It's a blue bridge....... But why?

Status
Not open for further replies.

sw1ller

Established Member
Joined
4 Jan 2013
Messages
1,481
Hi all.

Somebody has asked me the question.... Why is the blue bridge that crosses the tracks between Helsby and Frodsham, well, blue.

Apparently there is a reason, and I will groan when I find out why, but he's asked and I now want to know the answer.

Any ideas??

Thanks
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Grumpy

Member
Joined
8 Nov 2010
Messages
803
Hi all.

Somebody has asked me the question.... Why is the blue bridge that crosses the tracks between Helsby and Frodsham, well, blue.

Apparently there is a reason, and I will groan when I find out why, but he's asked and I now want to know the answer.

Any ideas??

Thanks

Possibly because blue deals with ultra violet better than many other colours ie should need painting less frequently than red or brown.
 

Railsigns

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2010
Messages
1,796
Red, yellow and (bright) green should all be ruled out because of possible confusion with signals (dark green is fine).
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,026
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
Red, yellow and (bright) green should all be ruled out because of possible confusion with signals (dark green is fine).

If a driver mistakes a bridge of any colour for a signal, then his/her sight is too poor to drive!

Which came first, the blue-painted bridge or the name of the road it carries (Blue Bridge Lane)? If the latter, I would assume it's been painted to honour the name. On London Underground, when Turnham Green station was refurbished in the 1990s, it was deliberately painted in various shades of green in 'tribute' to its name.
 

Railsigns

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2010
Messages
1,796
If a driver mistakes a bridge of any colour for a signal, then his/her sight is too poor to drive!

A brightly coloured bridge that's fully visible isn't a problem. The sort of situation where problems could arise is when most of the structure is hidden round a curve or behind trees and a small flash of colour from the bridge enters the driver's line of sight just as he's looking out for a signal, possibly in poor lighting conditions. Not painting large objects red, yellow or green on the operational railway is just common sense.
 

mr_towers

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2013
Messages
20
Location
Pitlochry
The bridge at Haymarket Depot over Russel Road in Edinburgh was reasonably recently painted maroon. I always wondered if it had something to do with it's proximity to Tynecastle!
 

Cherry_Picker

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2011
Messages
2,734
Location
Birmingham
A brightly coloured bridge that's fully visible isn't a problem. The sort of situation where problems could arise is when most of the structure is hidden round a curve or behind trees and a small flash of colour from the bridge enters the driver's line of sight just as he's looking out for a signal, possibly in poor lighting conditions. Not painting large objects red, yellow or green on the operational railway is just common sense.

Except for all the lamp posts at stations on Network South East back in the 90s. <(
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,026
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
Except for all the lamp posts at stations on Network South East back in the 90s. <(

And all Network Rail vehicles being bright yellow all over and appearing absolutely anywhere on the network, either running or stabled. Plus the countless brightly-coloured line-side buildings all over the country. Plus the yellow ends of virtually all rolling stock in Britain. Plus the high visibility clothing of track workers in bright sunshine. Plus the infinite variety of passengers' clothing on platforms. Plus...etc, etc. Again, if a driver cannot distinguish between a signal and anything else not actually illuminated, then...! Plus...all those bright blue SPAD signals and warnings.
 
Last edited:

sw1ller

Established Member
Joined
4 Jan 2013
Messages
1,481
If a driver mistakes a bridge of any colour for a signal, then his/her sight is too poor to drive!

Which came first, the blue-painted bridge or the name of the road it carries (Blue Bridge Lane)? If the latter, I would assume it's been painted to honour the name. On London Underground, when Turnham Green station was refurbished in the 1990s, it was deliberately painted in various shades of green in 'tribute' to its name.

Yeah, maybe I should have checked the map and I'd have seen the road name!! Bit of a dumb moment there from me.

I've just told him this is the reason and it's correct. The road has always been called blue bridge lane but they replaced the old iron (black) bridge 3 years ago and actually chose a blue one to replace it with.

