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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley

You are here: Home > Forum > Miscellaneous > The real thing (anything else rail-oriented) > Level crossing gates at Nene Valley

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 10:35 #131104
northroad
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A question for those in the know.

I have just been looking at Rail cam for the Nene Valley railway the one showing Wansford station with a clear view of the level crossing.
The crossing gates were closed for road traffic whilst the first steam service of the day was being shunted back into the platform a short distance because presumably there was a short overhang meaning the gates could not be closed. The crossing has separate gates that can be used by pedestrians. What did seem strange to me was the fact that a couple with a child were able to walk across, stand and take a picture whilst walking across and then exit through the other side pedestrian gate.
Question is, surely both sets of gates should be locked ( road and pedestrian) when in the closed position to allow the engine movement. My logic says there is a safety issue if they are not.

Geoff

Never apologise son, it's a sign of weakness (John Wayne)
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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 12:13 #131106
ajax103
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northroad in post 131104 said:
A question for those in the know.

I have just been looking at Rail cam for the Nene Valley railway the one showing Wansford station with a clear view of the level crossing.
The crossing gates were closed for road traffic whilst the first steam service of the day was being shunted back into the platform a short distance because presumably there was a short overhang meaning the gates could not be closed. The crossing has separate gates that can be used by pedestrians. What did seem strange to me was the fact that a couple with a child were able to walk across, stand and take a picture whilst walking across and then exit through the other side pedestrian gate.
Question is, surely both sets of gates should be locked ( road and pedestrian) when in the closed position to allow the engine movement. My logic says there is a safety issue if they are not.

Geoff
I call it stupidity on the part of the family, if the gates are closed to road traffic then they should be considered closed to foot traffic too.

There's a footbridge on the station that they can easily use or they could just wait for the signalman once the shunting is finished to reopen the gates.

How would they know if it was safe to cross, that loco could have moved in their direction with little warning in order to carry out another shunt move so no I don't think the railway is at fault but rather the moronic act of the family.

I know this railway very well and there's other crossings on the line with the understanding if a loco is approaching or doing the above then you wait - end of!

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 12:50 #131107
DaveHarries
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ajax103 in post 131106 said:
northroad in post 131104 said:
A question for those in the know.

I have just been looking at Rail cam for the Nene Valley railway the one showing Wansford station with a clear view of the level crossing.
The crossing gates were closed for road traffic whilst the first steam service of the day was being shunted back into the platform a short distance because presumably there was a short overhang meaning the gates could not be closed. The crossing has separate gates that can be used by pedestrians. What did seem strange to me was the fact that a couple with a child were able to walk across, stand and take a picture whilst walking across and then exit through the other side pedestrian gate.
Question is, surely both sets of gates should be locked ( road and pedestrian) when in the closed position to allow the engine movement. My logic says there is a safety issue if they are not.

Geoff
I call it stupidity on the part of the family, if the gates are closed to road traffic then they should be considered closed to foot traffic too.

There's a footbridge on the station that they can easily use or they could just wait for the signalman once the shunting is finished to reopen the gates.

How would they know if it was safe to cross, that loco could have moved in their direction with little warning in order to carry out another shunt move so no I don't think the railway is at fault but rather the moronic act of the family.

I know this railway very well and there's other crossings on the line with the understanding if a loco is approaching or doing the above then you wait - end of!

I don't know the line but I am surprised that there seems to be no mechanism to ensure that no signals can be cleared unless pedestrian and road gates are locked shut.

Dave

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 14:15 #131108
clive
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DaveHarries in post 131107 said:

I don't know the line but I am surprised that there seems to be no mechanism to ensure that no signals can be cleared unless pedestrian and road gates are locked shut.
At Foxton the signaller in the gate box can't give the slots to Cambridge until the barriers are down and the crossing clear, but there are separate locks for the two sets of wicket gates which can be operated with clear signals.

I know this because I once parked round the corner from the crossing and didn't manage to walk/run to the crossing before it went down for the train standing on the Up platform. Nevertheless the signaller unlocked the wickets for me so I could run across and get on to the train. (Hourly service, so that mattered.)

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 14:16 #131109
jrr
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I used to operate this box just a few years ago. The road gates are interlocked with the signals as you would expect, but the pedestrian gates are not. There are separate levers to lock them and normal practice was to lock them if a move was signalled across the crossing. Without seeing the rail cam I cannot comment in detail on what was seen today except to say that if the driver only had permission to move away from the crossing the signalman may have judged it unnecessary to keep them locked after the engine had crossed as far as it could to connect to the train before shunting.
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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 17:46 #131113
northroad
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Interesting replies and thank you.

