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Level crossing collision in Luxembourg

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Bikeman78

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See video in link below. I will never understand why people don't ram through the barrier in these situations. Those barriers are flimsy, a car would easily break through. I certainly wouldn't wait until nine seconds before impact to vacate the car! I wonder how the driver was injured, flying debris perhaps? Interesting that the pantograph has already dropped on the loco.

RTL Today - Updated - video: Train crashes into car at railway crossing gate in Bertrange

The accident occurred on Rue de Mamer.

The police conveyed that the driver suffered injuries in the process, and pictures from the scene reveal that significant damage was caused to both the vehicle and the crossing gate.

At the time of the accident, 34 passengers were on the train. None of them suffered any injuries.
 
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jamesontheroad

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See video in link below. I will never understand why people don't ram through the barrier in these situations. Those barriers are flimsy, a car would easily break through.

It's impossible to predict how we will react under such a situation; but at least the driver exited the vehicle. This could have been much worse.
 

Grumpy Git

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I would hazard a guess that the wheel you see lying next to the white van could have hit the passenger, along with the barrier whipping-outwards and that would really hurt! Notice there is no sign of either her or the pedestrian after the loco clears the crossing!

As to why the hell she didn't run away I really have no idea, she stood right next to the barrier?
 

Bikeman78

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I would hazard a guess that the wheel you see lying next to the white van could have hit the passenger, along with the barrier whipping-outwards and that would really hurt! Notice there is no sign of either her or the pedestrian after the loco clears the crossing!

As to why the hell she didn't run away I really have no idea, she stood right next to the barrier?
I hadn't spotted the barrier lying way up the road. The orange man is just visible behind the crossing lights next to the hedge when the train clears. I expect the driver is with him. I wonder what made the loud bang at the end of the video?
 

Grumpy Git

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Notice the child's booster seat in the debris. It really could have been horrendous, I hope she's not too badly injured?
 

Bikeman78

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Notice the child's booster seat in the debris. It really could have been horrendous, I hope she's not too badly injured?
Yes I noticed that. Getting two children out of the back of a car within 30 seconds would be a close call.
 

Falcon1200

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Presumably Luxembourg Railways do not have a system for ensuring that nothing and no-one is trapped on a full-barrier LC (as this appears to be) before signals are cleared for trains, as would be the case in the UK ?
 

Gloster

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I think a lot of full-barrier crossings on the continent do not have CCTV, although I do not know the exact situation in Luxembourg. It is assumed that car drivers have enough brains not to act stupidly on a level-crossing and, if they do get caught on the crossing, to know that they can drive through the lightweight barriers. Generally people do act sensibly and there is also a general attitude, including a legal one, that if something like this happens, it is the driver that is responsible for his/her own safety (and also they should not endanger others). Unfortunately, there are always those who make a mess of things: I wonder if the vehicle failed/stalled during an attempt to drive out of the entry side or similar after a momentary panic.
 
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MarcVD

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Presumably Luxembourg Railways do not have a system for ensuring that nothing and no-one is trapped on a full-barrier LC (as this appears to be) before signals are cleared for trains, as would be the case in the UK ?
That solution is not used because it leads to an unacceptably long delay between the closing of the barriers and the passage of the train, resulting in drivers becoming impatient and driving around the barriers.

Interesting that the pantograph has already dropped on the loco.

Standard belgian procedure in case of obstacles on the track.
1 : emergency brake
2 : down pantographs
3 : flashing headlights
4 : radio alarm (gsm-r)
 

Bikeman78

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Presumably Luxembourg Railways do not have a system for ensuring that nothing and no-one is trapped on a full-barrier LC (as this appears to be) before signals are cleared for trains, as would be the case in the UK ?
Good point. I've only been to Luxembourg a few times so I don't know how their level crossings work. Most crossings in Belgium are automatic with half barriers.
 

XAM2175

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Presumably Luxembourg Railways do not have a system for ensuring that nothing and no-one is trapped on a full-barrier LC (as this appears to be) before signals are cleared for trains, as would be the case in the UK ?
I think a lot of full-barrier crossings on the continent do not have CCTV, although I do not know the exact situation in Luxembourg. ...
To the best of my knowledge the UK's fanatical obsession with supervised level-crossings is nowadays very much the exception even amongst other developed countries - though most countries that have accepted widespread automation of crossings have at the same time mostly stopped using full-width barriers.
 

siemens

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Most countries outside of the UK have 100% automated level crossings with no supervision. This includes pretty much all of the full barrier crossings outside of the UK too. Even the Republic Of Ireland now has automated unsupervised full barrier level crossings. I think the UK is definitely an exception with having all of our full barrier level crossings operated manually and supervised. So i think that in Luxembourg they are most likely automated and unsupervised which explains how the driver had got stuck. I agree though that i really do not understand why people do not just crash through the barriers in such situations. The barriers are very light and easy to crash through. Broken barriers can be easily repaired and is much better than risking people being seriously injured or dead through a collision.
 

