Stopping point at Alsager

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Deafdoggie

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Apologies if this is a bit long, but I felt some background was necessary.

At Alsager (ASG) there used to be a signal box, operating the level crossing gates. These were closed before a train arrived at the station in either direction. They could be opened once up trains had arrived in the platform. But had to remain closed whilst down trains were at the platform.

Over time, the level crossing gates were replaced with full barriers. Then in the modernisation of Crewe (CWE) in the mid 1980's the signal box closed, and remote CCTV control was passed to CWE.

At the same time semaphores went, and new colour light signals were placed roughly half way down the platform. This meant down trains arrived at the station without the barriers being lowered, with the crossing being closed whilst the platform duties were carried out. This meant the road was open longer, with no detriment to the railway, other than passengers having to walk along the platform.

Then (I can't remember when) without (as far as I am aware) any incident, the barriers were lowered before the train arrived & the signal was cleared. But the train still stopped half way along the platform at the signal, even with a proceed aspect.

My question (got here eventually!) is why? The point being that 8 coach LM trains don't stop due to platform length. But if the train simply stopped at the platform end, rather than the signal, there would be room! Also for all the other trains it would save passengers having to walk along the platform. It still confuses new/irregular travellers!

At the moment a train doesn't enter the station unless the signal is cleared, so I can't see any reason trains can't pull down the length of the platform, other than its helpful to passengers, so TOCs don't do it!
 
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LowLevel

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I don't think Alsager would accommodate 8 cars regardless of where you stopped.

However to answer the question I believed it stemmed from Alsager being declared a poor adhesion area and several cases of trains either very nearly or actually going past the down starter at danger particularly during leaf fall season. Thus to protect road traffic from trains stuck in a slide the barriers have to be down first - this way at least if the train slides through the station the roadway will be clear.

It's considered bad practice to pass platform starters before stopping as it increases the risk of confusion during the dispatch process as many colour light signals drop back to red when the first wheel passes them.
 
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Deafdoggie

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I don't think Alsager would accommodate 8 cars regardless of where you stopped.

However to answer the question I believed it stemmed from Alsager being declared a poor adhesion area and several cases of trains either very nearly or actually going past the down starter at danger particularly during leaf fall season. Thus to protect road traffic from trains stuck in a slide the barriers have to be down first - this way at least if the train slides through the station the roadway will be clear.

It's considered bad practice to pass platform starters before stopping as it increases the risk of confusion during the dispatch process as many colour light signals drop back to red when the first wheel passes them.


It would-just-accommodate 8 coaches looking at where 4 coaches stop on the opposite side. But not passing the signal makes sense. Why Rugely TV has 8 coaches with selective door opening, but Kidsgrove & Alsager don't, I've never understood either.
 

Solent&Wessex

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I wondered this the other day and having watched a train depart concluded it was probably due to dispatch arrangements. The track circuit appeared to be quite close after the signal, so that if the train passed the signal and stopped further down the platform then the signal would go red. Whilst the driver had already passed the signal the rest of train had not and the guard would therefore be disptaching against a red signal.
 

thenorthern

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Isn't there a strange gantry at Alsager with signals on half way along the platform which has been there since before electrification in 2003 where trains heading towards Stoke-on-Trent have to stop in the half of the platform closest to the level crossing and trains going towards Crewe have to stop in the other half of the opposite platform.
 

LowLevel

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I wondered this the other day and having watched a train depart concluded it was probably due to dispatch arrangements. The track circuit appeared to be quite close after the signal, so that if the train passed the signal and stopped further down the platform then the signal would go red. Whilst the driver had already passed the signal the rest of train had not and the guard would therefore be disptaching against a red signal.

It is permitted for the guard to do so but it creates a massive faff as they have to check with the driver that they have authority to proceed.
 

leshuttle

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A 390 stopped there once prior to a naming ceremony at Stoke I think back following the electrification of the route. Think that was when they were only 8 coaches long.
 

Deafdoggie

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A 390 stopped there once prior to a naming ceremony at Stoke I think back following the electrification of the route. Think that was when they were only 8 coaches long.

It did! I was waiting to cross the level crossing on foot, and saw it coming, so wandered onto the platform to see it (they were new then, and not in service!) when a Virgin PR bloke said they were wanting to take photos of the train, and needed some with "passengers" on, so would the few of us at the level crossing mind just posing on the train!

Of course, it took ages, so the train was needed to be moved, so we had to go to Stoke on it! They then let us in the official press reception at the North Stafford Hotel (opposite Stoke station) with free food! At the end, they thanked us for coming and said they would arrange transport home. A chauffeur driven limousine turned up! Why they didn't send us back on the EMT stopper I don't know. Turns out this car had been sent from Manchester just to do this job!

But, yes, an 8 coach class 390 fits in Alsager, as it wasn't under the bridge, or on the level crossing.
 

Kneedown

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From a Driver's point of view, it is an instruction at Alsager not to pass the signal, even if cleared. I was always told that to do so would have a detrimental effect at Radway Green crossing (Although i'm not sure how!)
For practical purposes, it enables a Driver to re-confirm that the signal is clear, and whether he is starting on a green or yellow as the next signal protecting Radway Green is a good way off and out of sight until quite late on. There have been several SPAD's there.
If there was also a delay at the station for any reason, stopping short of the signal enables the barriers to be raised until the train is ready to depart.
 
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