Last suburban level crossings

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Queensland is the only Australian state where many level crossings have booms but not bells. Level crossings with roads that have footpaths have alarms for pedestrians.
But anyway, are there plans to remove the level crossings that remain. Last time I was in Brisbane, I saw one on a quadruple track section.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Queensland is the only Australian state where many level crossings have booms but not bells. Level crossings with roads that have footpaths have alarms for pedestrians.
But anyway, are there plans to remove the level crossings that remain. Last time I was in Brisbane, I saw one on a quadruple track section.
Myrtone
Queensland Is broke, so little to no funds for things like level crossing removal.

They can't even find the funds for much needed rail projects.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So how come Brisbane has a very modern rail network, with modern trains and tracks and signalling in such good condition. Last time I was in Brisbane, I did hear about level crossing removals.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
So how come Brisbane has a very modern rail network, with modern trains and tracks and signalling in such good condition. Last time I was in Brisbane, I did hear about level crossing removals.
Myrtone
Life still has to roll on In that rapidly growing region.

The tracks are very slow (compared to TransPerth network)

New trains are cheap and nasty riddled with problems.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
Lindum crossing removal with 3 tracks, one being the Port of Brisbane dual gauge, has been promised for the last 25 years but in the too hard basket due to the complexity.  In the morning and afternoon peaks there are up to 16 suburban movements per hour without counting any Port freight trains.  Currently local Federal Member has a petition going for its removal ( again ). This crossing is in the middle of a 4 way intersection, which can be seen on Google earth.  Part of the problem is not trucks trying to beat the gates, but some large trucks, not even wanting to cross the line,  but just making the right hand turn from North Road to Lindum Road on the northern side of the crossing.  The boom gate on the northern side of this crossing juts so far into the middle of the intersection that some large trucks hit this gate and of course brings rail and road movements to a standstill while police are deployed to direct traffic and railway engineers fix the broken gate.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Usual thing, flat level terrain LX in built up area. Never going to be cheap or pretty to resolve.

Qld govt has a now I believe a balanced budget with a small surplus, it however has a very large debt and should not be looking at projects that require money to be borrowed unless there is a positive/commercial rate of return.

LX while not desirable are not the end of the world and unless they cause traffic congestion and have a safe operating history for any one location, leave it there and focus on other things.

Mytone
Bells are not required for LX, car drivers won't hear it and pedestrians don't need them, only sight impaired so if there is no foot path, no need. LX's with boom gates, flashing lights and in some cases bells its a blast from the past.

All that is required is
- Traffic lights
- Boom gate to appease the safety freaks.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Usual thing, flat level terrain LX in built up area. Never going to be cheap or pretty to resolve.
RTT_Rules

If those grade separations had been carried out before the area was built up, it would have been easy, just raise the road. Besides, Brisbane is quite hilly.

Qld govt has a now I believe a balanced budget with a small surplus, it however has a very large debt and should not be looking at projects that require money to be borrowed unless there is a positive/commercial rate of return.
RTT_Rules

I didn't know things like this. I was wondering if they could borrow money, but instead they have a large debt. They grow sugar cane. Do sales of sugar help pay off their loan?

LX while not desirable are not the end of the world and unless they cause traffic congestion and have a safe operating history for any one location, leave it there and focus on other things.
RTT_Rules

And yet many railway operators are commited not to build new ones. And a level crossing that doesn't cause congestion right now may cause it later if if not grade separated.

Bells are not required for LX, car drivers won't hear it and pedestrians don't need them, only sight impaired so if there is no foot path, no need. LX's with boom gates, flashing lights and in some cases bells its a blast from the past.
RTT_Rules

It depends on how loud the bell is. Loud warning bells can be heard inside cars even with all windows closed. I don't think e-bells can.

Pedestrians (especially blind pedestrians) need some audible warning if the barriers only cover half the road width and not the footpath. If the pedestrian gates close a pre-programmed amount of time after activation, regardless of whether there is still anyone on the crossing, there needs to be an emergency exit and the bell or alarm needs to keep sounding throughout the activation period. Bells also increase awareness for cyclists, including motorcycle riders, and provide a warining if the lights fail.