Somebody put a bit of thought into it.

Thanks for all the replies
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,026
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
Yeah, maybe I should of checked the map and I'd of seen the road name!! Bit of a dumb moment there from me.

I've just told him this is the reason and it's correct. The road has always been called blue bridge lane but they replaced the old iron (black) bridge 3 years ago and actually chose a blue one to replace it with.

Somebody put a bit of thought into it.

Thanks for all the replies

Now the question is - why was the road called that in the first place?!
 

philthetube

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2016
Messages
2,835
If a driver mistakes a bridge of any colour for a signal, then his/her sight is too poor to drive!

Which came first, the blue-painted bridge or the name of the road it carries (Blue Bridge Lane)? If the latter, I would assume it's been painted to honour the name. On London Underground, when Turnham Green station was refurbished in the 1990s, it was deliberately painted in various shades of green in 'tribute' to its name.

Additionally a signal, flag, hi vis jacket etc. will not stand out against a similarly coloured background.

Bridges on the Metropolitan line are all painted blue.
 

Elecman

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2013
Messages
2,311
Location
Lancashire
Except for all the lamp posts at stations on Network South East back in the 90s. <(

And Kirkham Signalbox external handrails which had to be hurriedly repainted other than the Red colour they were painted to comply with the then architects colour scheme ( he was non railway!!)
 

Deafdoggie

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2016
Messages
1,808
Plus the high visibility clothing of track workers in bright sunshine.

Actually, the Motorway preferred Hi-Viz yellow/green is much more visible than the railway orange (which is why motorway workers wear it) but railways go for Orange, as if it were to ever be mistaken for signal, at least it is a warning one, and not a proceed one!

Train drivers are, of course, approaching these things at 125mph. It is best to avoid any and all possible confusion.
 

306024

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2013
Messages
3,246
Location
East Anglia
The bridge in the Olympic Park at Stratford, which is the only surviving part of the walking route to what was once Thornton's Field Carriage Sidings, is painted blue.

Could they be in any way related? ;)
 

sw1ller

Established Member
Joined
4 Jan 2013
Messages
1,481
The bridge in the Olympic Park at Stratford, which is the only surviving part of the walking route to what was once Thornton's Field Carriage Sidings, is painted blue.

Could they be in any way related? ;)

Unless the road leading up to it is called Blue Bridge Lane, then I doubt it.
 

306024

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2013
Messages
3,246
Location
East Anglia
Unless the road leading up to it is called Blue Bridge Lane, then I doubt it.

Obviously not a reader of Private Eye lookalikes feature, my pathetic attempt at humour fell on stoney ground. (This week the lookalikes are Sam Allardice and Meatloaf by the way).

It's a bridge over what seems to be known as Water Works River, an offshoot of the River Lea. You used to have to pass the big scary dog in the used car scrapyard to get to Thornton's Field.
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,026
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
Obviously not a reader of Private Eye lookalikes feature, my pathetic attempt at humour fell on stoney ground. (This week the lookalikes are Sam Allardice and Meatloaf by the way).

It's a bridge over what seems to be known as Water Works River, an offshoot of the River Lea. You used to have to pass the big scary dog in the used car scrapyard to get to Thornton's Field.

As one who is, I got it! I also pointed out the Meat Loaf example to friends years ago, but I'll have to let PE have it!

Regarding the avoidance of confusion for drivers between bridges and signals, I noticed yesterday that there's a newly-painted bridge structure near Elephant and Castle, sporting light and darker green paint.

