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Level crossing stupidity...


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12 hours ago, newbryford said:

I think some of the non-UK crossing incidents started to appear here was because there was a lack (thankfully) of UK incidents.

 

At least I'd rather see this thread used for level crossing incidents worldwide than discussions about translation sites and automatic gearboxes.........

I'm not so sure there's a lack of UK incidents, probably more a lack of journalistic coverage of incidents. The vast majority of level crossing accidents are down to the motorist, so they should be seen as car crashes rather than train crashes, except where there's an unusual feature such as a wrong side equipment failure.  If the headline is "man killed in car crash" then it must be a slow news day?

 

As far as foreign level crossings are concerned, we don't get to hear about it. 

We may have joined and left the EU but we still have an attitude of "Fog in Channel,  Continent cut off"

 

The US and France have great mileages of track and are more sparsely populayed than the UK

So they have lots of local roads need to cross them and less justification for constructing bridges.  And in the case of the US, trains are so long that if you do wait for the train to go by, you're stuck there for much longer, so there's more incentive to take a chance.

I don't see it as surprising if they have disproportionately more crossing accidents. 

 

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20 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

And in the case of the US, trains are so long that if you do wait for the train to go by, you're stuck there for much longer, so there's more incentive to take a chance.

There certainly seems to be a "must beat the train" mentality with US road users - similar to the "must get in front of the truck" mentality of UK car drivers.

It also seems that a lot of crossings in the USA aren't actually level, having quite sharp ramps up to the tracks, leading to cases of US trucks - which are also longer than in the UK & EU - grounding on the tracks.

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2 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

Which might not be so prevalent if the trains weren't so long?

 

Or if the drivers of the road vehicles could manage not to be in such a darned hurry.

 

IMO attempting to drive any distance to an inflexible schedule is a classic example of the triumph of hope over experience.

 

(I think someone on the Driving Standards thread mentioned a bumper sticker that read something along the lines of "If you want to be in front of me, get out of bed ten minutes earlier".)

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2 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

It also seems that a lot of crossings in the USA aren't actually level, having quite sharp ramps up to the tracks, leading to cases of US trucks - which are also longer than in the UK & EU - grounding on the tracks.

They is something that has got worse the last few decades. Trucks have got longer, making the potential problem of them grounding on level crossings more likely.

The railways, for obvious reasons, have not made the ramps longer.

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2 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

In many cases its not possible due to the proximity of other roads and other structures such as buildings.

Far more likely is the obvious one of why should they? Their vehicles aren't having the problem!

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Whilst not condoning the actions of US drivers I do think that the layout of many crossings does not help at all.

Maybe these crossings should be equiped with a phone to contact the signalman ("drivers of large or slow vehicles must get permission to cross") & somewhere for truck to park whilst the driver phones - maybe, they already do ?

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1 hour ago, SamThomas said:

Whilst not condoning the actions of US drivers I do think that the layout of many crossings does not help at all.

Maybe these crossings should be equiped with a phone to contact the signalman ("drivers of large or slow vehicles must get permission to cross") & somewhere for truck to park whilst the driver phones - maybe, they already do ?

Phone whom?  Maybe things have changed over there but I don't think they have signalmen who know quite where in the section their trains are.  That can be an issue in this country too, but our distances are less which makes it easier.

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2 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

Phone whom?  Maybe things have changed over there but I don't think they have signalmen who know quite where in the section their trains are.  That can be an issue in this country too, but our distances are less which makes it easier.

 

The problem doesn't seem to lie with the railway organisation not knowing where the trains are, nor the ability to communicate with them.  The issue is that crossings become obstructed and the railway organisation doesn't get to find out about it until it is too late to take avoiding action.

 

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"Phone whom ?".

 

Well there should be something in place to allow long/heavy/oversize vehicles  to cross working railway lines/tracks in safety.

 

As for what ? - as pointed out to me by another member on another thread "I'm not an expert" so I'll keep my suggestions to myself.