In the past, suburban level crossings in this country had proper (swing) gates which could bar the railway. When a train was crossing or approaching, they would cover the full road width, not half. They were operated by a person who could see the crossing. And there were wicket gates, operated by the same person, who could see if the path between the gates on each side was clear and locked the gates afterwards. No need for an emergency exist or warning bell.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Usual thing, flat level terrain LX in built up area. Never going to be cheap or pretty to resolve.

If those grade separations had been carried out before the area was built up, it would have been easy, just raise the road. Besides, Brisbane is quite hilly.

Qld govt has a now I believe a balanced budget with a small surplus, it however has a very large debt and should not be looking at projects that require money to be borrowed unless there is a positive/commercial rate of return.

I didn't know things like this. I was wondering if they could borrow money, but instead they have a large debt. They grow sugar cane. Do sales of sugar help pay off their loan?

LX while not desirable are not the end of the world and unless they cause traffic congestion and have a safe operating history for any one location, leave it there and focus on other things.

And yet many railway operators are commited not to build new ones. And a level crossing that doesn't cause congestion right now may cause it later if if not grade separated.

Bells are not required for LX, car drivers won't hear it and pedestrians don't need them, only sight impaired so if there is no foot path, no need. LX's with boom gates, flashing lights and in some cases bells its a blast from the past.

It depends on how loud the bell is. Loud warning bells can be heard inside cars even with all windows closed. I don't think e-bells can.

Pedestrians (especially blind pedestrians) need some audible warning if the barriers only cover half the road width and not the footpath. If the pedestrian gates close a pre-programmed amount of time after activation, regardless of whether there is still anyone on the crossing, there needs to be an emergency exit and the bell or alarm needs to keep sounding throughout the activation period. Bells also increase awareness for cyclists, including motorcycle riders, and provide a warining if the lights fail.

In the past, suburban level crossings in this country had proper (swing) gates which could bar the railway. When a train was crossing or approaching, they would cover the full road width, not half. They were operated by a person who could see the crossing. And there were wicket gates, operated by the same person, who could see if the path between the gates on each side was clear and locked the gates afterwards. No need for an emergency exist or warning bell.
Myrtone
I'll save you some typing Mytone
"I Mytone have no idea on the topography of Brisbane especially around the LX and hence my previous comment above is not valid"

Just raise the road he says!!! Yes it works sometimes, but again
"I Mytone have no idea on the topography and existing road layouts at most of Brisbane's LX's and hence my previous comments are rubbish"

The Qld govt does not grow 1t of Sugar cane. Farmers do, its not exactly a gold mine resource.

Taxes and levies pay of debts, but at $70B it will take some time, a generation!

All Australian govts have a policy that leans towards no new LX. This has been in place for many years even though the Nth Territory line created a few. They are removed based on safety and need for road congestion and in some cases railway timetabling which is aimed to reduce boom gate down time on major roads. Rail track owners do not have a choice about building LX.

Bells, if you can hear the bell in the car or on your motor bike or even push bike, its of no longer any use. ie you are stopped at the gate or within a few spaces, not approaching the gates at speed a few hundred metres away. They turn the bells off due to locals complaining.

The lights and gates are normally connected to a fail safe, if they fail the trains are stopped. The bell would save next to no body.

The days of gate man are long behind us, unless you want to go to India where its still common. The boom gate and flashing light was basically invented too soon before standardised traffic lights. Had these been around in common numbers first flashing lights and boom gates would never exist. I note in SA they use traffic lights over flashing lights.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I have been to Brisbane before, so do know a bit about the topography.

No comment on taxes.

All Australian govts have a policy that leans towards no new LX. This has been in place for many years even though the Nth Territory line created a few. They are removed based on safety and need for road congestion and in some cases railway timetabling which is aimed to reduce boom gate down time on major roads. Rail track owners do not have a choice about building LX.
"RTT_Rules"

Here's a thought, the value of a level crossing removal should not be exchanged for the value of a new road, especially one accross an existing railway. And if a level crossing removal unlocks line capacity, it should also get priority over new extensions.

Bells, if you can hear the bell in the car or on your motor bike or even push bike, its of no longer any use. ie you are stopped at the gate or within a few spaces, not approaching the gates at speed a few hundred metres away. They turn the bells off due to locals complaining.
"RTT_Rules"

Not here in Victoria. That's like saying that it's no longer any use if a (sighted) pedestrian can hear it. You could be behind a line of vehicles obstructing your view of the lights and booms, bells help.

