Removal of manual LC's Doncaster ECML

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This may have been discussed before so but I couldn't find a thread.

I read that other day that all manual level crossings between Balne Lowgate and Joan Croft are to be removed and replaced with MCB's. I also note that two are going to be completley closed, I assume one of these is going to be Joan Croft as a new road bridge is being built.

Also, the signal boxes at Balne Highgate and Moss are going to be demolished in 2013.

Does anyone have any more information? What is the other crossing that is going to be closed and as all these manual crossings are on quiet roads is there any point going to the huge expense of replacing them.

Thanks.

EDIT: I also read that these crossings will be "Obstacle Detection" crossings rather than CCTV.
 
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ainsworth74

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Really? That runs counter to what I recall Network Rail have been saying, which is that job losses should be minimal as the signalling workforce is fairly mature so natural wastage should be able to cut the numbers back sufficiently to match the reduced manpower needs, failing that voluntary redundancy is the other option. Certainly I don't think they've ever suggested that there would be 'lots and lots of job losses' (suggesting people being sacked) and surely the Unions (or TSSA specifically I think) would kick up a fuss?
 

John Webb

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lots and lots of job losses as a result of the closures.

This has also been the subject of discussion on the site I linked to; the closure of boxes is a slow process, and the result seems to be that, as ainsworth74 reports, natural wastage will be the main factor. (Don't forget that even in signalling centres signallers need to have coverage for rest periods etc., as well as supervisors and the like you don't get in a manual box!)
 
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Of the crossings I know in the area that will be affected with potential job losses there is

Balne Highgate - Barrier crossing with signal box, the box will be demolished
Balne Lowgate - Manual crossing with 24hr operative in gate box
Fenwick - Manual crossing with 24hr operative in gate box
Moss - Barrier crossing with signal box, the box will be demolished
Heyworth - Manual crossing with 24hr operative in gate box
Barcroft - Manual crossing with 24hr operative in gate box
Noblethorpe - Manual crossing, 24hr operative with gate box shared resource with Dormer Green
Dormer Green - Manual crossing, 24hr operative with gate box shared resource with Noblethorpe
Joan Croft - Manual crossing with 24hr operative in gate box

I believe Joan Croft will be closed completley as there are plans to build a bridge over the ECML that will make it easier to accomadate a new rail loop between the ECML and another line. Therefore vastly reducing freight traffic on the ECML and the bridge will allow the overhead cables to lowered.

With the exception of Moss which sees a fair amount of traffic, the others see very little. It is mostly farm vehicles that use them and I doubt any cars use Noblethorpe or Dormer Green at all. I once attempted to access Dormer Green (it is on a vehicle highway) as the road continues back onto the Thorpe Marsh road but I found it wasn't passable for my Golf. I believe Noblethorpe only gives access to a field.

I cannot see how going to be huge expense of building new crossings with the new technology is neccessary in this area.

I would assume that once these crossings are installed all the gate operatives and signal box operatives will be out of a job or will be given another job within the company. I'm this is seen as a 'spend to save' project but how many years will be it be before they balance the books.

I would find it interesting to know what other crossing is going to be closed in this area.
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There is also some great spots on this part of the ECML. When I lived in Balne i'd often visit Hensall Quarry, Fenwick and Joan Croft for spotting days. I found that Dormer Green and Noblethorpe were not accessible and the views that Heyworth and Barcroft were poor as well as parking problems.

I noticed that NR seemed to have some kind of operation going on at Shaftholme recently, maybe a sign things will start moving soon.
 

WestRiding

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For the gate boxes listed above, and that each probably has four staff, 36 people, most grade one, that's hell of a lot of staff to find a grade one job for. For as ptr&r states, you can not get promotion out of redundancy. The rmt has not had much to say about network rails signalling plans, so as for kicking up a fuss, well not yet!
 

the sniper

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NR often seem to be advertising Grade 1 signaller positions on their website, so I presume there are even more available internally? There are also NR station jobs (i.e. Dispatcher) in various places which probably wouldn't be much different in salary from a Grade 1 signaller.

As has been said, most job losses are apparently being covered by natural wastage and voluntary redundancy. Seeing as the Unions haven't really said anything, I can only assume this is true.
 

joeykins82

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The unions should only be kicking up a fuss over the move from signal boxes to regional signalling centres if their members are being treated unfairly during any relevant consultation/redeployment/redundancy proceedings; the fact that the TSSA & RMT are quiet suggests that they agree that the process is a necessary part of the modernisation of the railways and that Network Rail are behaving ethically with the affected staff. Contrary to the belief of the right-wing press the purpose of a trade union is not simply to obstruct a company from reaching its goals.
 
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Just an update on this, the work on the removal of Balne and Moss was due to begin between Jan and Apr this year.

I drove past Balne last week and there is no sign of any activity yet.

If I can pin down the date of the removals i'll get down there and take some pictures. It will be a sad day.
 

BestWestern

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NR often seem to be advertising Grade 1 signaller positions on their website, so I presume there are even more available internally? There are also NR station jobs (i.e. Dispatcher) in various places which probably wouldn't be much different in salary from a Grade 1 signaller.

As has been said, most job losses are apparently being covered by natural wastage and voluntary redundancy. Seeing as the Unions haven't really said anything, I can only assume this is true.

I would astonished if a station dispatcher earned anywhere even close to a Signaller's salary!
 

