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Level crossing stupidity...

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I think the point the farmer is trying to make is that by the signaller identifying the crossing first he or she becomes fully aware of where the farmer is. Less room for error, a lower chance of a tragic mistake being made. 

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15 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

 

Or, gates that are shut to road traffic, operated by sensors (that detect any vehicle),

but linked to the track sensors, so that they open automatically only when there is

no train approaching and it's safe. Still cheaper than the damage and cost of delays.

Except that as such sensors detect any vehicle, they cannot distinguish between say a motorbike and a slow tractor pulling a large load, which would take a much longer time to traverse the crossing.  You would need the additional sensors - like the “Daleks” fitted to crossings in Norfolk - that also scan that the crossing is clear before allowing a train through.

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3 hours ago, Hobby said:

I was a bit wary about the "I was here before" argument which is always dragged out by certain road users... Yes you were there before, but you didn't have that monstrosity you are driving and towing... Trains going faster is progress, same as your tractor and the gear it tows...

It might be a 'monstrosity', but such a thing is more likely to derail a train, than a horse and cart of old. The results for a horse and cart and it's driver would be dire, compared to a big steam loco.

 

Fact is modern equipment is far more dangerous at a level crossing, than it was previously. In the trains case, it is likely to be going faster and quieter.

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2 hours ago, SM42 said:

 

 

I see that as an added complication that could lead to further misunderstanding and frustration .

The number of times I hear  a 4 digit code read back with numbers mixed up is quite common. Even three consecutive numbers can cause problems

 

For instance this week I have had 895 read back as 859 and  3110 as 3101. Even one person giving the same 4 digit number in three different orders in one conversation.  Was it 7153, 7531 or 7135? and they had it written down in front of them

 

You really do need to listen very carefully. 

 

Lea Green is different from Lea Green Hall, but the Lea Green is the bit that sticks. It's familiar, the bit at the end is overlooked by the brain that siezes on the familiar and discards the seemingly irrelevant.

 

Our brains do things like this all the time. How many farmers have been trained to be aware of these things and to double check everything?

 

Andy

I did say AS WELL AS - so "Lea Green 1234" couldn't be confused with "Lea Green Hall  7890" however garbled the numbers became. ( You could even add a check digit at the end to flag-up any error.)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, boxbrownie said:

If you only want half as much food on the supermarket shelves we’ll stop spraying and the beasties can eat what you don’t get........do you want to eat or get to your destination 10 minutes earlier.

 

I am well aware why they have such equipment and reasons it's used, I do not feel it needed a lecture which is the way that comes across. Progress means many things and I was simply commenting on the "I was here first" comment by the farmer.

 

 

Going back to subject, and asking because I am not sure of the answer, don't they have a plaque with the proper name of the level crossing next to the phone? I can understand the protocol of the crossing user saying where they are first, same as it is for an emergency call where the caller identifies themselves and location first. As others have said a trip to the signalling centre/box would work wonders for both sides!

Edited by Hobby
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4 hours ago, Wickham Green too said:

Perhaps every crossing should have a unique - say - four digit number such that "Lea Green" is totally different from "Lea Green Hall" and the signaller insists on name AND number being quoted there would be little scope for confusion ......... yeah, more hassle all round BUT !


already been done on the Cambrian under RETB, every crossing numbered, 196 alone between shrewsbury and Machynlleth, under ertms a lot have been shut but there are still numbered signs at the crossings which have remained open, for example ‘22’ is still there which I know to be hanselmans crossings, the signallers tend to ask have you passed crossing number XX  and the name when they need to know your exact location, for example if someone has requested to use a crossing,  ertms can’t tell the signaller your exact location ‘on a map’ as it were but does show them the trains meterage from point zero of the system (shrewsbury end of the line) 

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1 hour ago, Hobby said:

 

I am well aware why they have such equipment and reasons it's used, I do not feel it needed a lecture which is the way that comes across. Progress means many things and I was simply commenting on the "I was here first" comment by the farmer.