Can you find something more substantial, such as formal legal document, explaining why bells are installed?

The days of gate man are long behind us, unless you want to go to India where its still common. The boom gate and flashing light was basically invented too soon before standardised traffic lights. Had these been around in common numbers first flashing lights and boom gates would never exist. I note in SA they use traffic lights over flashing lights.
"RTT_Rules"

No, there, as I have seen, both in photos and footage, and even in person, they use typical American style flashing lights, just like all other states except Western Australia.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Bells have never been a standard arrangement at Queensland level crossings. There have been some exceptions, Russel Street in Toowoomba had them, but at some early point in the application of automatic level crossing protection, QR decided not to use bells...cost was probably a likely factor. Now, however, many urban and rural level crossings with gated pedestrian crossings have audible electronic alarms in Queensland, these became common in the 1990s and perform the same task as bells.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
In addition to my earlier post......

Lindum crossing removal with 3 tracks, one being the Port of Brisbane dual gauge, has been promised for the last 25 years but in the too hard basket due to the complexity.  In the morning and afternoon peaks there are up to 16 suburban movements per hour without counting any Port freight trains on the dual gauge.  Currently the local Federal Member has a petition going for its removal ( again ).

This crossing is in the middle of a 4 way intersection, which can be seen on Google Earth.  Part of the problem is not trucks trying to beat the gates, but some large trucks, not even wanting to cross the line,  but just making the right hand turn from North Road to Lindum Road on the northern side of the crossing.  The boom gate on the northern side of this crossing juts so far into the middle of the intersection that some large trucks hit this gate in turning and of course brings rail and road movements to a standstill while police are deployed to direct traffic and railway engineers fix the broken gate.   This problem has been simmering for decades, but has been amplified in recent years with the opening of the Port of Brisbane Motorway with extra trucks movements through the area.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Does anyone here have a photo of the Lindum crossing? Here in Victoria, we use quiet alarms on pedestrian level crossings away from roads, and bells on level crossings with roads, even if they don't include pedestrian crossings. The latter is the same in the two states that share a land border with Victoria.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

If those grade separations had been carried out before the area was built up, it would have been easy, just raise the road. Besides, Brisbane is quite hilly.

And yet many railway operators are commited not to build new ones. And a level crossing that doesn't cause congestion right now may cause it later if if not grade separated.
Myrtone
1.  many of these level crossings have had buildings around them for nearly a century.  The worst LX's in brisbane just happen to be in areas where its a pain to remove them.  Most of the easy LX's to remove have already been done.

2.  New LX's aren't built in in SEQ area.  Outside SEQ or major centres, neither car or rail traffic is high enough to justify it.  The Kippa ring, Gold Coast, Springfield, Airport and rebuilt cleveland lines were all built without LX's, only 1 LX on the redone section of the sunny coast line. In fact, Gold coast line even has a staff only overpass at the stabling sidings at robina so they wouldn't cross a "high speed railway".
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Lets go through the main road LX's in brisbane line by line:
Ferny grove:
newmarket - not major, but does ahve some delays
South pine road - major, causes delays
osborne rd - major, does cause delays
grovely - major, minor delays (mainly to me since I use that road alot)
samford rd - major, but only minor delays

ipswich: only 2 at all, sherwood road and progress road.  Progress rd should have been removed when major roadworks occurs in that area
Beenleigh: there is a few, some earmaked every election for removal but never happens.  Some major, some minor LX's.
Cleveland : there is a lot, but most would be very hard to remove.  after Manly there are no LX's though.  Some of these are considered the worst in brisbane due to the heavy car traffic, frequent  passenger trains and frequent intermodal and coal trains.  
Corinda - yeerongpilly: no LX's
POB line: some, but none are a concern
doomben: no major LX's, but low rail traffic levels mean its no issue
shorncliffe: there are some, but only banyo is a major one needing removal, but would be very hard to do
Caboolture : a few need to be removed, but all of the very worst crossings have already been removed.  The high rail frequency is why these need to go.
Rosewood line : Some, but none are a major concern, not enough rail or vehicle traffic.  Of note, they have trialed new types of crossing lights and bells on some LX's on this section
Sunny coast : All should go when the upgrade happens, the two just north of caboolture should have been removed when it was upgraded.  
Interstate Standard gauge line: none are a concern, the only one that caused issues was removed.