HSTEd

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Even if the job would not normally merit a Grade 1 Signaller's salary, if the staff are getting long in the tooth they might chose to employ them at the old salary until natural wastage removes them from the new post.

They still save staffing costs, albeit only the job they do's salary and not the signalman's original salary.
 

RichW1

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Sorry to in a way 'bump a thread' here but I don't want to start a new one for a straight forward question that those of you in the know could possibly answer....

Does a 100/105mph speed restriction still apply through Doncaster?
 

Tomnick

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I would astonished if a station dispatcher earned anywhere even close to a Signaller's salary!
Grade 1 chaps (crossing keepers) are on £22,240pa basic, so perhaps not as far off as you might think! Not sure how it'd work for someone displaced from NR to a TOC position, but there are plenty of folk around working well out of grade after being displaced to a lower-grade box (for example, someone getting grade 7 money to work a grade 3 box), though that's not meant to be a long-term arrangement.
 

33056

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Paid a visit at the end of May and, other than Joan Croft, there was little sign of any work being done on the ECML crossings, unlike the line between Knottingley and Drax.

(ECML pictures here if interested, Knottingley area pictures towards the end of this gallery )
 
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sorry for another bump. no point creating more threads though.

Drove through Balne last week. The signal box is still standing and is operating the LC. No sign at all of demolition work. Im going to have a tour of the locations at the weekend and hopefully take a look at the work at Joan Croft
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Paid a visit at the end of May and, other than Joan Croft, there was little sign of any work being done on the ECML crossings, unlike the line between Knottingley and Drax.

(ECML pictures here if interested, Knottingley area pictures towards the end of this gallery )

that crossing in Knottingley is fully operational now. Superb photo's. How did you get to Dormer Green and Noblethorpe? I found the track to one of them wasn't passable in my car and the other side of the crossings was just farmers fields.

Also, is that notice of demolition at Sudforth Lane box? I drove past there last week and the box was still operational but looked in a fairly poor state.. EDIT. now I put my glasses on it appears it is. The box controls the crossing which currently doesn't have any lights so I presume they are changing that as well.
 
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33056

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Superb photo's. How did you get to Dormer Green and Noblethorpe? I found the track to one of them wasn't passable in my car and the other side of the crossings was just farmers fields.
Thanks, these two can only be accessed from the west side of the line and we managed to drive right up to both, though Dormer Green was only a dirt track (our car has quite good clearance underneath which does help)
Also, is that notice of demolition at Sudforth Lane box? I drove past there last week and the box was still operational but looked in a fairly poor state.. EDIT. now I put my glasses on it appears it is. The box controls the crossing which currently doesn't have any lights so I presume they are changing that as well.
We did wonder whether the date for demolishing Sudforth Lane looked a little ambitious as there was no sign of any work going on there at the end of May.
 
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The road closed signs are up at Sudforth Lane. I presume this work also includes a new level crossing.

Gonna have a drive down on Monday
 

snowball

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The Shaftholme flyover scheme includes, in addition to the rail flyover, a new road bridge over the ECML to replace Joan Croft LC. Today, in a shop, I browsed part of the recent issue of Rail magazine and I noticed it said that the LC has now closed though the road bridge is not yet finished.
 
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I drove past sudforth lane on Sunday and the road was closed. I could clearly see NR guys at work, many of them. I took a photo but don't know how to upload it.
Anyway, I drove down there again today to find the road open again yet seemingly nothing has changed.

The box still stands and is working and the crossing is still the same old tatty thing.

Nothing has been demolished. Odd.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I've just found a press release from a couple of months ago from NR saying that work at Barcroft and Heyworth will begin this month.

However the rest, which are Balne, Balne Lowgate, Fenwick, Moss, Burn Lane, Henwick Hall, Sandhill Lane, Thorpe Gates and Thorpe Hall will be updated in March 2014. No mention at all of the fate of Dormer Green and Noblethorpe.

An early report from the The Signal Box stated that both Dormer Green and Noblethorpe would have their gate boxes removed and the crossing updated to barriers, no mention of it from NR though.

It does seem to have been painfully slow progress.
 

dysonsphere

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The Shaftholme flyover scheme includes, in addition to the rail flyover, a new road bridge over the ECML to replace Joan Croft LC. Today, in a shop, I browsed part of the recent issue of Rail magazine and I noticed it said that the LC has now closed though the road bridge is not yet finished.

I read the article and the bridge is finished but only being used by contractors building the flyover at the moment.
 
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Not ECMl but in a similar area.

In Selby, work is underway to replace Sandhill Lane level crossing. The gates are already up and the old crossing keepers cabin has been removed.

Thorpe Gates gate box is also in the process of being destroyed and work is also taking place at Dam Lane.

Getting out of the west side of Selby is near impossible at the moment. I cant comment if the upgrading of Sandhill Lane crossing has seen any of the former crossing keepers out of work
 
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there was a road closed sign at the Thorpe-in-Balne turn off on the A19 a week last friday, if that's any use (possibly not, sorry)

Yeah it was still there last weekend when I drove through Askern towards Doncaster.

Sandhill Lane, Dam Lane and Thorpe Gates are going to be closed for the next weeks at least according to the signs there. Immense amount of disruption, everyone was having to use the bypass then double back on themselves at Barlby to get into Selby. Gridlock all over the place.
 
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