How rare are manually operated crossings these days?

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Shimbleshanks

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Had an email from a friend just back from a country ramble in the Strood area:
<<How rare are manually operated level-crossing gates in the South-East?

Was very surprised to see them yesterday, at Cuxton, the first station out of Strood on the Medway Valley Line. A half-hourly service, with several peak trains from Maidstone West extended to St Pancras, so presumably operated by Javelins – which makes it even more unusual.

The lane is a dead-end, serving a boatyard and several businesses. Bloke limps out of the cabin and works the old-fashioned gates. Lane is narrower than the permanent way, so each gate extends over only one track.>>

I'm speculating here, but could the reason for retention of manual gates here be because (a)It's still a 'public' crossing in that it's on a public road, albeit a dead-end lane and (b) because of the frequency of the train service (and maybe because of the nature of some of the users...) automation isn't seen as desirable. (c) Could proximity to a station also have something to do with it?

I'd imagine that manually operated crossings (especially ones with no mechanism to operate them from the signal box) are getting rare everywhere, not just in south-east England.
 
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Kite159

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One station which surprised me in having manual gates was at Elsenham, in Essex. A line which sees an off-peak frequency of 4 trains an hour in each direction. The operator must get a good work out opening & closing those gates.

But they are getting a rare sight in the South East
 

thenorthern

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There are a fair few user operated crossings on quieter lines for access between two parts of a farm but on busier lines normally there are cattle creeps.
 

steamybrian

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East Farleigh and Wateringbury also on the Medway Valley Line have manually operated gates
There are also manually operated gates at Wye and Chartham on the Ashford- Canterbury line.
Lydd Town on the freight only Dungeness branch has train crew operated crossing gates. Most road traffic however uses the adjacent road overbridge
 
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theironroad

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Brundall gardens (or brundall?) Between Norwich and great Yarmouth had someone standing next to gates.
 

tsr

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Brundall gardens (or brundall?) Between Norwich and great Yarmouth had someone standing next to gates.

You'll be thinking of Brundall, as Brundall Gardens only has a (rather interesting) footbridge - the road to Brundall Gardens is a dead end and the entrance to the station is through a hole in a hedge at the end of a track, whereas the road past Brundall is a bit busier!
 

Crossover

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Coombe Junction has a user worked crossing in the vicinity of the points to change between branches. Someone was using it when I visited a few weeks ago
 

6Gman

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Had an email from a friend just back from a country ramble in the Strood area:
<<How rare are manually operated level-crossing gates in the South-East?

Was very surprised to see them yesterday, at Cuxton, the first station out of Strood on the Medway Valley Line. A half-hourly service, with several peak trains from Maidstone West extended to St Pancras, so presumably operated by Javelins – which makes it even more unusual.

The lane is a dead-end, serving a boatyard and several businesses. Bloke limps out of the cabin and works the old-fashioned gates. Lane is narrower than the permanent way, so each gate extends over only one track.>>

I'm speculating here, but could the reason for retention of manual gates here be because (a)It's still a 'public' crossing in that it's on a public road, albeit a dead-end lane and (b) because of the frequency of the train service (and maybe because of the nature of some of the users...) automation isn't seen as desirable. (c) Could proximity to a station also have something to do with it?

I'd imagine that manually operated crossings (especially ones with no mechanism to operate them from the signal box) are getting rare everywhere, not just in south-east England.

It might be helpful if we could define what is meant by a "manually operated crossing" in this context. It could be any, all (or fewer :D ) of the following:

a) where a signalman/ crossing keeper winds a big handle;
b) where a signalman/ crossing keeper unlatches said gate(s) and heaves them into position;
c) where a member of the public does b) above;
d) where a private individual (e.g. a farmer) does b) above to move from field to field.

I suspect that they are:

a) now very rare
b) pretty rare
c) pretty common
d) very common.
 