In short, there aren't actually that many LX's in the SEQ area.  We have well over 100km of newly built lines without them, and one of our major lines only has 2 LX's.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Mytone,
Tazzer has done well to provide the list. Note the list is far shorter than Melbourne.

The issue for much of the remaining crossings in Brisbane is that Brisbane where most of the railways are and LX are is flat (this is why I said you have no idea). The LX are often hard up against a major intersection or in the middle of suburbia with houses right up to the railway. Which means building a bridge or underpass is technically difficult or will itself cause major or intolerable traffic disruption during the construction phase, nominally 1-2 years.

In contrast to much of Sydney the railways were built in mostly areas where overpasses was mostly about connecting two banks of a cutting or likely wise an underpass. even Sydney has only a couple left and these are in equally major challenging locations such as Paramatta Road which is likely to eventually see the railway close.

Use Street view to have a look at many of the crossings and you will see how complex it is (much smarter than asking for a photo). Nothing will happen to any of these LX unless there is a A and major incident or B another major project in the same location to help fund the project. I could be wrong but I believe that QR do try and timetable train crosses at some LX to reduce boom gate down time.

Regard Adelaide use of traffic lights, yes they are there, well at least the intersection I walked across 2months ago. Flashing lights are there too, but car drivers don't respond to flashing lights light traffic lights. Flashing lights to road users are typically an indication of a warning or hazard, not to stop. Which is why this standard should have been abandoned 60 years ago. The introduction of traffic lights by SA govt is a wise move and more should follow.

Regard to bells or in some cases now buzzers. Why they are not used is because there is limited value to them and cost. You cannot hear them in a car or motor bike unless you have just about stopped anyway, so whats the point. The sound is more use to a pedestrian as a warning they are about to be hit on the head. Additionally you will find local residents will have frequently complained about the noise, which is why in some areas of Sydney and Brisbane, the horn is not used for a departing train from a station. I'm not sure if its a standard now not to use, I cannot remember Sydney two months. Originally a train had to horn when ever it started motion as warning to anyone near it. Well the tracks are gated off these days, so no one should be there and passengers have the audible warnings and announcements of "doors closing".
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Tazzer has done well to provide the list. Note the list is far shorter than Melbourne.
RTT_Rules

I realise the list would be shorter than Melbourne. I just found out about this, and this news item.

The issue for much of the remaining crossings in Brisbane is that Brisbane where most of the railways are and LX are is flat (this is why I said you have no idea). The LX are often hard up against a major intersection or in the middle of suburbia with houses right up to the railway. Which means building a bridge or underpass is technically difficult or will itself cause major or intolerable traffic disruption during the construction phase, nominally 1-2 years.
RTT_Rules

When I have been there, I have actually seen level crossings in quite hilly areas, that one with quadruple track being an example.

In contrast to much of Sydney the railways were built in mostly areas where overpasses was mostly about connecting two banks of a cutting or likely wise an underpass. even Sydney has only a couple left and these are in equally major challenging locations such as Paramatta Road which is likely to eventually see the railway close.
RTT_Rules

Yes, the least busy line in Sydney indeed has a number of level crossings, one with a major road and many other pedestrian ones.

Use Street view to have a look at many of the crossings and you will see how complex it is (much smarter than asking for a photo). Nothing will happen to any of these LX unless there is a A and major incident or B another major project in the same location to help fund the project. I could be wrong but I believe that QR do try and timetable train crosses at some LX to reduce boom gate down time.
RTT_Rules

I have no idea about Queensland timetables. I tried to find a photo of the level crossing next to Lindum station, but couldn't. But I saw a streetview of that level crossing and it doesn't look that complex.
So much easier if that level crossing had been grade separated before the area was built up, but even now, I wonder if it could be done by changing the level of the tracks.


Regard Adelaide use of traffic lights, yes they are there, well at least the intersection I walked across 2months ago. Flashing lights are there too, but car drivers don't respond to flashing lights light traffic lights. Flashing lights to road users are typically an indication of a warning or hazard, not to stop. Which is why this standard should have been abandoned 60 years ago. The introduction of traffic lights by SA govt is a wise move and more should follow.
RTT_Rules

Here is a photo of one of their level crossings:


See, just those American style flashing lights, no other lights.



