.7 Hz.

    You occasionally see the rather unusual sight of a train being held at the gates of a level crossing for another train,
     
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