 

 

Going back to subject, and asking because I am not sure of the answer, don't they have a plaque with the proper name of the level crossing next to the phone? I can understand the protocol of the crossing user saying where they are first, same as it is for an emergency call where the caller identifies themselves and location first. As others have said a trip to the signalling centre/box would work wonders for both sides!

That’s more like it :D

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4 hours ago, Neil said:

I think the point the farmer is trying to make is that by the signaller identifying the crossing first he or she becomes fully aware of where the farmer is. Less room for error, a lower chance of a tragic mistake being made. 

 

The whole point of that video is to show some sort indignation when things don't go your way (very popular nowadays) when either side of the conversation could have been sensible and sorted it out. 

 

For the farmer to start the conversation as a quiz : Where am I? is not helpful or conducive to a sensible dialogue. It automatically raises the hackles and introduces an element of doubt as to his ability to use the crossing in a safe manner.

If you don't know where you are how do you expect me to trust you to do as you are required to cross the line if you can't get a grasp on the most basic of information such as your location?

 

(Let's not forget that everyone else who calls a signaller from trackside  will announce invariably who and where they are at the start. Why a crossing user should have been  given a different instruction, I don't know)

 

The signaller to react with,  well you tell me, causes a defensive response from the crossing user and if you don't know I'm not telling you as you should know that.

 

Either side could have resolved this without getting on their high horse.  Now both sides think the other is either reckless or incompetent

 

Had the farmer announced where he was at the outset, problem solved.  Had the signaller, (having not had that location information at the outset,) confirmed where the farmer was, problem solved

 

I suspect the farmer had only one thing to deal with: crossing the line, the signaller possibly had a  bit more on their plate.

 

Net result, is frustration on both sides. What was the farmer going to do now? Sit there  all night or take the risk?

 

I sometimes despair how people can turn a simple task into something so complicated, especially when it would have been so easy to have not created a problem in the first place.

 

Andy

 

 

 

 

 

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The instructions that the farmer has been given should match the box instructions so that there is no doubt as to who should say what when. It is also my understanding that the signaller should take the lead in safety related conversations.

 

If neither of these things happened, I'm with the farmer.

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14 minutes ago, 96701 said:

The instructions that the farmer has been given should match the box instructions so that there is no doubt as to who should say what when. It is also my understanding that the signaller should take the lead in safety related conversations.

 

Agree, but we only have the farmer's version of events, presented from his point of view  ! And by requesting the user to state where they are, the Signaller is taking the lead. 

Also the Signaller's voice comms will be regularly monitored and assessed.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SM42 said:

I suspect the farmer had only one thing to deal with: crossing the line, the signaller possibly had a  bit more on their plate.

 

 

That's probably a little unfair. I suspect the farmer also has plenty of things on his plate to deal with - tending the land/crops/livestock, preparing products for market, running a business as an entrepreneur and so on. He may well have been mainly concerned at the particular time with crossing the line but the signaller too would be concerned with mainly dealing with the phone call once he answered it. Most people tend do one thing at a time. 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, caradoc said:

 

Agree, but we only have the farmer's version of events, presented from his point of view  ! And by requesting the user to state where they are, the Signaller is taking the lead. 

Also the Signaller's voice comms will be regularly monitored and assessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And his 'version of events' strongly suggests that it was NR's idea to get the signaller 

to start the information exchange, to encourage absolute focus on the caller!

 

Which some of the previous posters seem to have missed!

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It seems clear to me that there are good reasons why the farmer was told to ask the signaller to confirm his location first.

 

1/ The signaller will have to check which phone the farmer is using; this will firmly fix the crossing location for the signaller. Extra clarity when there may be distractions is a good thing.

2/ It is more important that the signaller knows which crossing the farmer intends to use than the farmer. The signaller needs to be able to work out if it's safe to cross at a particular location, the farmer just responds to the instructions given.