Regard to bells or in some cases now buzzers. Why they are not used is because there is limited value to them and cost. You cannot hear them in a car or motor bike unless you have just about stopped anyway, so whats the point. The sound is more use to a pedestrian as a warning they are about to be hit on the head. Additionally you will find local residents will have frequently complained about the noise, which is why in some areas of Sydney and Brisbane, the horn is not used for a departing train from a station. I'm not sure if its a standard now not to use, I cannot remember Sydney two months. Originally a train had to horn when ever it started motion as warning to anyone near it. Well the tracks are gated off these days, so no one should be there and passengers have the audible warnings and announcements of "doors closing".
RTT_Rules
But they are used. Surely they can be heard on a quiet enough motor cycle, even while moving.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

If a motorist is alerted to an approaching train by the sound of bells rather than flashing red lights and boomgates ahead of them, then it is reasonable to suggest that motorist should not be driving a motor vehicle.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Even if they are fully sighted (no vision problems), there are situations where the lights and barriers might be out of their sight while bells can still be heard.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Even if they are fully sighted (no vision problems), there are situations where the lights and barriers might be out of their sight while bells can still be heard.
Myrtone
Cr4p. If the lights and barriers are out of sight the drivers are not in danger of being on the crossing while a train is passing!
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Once again, can anyone show me the official reason for bells or alarms?
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

I get bells and alarms for pedestrian crossings, but for vehicle crossings they have no point.   By the time you would hear it, you are already on top of the LX.  Otherwise it just annoys everyone in the area, and they even lose effectiveness.  In QLD, the ambulances have sirens which are much softer than before and you can't heer them unless its right on top of you

There are studies which show our overuse of buzzers and alarms mean we now block them out, defeating their entire purpose.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
Myrtone - I live only 1km from the Lindum LX and avoid it all costs and use a particular back road and cross the line at Wynnum North the next one along from Lindum.  The Lindum LX area is flat and barely above sea level so grade separation would not work.  There has been talk about putting the necessary overpass about 500 metres closer to Hemmant station and re routing Kianawah Road more or less over this overpass and then straight onto the Port Motorway/Lytton Road intersection, and Sibley Rd extended an extra 500 metres to a new intersection before this new overpass, but many houses along Kianawah Rd would need to be resumed and the costs would be many tens of millions.  And as earlier posters have mentioned our Govt ( either side ) is broke so this LX would be way down any list.  You said it doesn't look too bad.  The big issue is motorists wanting to turn right from Sibley Rd, and give way to Kianawah Rd traffic,  across the LX ( 3 lines ) then a sharp left into Lindum Rd to get to the Port Motorway and head to the City or Gateway Motorway - and vice versa.  And then there is the truck issue I mentioned earlier.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Some light reading about the 1400 level crossings in Queensland, including the 47 in the Greater Brisbane region...

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/-/media/Safety/railsafety/QldLevelCrossingSafetyStrategy20122021AnnualReport201314.pdf?la=en
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I get bells and alarms for pedestrian crossings, but for vehicle crossings they have no point.   By the time you would hear it, you are already on top of the LX.  Otherwise it just annoys everyone in the area, and they even lose effectiveness.  In QLD, the ambulances have sirens which are much softer than before and you can't heer them unless its right on top of you
tazzer96

I don't know what "on top of the LX" means. It may annoy people who live in the area, but I'll repeat one more time, it increases awarness for road users who can hear it. Can someone show me the official reason for installing bells or alarms on level crossings, don't use anecdotal evidence to convince people that bells are only for pedestrians.

There are studies which show our overuse of buzzers and alarms mean we now block them out, defeating their entire purpose.
tazzer96

If a crossing is manually operated, either on-site or remotely, it can have barriers that cover the full width of the road, and the bell or alarm can stop with all barriers closed. If you have seen videos of such level crossings in the British Isles, and similar ones on mainland Europe, you'll know what I mean.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
@phil_48 Grade separation in a low lying area can be done simply by building rail viaduct and relocating the tracks there. The station could even be directly above the street in question instead of next to it.

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