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On 02/09/2021 at 09:08, Hobby said:

Yes, I think we just accepted that it would carry on but I just find it amusing that there's more American stuff than UK (reflection of the actual numbers probably) so just thought I'd introduce some European into the equation!

Probably because most of the VRF cameras point at a crossing or two? Or, in the case of Chehalis, WA, three...

Edited by talisman56
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3 hours ago, SamThomas said:

As for what ? - as pointed out to me by another member on another thread "I'm not an expert" so I'll keep my suggestions to myself.

 

I take it that is a reference to my response to your post in the Bridge Bashing thread ? In that case you and I spoke from very different backgrounds and experiences Sam, but please do not on my account feel unable to think and post anything you want - But also be prepared for responses from others  ! 

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3 hours ago, SamThomas said:

"Phone whom ?".

 

Well there should be something in place to allow long/heavy/oversize vehicles  to cross working railway lines/tracks in safety.

 

 

I'm afraid thats trying to apply British practice to a situation in which many of the key variables are different.

 

From what I can tell the provision of phones at crossings is just something the USA generally doesn't do - but then you need to remember that many crossings lack barriers and traditionally it was extremely common for trains to run down the middle of the streets. Locos in  the USA are also much more solidly built - in effect to act as bulldozers and sweep obstructions aside while keeping the crew protected.

 

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23 minutes ago, caradoc said:

 

I take it that is a reference to my response to your post in the Bridge Bashing thread ? In that case you and I spoke from very different backgrounds and experiences Sam, but please do not on my account feel unable to think and post anything you want - But also be prepared for responses from others  ! 

 

TBH I was generalising but used that quote as an example.

 

& in gerenral I welcome being "put right" by people that are more qualified than myself on some subjects but on here I have a couple of minor issues ;

There is often an undertone of rudeness &/or "I know better than you" in commments/replies &

the way some appear to be picky to the nth degree when further discussion is pointless.

 

Don't get me wrong, there is a wealth of good knowledge on here & some people have been very helpful. I also feel that I have something useful to contribute.

However, I don't like being treat as an idiot or a schoolchild. Maybe I'll look for somewhere else more suited to my personallity.

 

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13 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

I'm afraid thats trying to apply British practice to a situation in which many of the key variables are different.

 

From what I can tell the provision of phones at crossings is just something the USA generally doesn't do - but then you need to remember that many crossings lack barriers and traditionally it was extremely common for trains to run down the middle of the streets. Locos in  the USA are also much more solidly built - in effect to act as bulldozers and sweep obstructions aside while keeping the crew protected.

 

I do see where you are coming from & if the USA does not want to drag itself into the communications age then so be it.

 

However, how diffecult would it be to provide a notice with a phone number to the dispatchers office & a loction number ? Surely, thesedays of satalite tracking they do know where their trains are, what direction they are travelling & their speed ?

Virtually everyone has a mobile/cell/handy thesedays.

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2 minutes ago, SamThomas said:

I do see where you are coming from & if the USA does not want to drag itself into the communications age then so be it.

 

However, how diffecult would it be to provide a notice with a phone number to the dispatchers office & a loction number ? Surely, thesedays of satalite tracking they do know where their trains are, what direction they are travelling & their speed ?

Virtually everyone has a mobile/cell/handy thesedays.

 

It wouldn't be hard to erect such signage - but the mindset over there seems that such a think is not necessary. As to why - you really need is a USA Railroad engineer on here to answer the question because it does seem a stupid state of affairs.

 

But the, like many things in the USA, when you examine things up close its not as great as its inhabitants loudly proclaim.....

 

 

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3 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

It wouldn't be hard to erect such signage - but the mindset over there seems that such a think is not necessary. As to why - you really need is a USA Railroad engineer on here to answer the question because it does seem a stupid state of affairs.

 

But the, like many things in the USA, when you examine things up close its not as great as its inhabitants loudly proclaim.....

 

 

I have just E-mailed a friend who drives 'Exceptional Loads' around the US and Canada (she's just finishing a run from Texas to British Columbia) inquiring about the provision of communications at Grade Crossings. She used to be an NR MOM, so I would imagine she'd be able to clarify things a bit.

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