3/ The person using the crossing may be new or distracted and not give the correct location, if the signaller is distracted too they may not pick up on this and give a false all clear.

 

In all of this it appears as though the farmer was doing what he was told to do, his complaint being that the signallers didn't always follow the procedure as he understood it.

 

I've noticed previously in this thread an over eagerness to defend the railway and its staff at times when their actions seem pretty questionable. I can understand that we would want the railway to be a paragon of safety. Sometimes this desire clouds judgements but we should resist the temptation to view the railway as infallible, it's dangerous to see it so. Safety is built on honest, clinical assessments of the facts.

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Posted (edited)

Problems at occupation crossings are not new...

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Edited by LNERGE
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On 28/06/2020 at 20:09, Neil said:

I've noticed previously in this thread an over eagerness to defend the railway and its staff at times when their actions seem pretty questionable. I can understand that we would want the railway to be a paragon of safety. Sometimes this desire clouds judgements but we should resist the temptation to view the railway as infallible, it's dangerous to see it so. Safety is built on honest, clinical assessments of the facts.

 

 

To be honest the actions of both are a little questionable if the account is a 100% accurate reflection of events free from exaggeration for the audience. Either of the sides in the conversation could have easily solved the problem, but both decided to be obstinate it appears.

 

We don't know what exact instruction the crossing user was given on using the new phone. Perhaps they were told to make sure the signaller knew which crossing they were intending to use. That could go either way:  they ask the signaller or they tell the signaller.

 

Either way a mess has resulted that has the potential to introduce more risk into the system by crossing users just not calling in future  as it's too much hassle

 

Andy

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Sorry Andy but there is a crucial difference in who confirms the location first. It's safer for the reasons I outlined above if the signaller does this. I can therefore believe that this was the instruction given by NR to the farmer, who rightly points out it's his neck on the line if it all goes wrong. We should be applauding the farmer for sticking to his guns and following this procedure;  we would all like the railway to be as safe as possible.

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Posted (edited)

The best thing would be for the farmer, rather than posting a sarcastic rant on the internet, to make a complaint to Network Rail (although perhaps he has already done that ?), so that the voice comms can be checked and any resulting improvements made. And, as I said earlier, a visit to the controlling SC would give the farmer a better idea of what the Signaller has to contend with, and also give NR staff an understanding of the farmer's issues.

 

Edited by caradoc
Spelling mistake
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18 hours ago, big jim said:

Hopefully the link will work

 

Alsager crossing out of Use for 12 weeks following a crash on Monday night!

 

https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/truck-crashes-alsager-level-crossing-18514539?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Its not out of use, it is being manually signalled with some resulting delays.

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7 hours ago, Neil said:

Sorry Andy but there is a crucial difference in who confirms the location first. It's safer for the reasons I outlined above if the signaller does this. I can therefore believe that this was the instruction given by NR to the farmer, who rightly points out it's his neck on the line if it all goes wrong. We should be applauding the farmer for sticking to his guns and following this procedure;  we would all like the railway to be as safe as possible.

 

But sticking to his guns hasn't solved the problem has it? My point that either could solve the problem quite easily stands

 

He wants to cross but won't say where, the signaller won't give him permission till he does and refuses to confirm where the farmer is.

 

The result we see in an on line video. The farmer already appears to have the gates open, what is his next move?.

 

Revert to Stop look and Listen?  If he does where does he look and listen from? The driving seat?

 

How does he listen above the noise of the tractor engine? Where is the front end of his tractor whilst he is looking from the driving seat?

 

The apparent obstinance of both parties has created a potential risk which with a bit of sense and communicating clearly between them without the ego clash would have made everyone's life just a little bit better. Both had the information required to facilitate the safe crossing of the railway. Neither wanted to divulge that to the other.

