When will we see the end of level crossings?

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thenorthern

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While I was driving past the location of first automatic level crossing in the United Kingdom today in Uttoxeter which opened in 1961 and later closed in 1965.

It made me think though when will we see then end of Level Crossings given that Network Rail is slowly replacing them and isn't installing any more new ones?

I reckon it won't be until at least 2050 but it will probably be further away than that.
 
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snowball

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I could well imagine that most might be gone towards the end of this century, but a substantial minority are so surrounded by buildings that they are not practically replaceable.
 

SpacePhoenix

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They'll also be some level crossings where either a bridge or subway/underpass to replace them might be physically impossible to fit in
 
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Never. Too many User Worked Crossings with property access rights across the rural network that would never be suitable for bridging or underpasses.
 

snowball

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I could well imagine that most might be gone towards the end of this century, but a substantial minority are so surrounded by buildings that they are not practically replaceable.

They'll also be some level crossings where either a bridge or subway/underpass to replace them might be physically impossible to fit in

Sounds like we're both talking about the same ones there.
 

snowball

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Doubt it would happen. What would be the point anyway?
Level crossings are the prime threat to life and limb on the railway - apart perhaps from the platform/train interface. But PTI events can only hurt or kill one person at a time. A level crossing incident could kill several.
 

Harbon 1

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Level crossings are the prime threat to life and limb on the railway - apart perhaps from the platform/train interface. But PTI events can only hurt or kill one person at a time. A level crossing incident could kill several.

I think the people using them dangerously are more the threat. Used correctly they are perfectly safe. They will never all go, its simply not possible in many places, and not practicable in many others.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Sounds like we're both talking about the same ones there.

An example that I'm thinking of is the "pedestrian" LC in Poole High street. An underpass would make the main highstreet too narrow with the length of ramps that would be needed, it would probably be prone to flooding and a new bridge would be impractical for handing the amount of people with the space available
 

Shaw S Hunter

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It's a question of risk mitigation versus cost. As the perceived value of a human life (callous though that may sound) rises so the the cost of eliminating level crossings becomes more acceptable. But there are plenty of crossings which would be near impossible to replace and therefore closure is itself unacceptable (Lincoln anyone?). So in some places it will be risk mitigation that requires expenditure. You can be sure that TPWS Over-Speed grids are very widely fitted in conjunction with signals protecting crossings. And given the continuing occurrence of incidents at "occupation" crossings I expect we'll see more cctv at some apparently minor crossings in future.
 

6Gman

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Good luck shutting the two in Nantwich.

(Have a look on google maps)

:D
 

snowball

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I think the people using them dangerously are more the threat. Used correctly they are perfectly safe.
Yes, but unless you know of a way to prevent people using them dangerously, that fact is not much help.

Also, so long as there are road LCs, there's a danger of an HGV stalling on an LC.

Also some LCs cause trains on some of the slower rural lines to be even slower than they would otherwise be.
 
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Ships

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Level crossings are the prime threat to life and limb on the railway - apart perhaps from the platform/train interface. But PTI events can only hurt or kill one person at a time. A level crossing incident could kill several.

Some foot crossings I think are a bit dicey and don't give the 10 seconds sighting track workers require but the vast majority of crossings are perfectly safe as long as you're not an utter idiot intent on misusing them.
 

Harbon 1

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Yes, but unless you know of a way to prevent people using them dangerously, that fact is not much help.

Also, so long as there are road LCs, there's a danger of an HGV stalling on an LC.

Also some LCs cause trains on some of the slower rural lines to be even slower than they would otherwise be.


As long as there will be roads there will be people using them dangerously. Do we ban cars because people are using them against the rules set out?

The fact is the two have to cross at points and in a lot of places it cannot be any other way other than on the level.

People use stations dangerously, by walking over the tracks or trying to get on a train that has already started to depart. There's no practicable way to prevent this in the same way that there isn't a way to prevent risk on a crossing of two different modes of transport on the level.

On rural lines the crossing are most likely needed in every day life, such as farming. Removing them where there is little investment anyway would crush the community.

An example near me is Clay Mills LC, there isn't the room for a bridge as it would cut off houses and wouldn't physically fit due to the proximity of the sewage works. Traffic is light so removal of the crossing will mean removal of the access to the works. Not ideal.

If people are going to be idiots, they will be idiots, and find a way to be idiots no matter what you put in place.
 

Bald Rick

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DaveNewcastle

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Level crossings are the prime threat to life and limb on the railway - apart perhaps from the platform/train interface. But PTI events can only hurt or kill one person at a time. A level crossing incident could kill several.
Are we confusing an assessment that :
'a level crossing poses a high risk of an incident AND that risk impacts on several people AND that impact has a significant probability of being fatal'
with an assessment that :
'all level crossings pose a high risk' AND 'the risk at all level crossings impact on several people' AND 'that impact at all level crossings has a significant probability of being fatal' ?

Clearly not all level crossings can be assessed this way. Some are extremely low-risk, some have negligible prospect of impacting on several people (maybe several sheep), and some involve such low speeds that the risk of fatality is extremely low.

I struggle to understand why people worry about things that are associated with extreme hazards, for no other reason that they are the same thing, even if all of the associated factors of hazard are missing.
 

AM9

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Are we confusing an assessment that :
'a level crossing poses a high risk of an incident AND that risk impacts on several people AND that impact has a significant probability of being fatal'
with an assessment that :
'all level crossings pose a high risk' AND 'the risk at all level crossings impact on several people' AND 'that impact at all level crossings has a significant probability of being fatal' ?