In one way coming from a background of safety in the engineering background I was always taught that to always make sure ( as reasonably practicable) to make something idiot proof. True the family had no concerns about crossing when they shouldn’t have but that is the reason why there are so many accidents and near misses at level crossings. I agree the circumstances were different but the end result could have had similar consequences.
The signaller by his actions of not locking the barriers obviously knew the movement that was taking place would not have endangered them but is that any excuse not to have made fully certain that nothing would happen.
I think better to be safe than not is always the right way to be and I would have locked the pedestrian gates just to make sure.
I am sure the same rules apply to a preserved railway/light railway in the same way as the network and perhaps a word from the signaller to the family afterwards might have been the right thing to do seeing as he came down from the box to hand over the token to the driver. Perhaps he did and good on him if he did.
Just goes to show though you never know who is watching.

Thanks again guys.

Geoff

Never apologise son, it's a sign of weakness (John Wayne)
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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 20:02 #131115
jc92
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I can't speak for the nene Valley specifically, but traditionally a lot of boxes with wicket gates had a seperate lock to the main gates, as pedestrians are more mobile and situationally aware than motor vehicles and the wickets could be left open signals off, to be locked at a later time.

Red cow crossing at Exeter has a similar but different arrangement with a crossing keeper/attendant who can authorise pedestrians over the crossing through wicket gates depending on the indications given, even with trains signalled and the main barriers down.

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 30/08/2020 at 21:18 #131118
UKTrainMan
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This thread reminds me of Red Cow LC (CCTV) at Exeter St. Davids - if you think just two people still being able to cross whilst the crossing is closed is perhaps 'questionable'...

https://youtu.be/qaK04SMobRA?t=54

Last edited: 30/08/2020 at 21:19 by UKTrainMan
Reason: None given

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 31/08/2020 at 09:07 #131127
Humorist
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UKTrainMan in post 131118 said:
This thread reminds me of Red Cow LC (CCTV) at Exeter St. Davids - if you think just two people still being able to cross whilst the crossing is closed is perhaps 'questionable'...

https://youtu.be/qaK04SMobRA?t=54
We've moved all the way from Nene Valley to Exeter, but, looking at the Red Cow LC clip, the barriers were down for nearly three minutes before the Voyager crossed. SimSig would have docked me points for keeping the barriers down against road traffic for as long as that.

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 31/08/2020 at 10:38 #131130
bugsy
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Humorist in post 131127 said:
UKTrainMan in post 131118 said:
This thread reminds me of Red Cow LC (CCTV) at Exeter St. Davids - if you think just two people still being able to cross whilst the crossing is closed is perhaps 'questionable'...

https://youtu.be/qaK04SMobRA?t=54
We've moved all the way from Nene Valley to Exeter, but, looking at the Red Cow LC clip, the barriers were down for nearly three minutes before the Voyager crossed. SimSig would have docked me points for keeping the barriers down against road traffic for as long as that.
I questioned having to wait for 5 minutes at a level crossing in this thread several years ago. I think that one of the explanations given could have applied to the particular crossing that I mentioned. Apparently, some people have to wait even longer!

https://www.simsig.co.uk/Forum/ThreadView/43660

Your life can have a thousand different meanings or maybe just one....I'd recommend more than one in case you got it wrong - (Rezende)
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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 31/08/2020 at 10:49 #131132
lazzer
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UKTrainMan in post 131118 said:
This thread reminds me of Red Cow LC (CCTV) at Exeter St. Davids - if you think just two people still being able to cross whilst the crossing is closed is perhaps 'questionable'...

https://youtu.be/qaK04SMobRA?t=54
It's not questionable at all. The crossing keeper is in attendance, and has authorised the pedestrians to cross via the unlocked pedestrian gate. I sit on the front of a train at St. Davids facing the crossing all the time, and see people waved across in front of me on a regular basis. The crossing keeper will usually be standing on the line in such a way that they can see the dispatch procedure on the platform. Once they see that dispatch has been given they will raise their hands to people to stop them crossing, and move into the middle of the crossing to keep an eye on things.

When the crossing keeper goes home, they lock the pedestrian gates so that people have to wait at the barriers.

In the video you posted the crossing keeper is being somewhat careless, I have to admit. He should be facing the oncoming train and watching both sides of the crossing. To be fair to the locals, they know that it's generally safe to cross (while checking for themselves if course) if the crossing keeper isn't telling them to wait.

Last edited: 31/08/2020 at 10:52 by lazzer
Reason: None given

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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 31/08/2020 at 13:00 #131138
northroad
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The crossing gates appeared to be operating fine this morning. The suggestion about using the footbridge seems logical but with the present situation does not allow them to keep everyone walking in the same direction and I do believe that the gated entrance to the platform is not encouraged. Something to do with buying a platform ticket under normal operations I fancy.
I note the use of the word Wicket gate by a few responders and am intrigued as to its origin if anyone knows.

Geoff

Never apologise son, it's a sign of weakness (John Wayne)
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Level crossing gates at Nene Valley 31/08/2020 at 14:45 #131143
Dick
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Origin and usage

The noun wicket comes from the Old Northern French word ‘wiket’, the equivalent of the modern French ‘guichet’. It was first used in English in the 14th century to mean a small door or gate that was placed beside or in a larger one, for use when the larger one was shut. The cricketing meaning dates from the early 18th century.

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