 

We are not party to the procedure that was outlined when the phone was installed , we only have one side of the story.

 

To me this is a mess and both sides are equally culplable. Caradoc has the right idea. Something has gone wrong here. We don't know where, but starting a complaint rolling will get the whole thing looked at from the crossing procedure (there is obviously a conflict of understanding here)  through to the events on the day.

 

This is not about blame, it's about making things as safe a possible

 

Andy

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28 minutes ago, Grovenor said:

Its not out of use, it is being manually signalled with some resulting delays.


I meant out if use for road users? 

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23 hours ago, Neil said:

Sorry Andy but there is a crucial difference in who confirms the location first. It's safer for the reasons I outlined above if the signaller does this. I can therefore believe that this was the instruction given by NR to the farmer, who rightly points out it's his neck on the line if it all goes wrong. We should be applauding the farmer for sticking to his guns and following this procedure;  we would all like the railway to be as safe as possible.

 

Sorry Neil

 

The farmer was entirely in the wrong, he should state what crossing he is at when asked to do so by the signaller.  My box has a prompt card near each phone concentrator which states as follows(written as it is written on the card).

 

When receiving a call from a user worked crossing

 

1. State your LOCATION and your ROLE  (Signalller at  Signalbox)

2. Ask and reconfirm WHERE the user is calling from

3.  Ask WHAT they are crossing with

4. HOW LONG will it take them to cross SAFELY

5. REPEAT BACK and CONFIRM with user

 

I can't know for sure until the user tells me which crossing they are ringing from as (occasionally) we have had crossed lines because these crossing phones work over BT lines, they are not dedicated lines ( on 1 occasion a crossing phone rang and there was a lady on the other end phoning from her house saying she had just gone into labour and what should she do!). One location I work has 87 user worked crossings hence the need for the user to TELL ME where he wants to cross so I can cross reference with my chart which tells me the mileage of the crossing and the protecting signals. If the user like this farmer refuses to confirm their location as in point 2 above then I will refuse permission to cross.

 

Ian

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32 minutes ago, ianwales said:

 

The farmer was entirely in the wrong,

 

I don't think it's fair to categorically state that the farmer is entirely in the wrong, especially if he is asking a question he has been advised to ask. It is for the signaller to explain the situation rather than what appears to be to dogmatically refuse to answer and effectively set up confrontation. It would have been better to have meaningful dialogue than rebuff and have an impasse. Although we don't know the whole truth and content of the conversation, obviously the farmer was pissed off enough with it to make and circulate the video. It doesn't sound like the phone call conversation went well and it certainly could have gone better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, grahame said:

 

I don't think it's fair to categorically state that the farmer is entirely in the wrong, especially if he is asking a question he has been advised to ask. It is for the signaller to explain the situation rather than what appears to be to dogmatically refuse to answer and effectively set up confrontation. It would have been better to have meaningful dialogue than rebuff and have an impasse. Although we don't know the whole truth and content of the conversation, obviously the farmer was pissed off enough with it to make and circulate the video. It doesn't sound like the phone call conversation went well and it certainly could have gone better.

 

 

The onus is on the user to tell the signaller what crossing he is ringing from, not for the signaller to lead the user by stating what crossing he thinks he is ringing from, if the user will not for whatever reason tell the signaller which crossing he wishes to use then the signaller will quite rightly refuse permission to cross.

 

Ian

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, ianwales said:

 

The onus is on the user to tell the signaller what crossing he is ringing from, not for the signaller to lead the user by stating what crossing he thinks he is ringing from, if the user will not for whatever reason tell the signaller which crossing he wishes to use then the signaller will quite rightly refuse permission to cross.

 

Ian

Not saying either is wrong, but the Farmer did say he was told to ask the signaller which crossing he is at by the NR installation engineer,, so maybe the engineer was wrong?

 

Either way it needs to get sorted.

 

 

 

 

Edited by boxbrownie
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