Clearly not all level crossings can be assessed this way. Some are extremely low-risk, some have negligible prospect of impacting on several people (maybe several sheep), and some involve such low speeds that the risk of fatality is extremely low.

I struggle to understand why people worry about things that are associated with extreme hazards, for no other reason that they are the same thing, even if all of the associated factors of hazard are missing.

Because many people, spurred on by hysterical media messages, assume that hazards are to be reduced to zero, irrespective of culpability. How many times do we hear the interviewer trying to pin down those responsible for health and safety ask: "... can you guarantee that this [freak accident etc.] will never happen again?" I frequently shout at the radio, "no, nobody can guarantee anything!". Unfortunately, representatives rarely have the honesty or the guts to tell the truth by saying anything like that.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Once self-driving cars become the norm, much of the danger of level crossings (car drivers) will go. I assume that the cars won't be programmed to weave round the barriers at AHB crossings of course!
 
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DerekC

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Because many people, spurred on by hysterical media messages, assume that hazards are to be reduced to zero, irrespective of culpability. How many times do we hear the interviewer trying to pin down those responsible for health and safety ask: "... can you guarantee that this [freak accident etc.] will never happen again?" I frequently shout at the radio, "no, nobody can guarantee anything!". Unfortunately, representatives rarely have the honesty or the guts to tell the truth by saying anything like that.

All that may be true, but there is another reason too. The railway (over the years since about 1870) has achieved its safety record by successively identifying and knocking off the highest risks to passengers, employees and the general public. Level crossings are now the highest risk so they are getting the treatment. It's a process that is very hard to stop - but why would we want to? An accident is (at best) very unpleasant and disturbing for the train crew involved, even if caused by idiocy.
 

Llanigraham

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Level crossings are the prime threat to life and limb on the railway - apart perhaps from the platform/train interface. But PTI events can only hurt or kill one person at a time. A level crossing incident could kill several.

Evidence, please?
LX's are perfectly safe if used correctly.

As has been said, you will NEVER eradicate them all.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Yes, but unless you know of a way to prevent people using them dangerously, that fact is not much help.

Also, so long as there are road LCs, there's a danger of an HGV stalling on an LC.

Also some LCs cause trains on some of the slower rural lines to be even slower than they would otherwise be.

1/ Education seems to work quite well!
2/ Rubbish!
3/ Very little.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Easy. Knock down the buildings and build a bridge.

Expensive, yes, unpopular (locally) probably, but definitely possible.

Fine, now try looking at (say) Bromfield, Onibury, Craven Arms and Marshbrook crossings and tell me how you would deal with those?
 

MarkyT

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We have to be realistic on level crossings. Of course as many as possible should be removed, especially on fast and busy main lines, and particularly the kind of unprotected footpath and occupation crossings on those lines that represent such a significant risk to legitimate users, the trains themselves, as well as providing so many tempting trespass opportunities for thieves and vandals. On the other hand, along quieter branch lines why are low speed crossings around stations considered by some to be so unthinkable in conjunction with small trains like pacers, when elsewhere, similar sized rail vehicles are allowed to drive right down the middle of your local high street because they are arbitrarily classified as 'trams'? (Ok Ok I know - gross simplification!). Rural lines in particular often cannot support the high costs of grade separation and often in sensitive areas the structures would be visually unacceptable anyway. Local monitoring at reduced speed by train drivers, object detection etc ought to be perfectly acceptable solutions in these cases, reducing risk to be as low as reasonably practicable.
 

Llanigraham

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Once self-driving cars become the norm, much of the danger of level crossings (car drivers) will go. I assume that the cars won't be programmed to weave round the barriers at AHB crossings of course!

And what about all the UWC crossings?


#######################

Reading through here seems to be confirming my opinion that a lot of people don't actually know what level crossings actually comprise!
 
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It's a question of risk mitigation versus cost. As the perceived value of a human life (callous though that may sound) rises so the the cost of eliminating level crossings becomes more acceptable. But there are plenty of crossings which would be near impossible to replace and therefore closure is itself unacceptable (Lincoln anyone?). So in some places it will be risk mitigation that requires expenditure. You can be sure that TPWS Over-Speed grids are very widely fitted in conjunction with signals protecting crossings. And given the continuing occurrence of incidents at "occupation" crossings I expect we'll see more cctv at some apparently minor crossings in future.

Lincoln high street is now pedestrianised at the point where the crossing is and o ther than the intransigence of a minority of locals , there is little or no need for the brayford wharf crossing ... Great Northern terrace could be replaced but would need a fair bit of work ( e.g. the inner ring joining south park to Allenby road across the cowpaddle and along the 'watersides' ...
 

Trog

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And what about all the UWC crossings?


A properly programmed robot will climb out of your boot, contact the 'local' signalling control centre by WIFI, before opening the gates and leaning on the fence sucking on a stem of plastic grass. While your car drives across and the mk3 all terrain half track sheep dog drives your sheep after you.
 

bluenoxid

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Whilst users can be a major contributor to the risk and impact of Level Crossings, the maintainer of our infrastructure has also failed to hold up its end of the bargain when analysing the risk at Level Crossings. A number of investigations have highlighted short comings
 

driver_m

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The OP should take a ride from Liverpool to Southport and will probably find the answer to the question is Never.
 
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