'Don't play politics with infrastructure': Deadly crossing on list of worst 20

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 Sep 2016 13:59
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A quick fix is to paint a yellow box on the crossing so it is an offence to enter the box unless your exit is clear.
You're too late. Union Road crossing already has a cross-hatched yellow paint job. . . didn't seem to help very much.
Valvegear

When two old dears are driving along and chatting 10 to the dozen and being oblivious to their surroundings, yes I know I'm being stereotypical... find themselves stationary in the traffic...on the crossing...then the bells start and a few seconds later the booms commence to lower.

In this time frame of less about 20 seconds after the realisation...there's very little time left for making any reasoned decision, consequently and sadly, most likely as most people would...they froze.

Mike.

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

In my opinion entering a level crossing before the exit is clear is a more complex behaviour than other posters seem to consider.

Observations at my local level crossing suggest that:
  • A small percentage of drivers will enter the level crossing when the exit is blocked by stationary cars.
  • A very large percentage of drivers will enter the level crossing if the traffic is moving, even though they can't tell if they will be able to clear the level crossing. I would go so far as to say that most (>50%) drivers would do this even in heavy traffic.

The fact that most drivers will exhibit the second behaviour suggests that the problem is not *stupidity*, it's to do with how drivers perceive risks.

With the second behaviour, *occasionally* the traffic flow will unexpectedly stop, trapping one or more cars on the crossing. However, *most* of the time this occurs the traffic will restart before the level crossing protection equipment starts.

Drivers consequently learn that this behaviour (driving across a level crossing in a moving stream of traffic) has a low risk. And they are right. What most drivers probably don't consider is that the consequences are high if the risk occurs.

Now, I never drove across my local crossing until I could see enough room on the other side to exit. And I got beeped often enough that it was clear that many other drivers did not understand what I was doing or share my view of the road rules.
historian
Entering a potentially dangerous is always risk and therefore stupid if its is unnecesary, just because a lot of people do something does NOT make it OK. I my self NEVER enter a level crossing unless I can travel right through it (even on the level crossings in Shep north of the station). It bothers me not at all what others think of this, if they potentially wish to commit suicide.....................
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Of course they're playing politics, it's what you do when in opposition. When you get into power you then find it's not so easy to actually do things and then it becomes the oppositions turn to play politics, and so on and so forth. Don't remember the other mob getting on and doing much when they were in for their one term.

As to Mont Albert and Union Rd crossings, mention skyrail to the locals and see what sort of response you get! Put the railway (in this instance) underground and almalgamate the two stations into one, centrally located. (They're currently only about 600 metres apart)
Bullucked
Just a minor point, its VERY unlikey embankment and bridges would be suitable for for Surrey Hills and Mont Albert, the track there is on a 1 in 40 grade with Mont Albert on the peak, as at Heatherdale the ONLY option is likely to be deep cuttings. Bridges are being used for the Dandenong line because its the cheapest option with less disruption and the line has very little grades.

I may add here putting a line in a cutting/underground is VERY expensive, with a large range of external problems that can occur its NOT and NEVER will be as simple as the anti "sky rail" people think it is.

woodford
  torrens5022 Junior Train Controller

The yellow painted boxes are a good idea at busy crossings, they make it clear to the driver where the crossing ends and therefore if it's clear to go, some crossings can be hard to judge especially the raised hump style ones.  Some people will ignore the markings but others will use it as a warning and a guide as when it's safe to cross.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
As to Mont Albert and Union Rd crossings, mention skyrail to the locals and see what sort of response you get! Put the railway (in this instance) underground and almalgamate the two stations into one, centrally located. (They're currently only about 600 metres apart)
Bullucked
Rail-under is the only logical method of removing those level crossings. Consolidating Surrey Hills & Mont Albert isn't a good idea, the stations both have a significant amount of walk-up patronage and serve local shopping strips as well as residential.

A significant reconfiguration of the track between East Camberwell and Box Hill is going to be needed in the near future:
  • 4 tracks to allow for local/express traffic separation
  • Closure and demolition of Chatham station
  • New stations with reconfigured platforms at Mont Albert (local only) & Surrey Hills (local + express) as part of grade separation works
  • Reinstatement of platform 1 at Box Hill
  • Rebuilds of Canterbury and East Camberwell to reconfigure the platform arrangements to only serve local services
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

There was a plan to grade separate this crossing in the 1970s, but it was rejected by the community.

Why are there reports the RTBU wants the train speed limit reduced to 65kph? Given it is on a blind corner, how is having barely a second to brake at 65ks better than at 80ks? Anyone on the crossing is still going to be killed, only they'll end up maybe 50 meters down the platform instead of 100m. How is that any better?

How slow would down trains need to go around the blind corner to be able to stop before reaching the road?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There was a plan to grade separate this crossing in the 1970s, but it was rejected by the community.

Why are there reports the RTBU wants the train speed limit reduced to 65kph? Given it is on a blind corner, how is having barely a second to brake at 65ks better than at 80ks? Anyone on the crossing is still going to be killed, only they'll end up maybe 50 meters down the platform instead of 100m. How is that any better?

How slow would down trains need to go around the blind corner to be able to stop before reaching the road?
bramt
The RBTU could enforce their own speed limits If the wanted too !
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I am at a loss as to why politics is involved?

The argument is:
Safer crossings in politically sensitive areas are being replaced more urgently than known unsafe crossings in politically stable areas.
lkernan
Yes, but somehow the previous state government, according to the people of St. Albans, are to blame for the level crossing there.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Simply, it does not matter if the crossing is "dangerous" or not. Getting rid of the level crossings will improve traffic flow for both the railway and roads. We can't have the boomgates down 24/7.
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
I am at a loss as to why politics is involved?

The argument is:
Safer crossings in politically sensitive areas are being replaced more urgently than known unsafe crossings in politically stable areas.
Yes, but somehow the previous state government, according to the people of St. Albans, are to blame for the level crossing there.
Camster
         BOTH these crossings being replaced currently in St Albans ie Main Road and Furlong Road have been the setting of multiple fatal accidents  over the years of both Motorists and Pedestrians .
        They are both busy crossings and "Choke Points "for both Rail and Road traffic which is heavy ( Both Rail and road . )
         One can certainly argue that people are often careless and disobedient of the law and that accidents wouldn`t happen at crossings if people obeyed the law and used caution and common sense when using them .
        Both these crossing were subject of promises by previous governments of both persuasions to remove them at least now this is being done and the people here that I speak to are very happy that this is so.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
        One can certainly argue that people are often careless and disobedient of the law and that accidents wouldn`t happen at crossings if people obeyed the law and used caution and common sense when using them .
       
Crossover
Meaning that there are no dangerous crossings, only dangerous users of them.  Somewhat glib, but basically correct.  Such people need to be protected from themselves.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Some level crossings and nearby road Intersections are of rather poor design, If your not familiar with a complicated layout you could get Into trouble !

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