Gag Halfrunt

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If you don't know that you can smash through the barriers, are you going to try it or use the time to get out of the car and walk off the crossing?
 

Bikeman78

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To the best of my knowledge the UK's fanatical obsession with supervised level-crossings is nowadays very much the exception even amongst other developed countries - though most countries that have accepted widespread automation of crossings have at the same time mostly stopped using full-width barriers.
It's fascinating to watch. I was at 't Harde in the The Netherlands. A non stop train approached, it was clearly visible long before the crossing started to close. 25 seconds after the crossing started going ding ding ding, the front of the train passed over it at 140 km/h. Clearly most countries think this is an acceptable risk. It benefits the majority of road users as the road is blocked for a shorter period of time.

If you don't know that you can smash through the barriers, are you going to try it or use the time to get out of the car and walk off the crossing?
Well the lady in the video had already wasted 15-20 seconds doing goodness knows what. If I were daft enough to get in that situation I'd have been out of the car a lot earlier and sprinting down the road!
 

siemens

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I think the USA is even worse. I have seen videos of some level crossings in the USA where there barriers only go down about ten seconds before the train passes through. It would be interesting to see if there are any statistics on level crossing accidents in various countries. I wonder whether or not the UK has less level crossing accidents than Mainland Europe has.
 

Gag Halfrunt

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The assumption in the US is that impatient drivers will go around the barriers if they are lowered with plenty of time to spare.

 

Bikeman78

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This video clip showing a Police chasing another car shows how utterly flimsy crossing barriers are.

Amazing high-speed police chase as car smashes through level crossing barrier - YouTube

Here's a Network Rail video of more crossing madness. In the clip starting at 17 seconds they all get out of the car commendably quickly (though why did they stop in the first place?) but then it's takes another 20 seconds before the driver decides to smash through the barrier.

Amazing videos of cars and people having a near miss with trains at level crossings - YouTube
 

Falcon1200

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That solution is not used because it leads to an unacceptably long delay between the closing of the barriers and the passage of the train, resulting in drivers becoming impatient and driving around the barriers.

How can drivers drive around barriers across the full width of the road ?! They would have to smash through them, twice.
 

185

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Deserving of a substantial jail sentence for the risk to life she caused. The position of the car on the wrong side of the road suggests the car was trying to avoid (second-stage, wrongside) dropping barriers.
 

61653 HTAFC

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This video clip showing a Police chasing another car shows how utterly flimsy crossing barriers are.

Amazing high-speed police chase as car smashes through level crossing barrier - YouTube

Here's a Network Rail video of more crossing madness. In the clip starting at 17 seconds they all get out of the car commendably quickly (though why did they stop in the first place?) but then it's takes another 20 seconds before the driver decides to smash through the barrier.

Amazing videos of cars and people having a near miss with trains at level crossings - YouTube
That second video has some good examples of how the panic causes people to act in ways that seem counterintuitive. In particular the car which gets pretty much all the way across (damaging the exit-side barrier in the process) before deciding to reverse back off the crossing through the other barrier being a case in point.
 

MarcVD

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How can drivers drive around barriers across the full width of the road ?! They would have to smash through them, twice.

Level crossings with full width barriers are not very frequent in Belgium. May be 1 in 50 ...
 

Falcon1200

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Level crossings with full width barriers are not very frequent in Belgium. May be 1 in 50 ...

Fair enough, but I understood the point you were making in your earlier quote (as below) was that proving that full barrier crossings are clear before clearing signals for trains takes too long and leads to crossing misuse; Half barrier crossings are a different thing altogether.

That solution is not used because it leads to an unacceptably long delay between the closing of the barriers and the passage of the train, resulting in drivers becoming impatient and driving around the barriers.
 

MarcVD

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Fair enough, but I understood the point you were making in your earlier quote (as below) was that proving that full barrier crossings are clear before clearing signals for trains takes too long and leads to crossing misuse; Half barrier crossings are a different thing altogether.

With full barriers you don’t have the risk of motorists driving around them, sure, but you still have pedestrians, cyclists, diving under them to cross, and even motorists acquiring bad habits and thinking the long delay would also exist at half barrier crossings.

As far as I know, detectors expected to check that space between barriers is free have been tried in the past but have proven to be more troublesome than useful.

And finally, railway infrastructure companies like to standardize everything they can and probably won't find worth it to maintain a different interlocking system for the 1% of level crossing that have full barriers.

As a result of that, no such check is made, and it is even not guaranteed that the first train that arrives at a malfunctioning level crossing will be stopped before it by the lineside signals. Level crossing malfunction will bring the previous signals down, but the first train may very well be between the guarding signal and the level crossing already, thus with nothing that can still stop it in time.
 

Bikeman78

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As far as I know, detectors expected to check that space between barriers is free have been tried in the past but have proven to be more troublesome than useful.
That is definitely true. The obstacle detection system on the crossings between Crewe and Shrewsbury often causes trouble. Obstacle detection wouldn't work for automatic crossings anyway because the train is usually within the braking distance when the crossing starts to close to road traffic.
 
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