Shimbleshanks

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It might be helpful if we could define what is meant by a "manually operated crossing" in this context. It could be any, all (or fewer :D ) of the following:

a) where a signalman/ crossing keeper winds a big handle;
b) where a signalman/ crossing keeper unlatches said gate(s) and heaves them into position;
c) where a member of the public does b) above;
d) where a private individual (e.g. a farmer) does b) above to move from field to field.

I suspect that they are:

a) now very rare
b) pretty rare
c) pretty common
d) very common.

I think I can safely say we mean (a) or (b) ie where the railway deems it necessary to pay someone whose sole or main job is to control a level crossing.

Interesting replies too on the forum - many thanks. It suggests that there are a few railway-operated manual crossings up and down the country but they are indeed becoming rare beasts.
CL
 

Ash Bridge

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Would this one count? Norbury Hollow Crossing on the former LNW Stockport to Buxton line.
 

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jopsuk

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The one at Elsenham continues to amaze me. Is there a timeline for its replacement? Obviously a road bridge would be "tricky"
 

greaterwest

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Would the one at Farnborough North count?



And this one near Llanfairpwll?
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...evel_crossing_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1718286.jpg
 

Henbury Loop

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I cannot believe this one hasn't been mentioned.

St Mary's Crossing is a minor level crossing for an access road between Brimscombe and Chalford - Gloucestershire.

It serves solely a former mill which is now industrial units, it is still manned with one having to ring the bell on the gate to alert the crossing keeper.

I should mention it is on the main Kemble to Gloucester line.
 

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Mugby

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Hilton Crossing gates on the Derby - Stoke line are manually operated by a crossing keeper.

Also, I'm sure I've seen wheel operated gates at Sleaford West?
 

TheEdge

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There is another Wherry Line one although I forget the name of the road but it's between Brundall and Buckenham. It's on the road to the RSPB reserve at Buckenham
 

DarloRich

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Had an email from a friend just back from a country ramble in the Strood area:
<<How rare are manually operated level-crossing gates in the South-East?

Was very surprised to see them yesterday, at Cuxton, the first station out of Strood on the Medway Valley Line. A half-hourly service, with several peak trains from Maidstone West extended to St Pancras, so presumably operated by Javelins – which makes it even more unusual.

The lane is a dead-end, serving a boatyard and several businesses. Bloke limps out of the cabin and works the old-fashioned gates. Lane is narrower than the permanent way, so each gate extends over only one track.>>

I'm speculating here, but could the reason for retention of manual gates here be because (a)It's still a 'public' crossing in that it's on a public road, albeit a dead-end lane and (b) because of the frequency of the train service (and maybe because of the nature of some of the users...) automation isn't seen as desirable. (c) Could proximity to a station also have something to do with it?

I'd imagine that manually operated crossings (especially ones with no mechanism to operate them from the signal box) are getting rare everywhere, not just in south-east England.


Do you mean user operated crossings or crossings with a crossing keeper? If the former there will be many thousands. The later I don't know but suspect there may be more than you think. The Yarmouth line has a couple of fine examples.
 

steamybrian

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ge-gn

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There is another Wherry Line one although I forget the name of the road but it's between Brundall and Buckenham. It's on the road to the RSPB reserve at Buckenham

Strumpshaw. Interestingly normally closed to road traffic rather than rail traffic.
 

Shimbleshanks

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Do you mean user operated crossings or crossings with a crossing keeper? If the former there will be many thousands. The later I don't know but suspect there may be more than you think. The Yarmouth line has a couple of fine examples.

I meant crossing-keeper- or signalman-operated crossings. I'm inclined to agree that, while not exactly numerous and obviously on the decline, they're not as rare as I thought.
 

JohnB57

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I came across Fiskerton, on the Nottingham to Lincoln line a couple of weeks ago, by accident. Not only is this a manually operated crossing, but it's also a pretty good photo location - which I found on a day I didn't have my camera!
 
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