At the risk of seeming curmudgeonly, I still cannot accept that the painting of any line-side structure in any colour, in any lighting, should pose the slightest risk of confusion with signals to any driver who; a) has the standard of sight required to be one, and, possibly even more importantly, b) has the required route knowledge to drive it. Even the brightest sunlight striking a painted surface cannot be compared to a true light source such as a signal head. Any possible risk of confusion, if indeed it lies anywhere, may be with, for example, NR trains in 'sunlight yellow' livery that can appear anywhere on the network at any time. If confusion with painted surfaces is really a genuine risk, why hasn't there been more effort to have bright yellow paint removed from trains, now that dazzling headlights are de rigeur? By the way, I would make a very small exception in the case of the remaining semaphores, where it is just conceivable that having a yellow or red background to a signal arm could possibly pose such a risk, but this is such a small issue that it can be handled on a local basis.

This is important because it is part of the culture that oversees the inexorable removal of basic responsibility from the individual and seeks to compensate for it by imposing external measures. If we end up with every painted/self-coloured (i.e. panelled) line-side feature - bridges, buildings, other structures, etc. - having to be painted blue, for example, we will have an ugly series of eye-sores in the general landscape (in the widest sense) for no good reason.

And rest....
 
Last edited:

philthetube

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2016
Messages
2,835
As one who is, I got it! I also pointed out the Meat Loaf example to friends years ago, but I'll have to let PE have it!

Regarding the avoidance of confusion for drivers between bridges and signals, I noticed yesterday that there's a newly-painted bridge structure near Elephant and Castle, sporting light and darker green paint.

At the risk of seeming curmudgeonly, I still cannot accept that the painting of any line-side structure in any colour, in any lighting, should pose the slightest risk of confusion with signals to any driver who; a) has the standard of sight required to be one, and, possibly even more importantly, b) has the required route knowledge to drive it. Even the brightest sunlight striking a painted surface cannot be compared to a true light source such as a signal head. Any possible risk of confusion, if indeed it lies anywhere, may be with, for example, NR trains in 'sunlight yellow' livery that can appear anywhere on the network at any time. If confusion with painted surfaces is really a genuine risk, why hasn't there been more effort to have bright yellow paint removed from trains, now that dazzling headlights are de rigeur? By the way, I would make a very small exception in the case of the remaining semaphores, where it is just conceivable that having a yellow or red background to a signal arm could possibly pose such a risk, but this is such a small issue that it can be handled on a local basis.

This is important because it is part of the culture that oversees the inexorable removal of basic responsibility from the individual and seeks to compensate for it by imposing external measures. If we end up with every painted/self-coloured (i.e. panelled) line-side feature - bridges, buildings, other structures, etc. - having to be painted blue, for example, we will have an ugly series of eye-sores in the general landscape (in the widest sense) for no good reason.

And rest....

If you have a green bridge with a green signal in front of it, or red on red then the signal could be effectively camouflaged, especially if there are other sighting issues such as washout by a low sun.

It has to be remembered that a train driver is not viewing a signal from 100 yards and thinking I must stop here, it is necessary to act from much further away because of the stopping abilities of trains compared with cars.
 

sw1ller

Established Member
Joined
4 Jan 2013
Messages
1,481
Obviously not a reader of Private Eye lookalikes feature, my pathetic attempt at humour fell on stoney ground. (This week the lookalikes are Sam Allardice and Meatloaf by the way).

It's a bridge over what seems to be known as Water Works River, an offshoot of the River Lea. You used to have to pass the big scary dog in the used car scrapyard to get to Thornton's Field.

Ah sorry, completely over my head. I'd never even heard of private eye until jimmy Carr started putting in fake ads!

As for any confusion with signals and colour of bridges, surely a drivers route knowledge and route risks would negate any danger of mistaking a bridge with a signal! No matter how dimly lit said signal was.
 

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
7,512
Location
UK
As for any confusion with signals and colour of bridges, surely a drivers route knowledge and route risks would negate any danger of mistaking a bridge with a signal! No matter how dimly lit said signal was.

It's surprisingly easy to do. The infrastructure and the numerous track features makes life very difficult at times.

We have signals hidden behind bridges !

Reading the road can be quite difficult and intense. What happens is that you filter out superfluous information. That includes signals. A big giant blue bridge can a distraction. That again leads to misreading a signal or even missing PWay etc.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top