Moonee Ponds Creek Trestle Bridge

 
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

A couple of days ago, a 15 year old girl died, hit by a train at the Glenroy end of the bridge. It was an absolute tragedy no doubt, but based on the sheer number of people who go up there, unfortunately it was inevitable. There are lots of rumours going around, but it seems it was an accident rather than a suicide, with her apparently playing chicken with her boyfriend and going into a state of shock as the train came around.

It has got me thinking: what can be done? People are up there all the time. Everyone I know in the area has been up there as a kid. I remember going on the little side path underneath when I was about twelve. Lockdowns seem to have exacerbated it too, with more people, kids especially, heading outside and exploring these areas. If I were to estimate, I would expect 10-20 people to cross the bridge walking on the tracks every day (or at least to go up there for a photo on the tracks).

Are fences the solution? They could be. It would be a bit of a nightmare to built and I think it would be pretty expensive too. They would have to not be the like the fences they put up on the Gowanbrae side which people always cut holes in to reopen the shortcut over the tracks, and a bit more solid. Even if they did build a solid fence, I'm sure people would still go there anyway. There are numerous entry points. I think they should consider putting in a speed limit, especially for up standard gauge trains which can rocket around the bend from Glenroy onto the bridge. At least at the down end, they are visible for a long time, but with the wind going in the right direction, they can seem to come out of no where and at very high speeds.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue, because I am all but certain that people will continue to go up there.

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  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

A couple of years back, Christmas Day, running the evening up Albury, probably about 20:30 with a good fast run and no crosses. Around the curve, down the hill, into notch 8 for the hill beyond.

Watch a family group (3 generations?) scatter frantically in most directions; thankfully none onto my track, apart from a couple onto a refuge. No point applying brakes, their survival depended entirely on their decisions, which hopefully were going to be better than their previous one. No braking force on the train would have given them any more time.

Didn’t overly please me.

I doubt they will ever ever do that again.

They might try guards armed with machine-guns.

I doubt they will ever ever do that again.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Watch a family group (3 generations?) scatter frantically in most directions; thankfully none onto my track, apart from a couple onto a refuge. No point applying brakes, their survival depended entirely on their decisions, ....
hbedriver
I hear your drivers' worse nightmare.

There is of course a solution.
As many people have the need to walk that path, then build a pedestrian bridge to enable that.
The fact it hasn't happened is a shame upon the local council.

@reubstar6 : Demand it, appear at the coroner, write the papers, bang on the MP door, general stink until they listen.
Only the locals can influence this one.

sigh
John
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue, because I am all but certain that people will continue to go up there.
reubstar6
Accessing to an advertisement in the Economist magazine, research about trespassers getting killed trying to  cross the tracks of a busy Indian city railway (10 per day) suggested that these trespassers had difficulty judging the speed of approaching trains.
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue, because I am all but certain that people will continue to go up there.
According to an advertisement in the Economist magazine, research about trespassers getting killed trying to cross the tracks of a busy Indian city railway (10 per day) suggested that these trespassers had difficulty judging the speed of approaching trains.

So they had difficulty telling if it was safe to cross.

By painting the sleepers in a certain way helped those trespassers judge train speeds. The pattern was something like four high visibility yellow sleepers alternating with a number of dark sleepers.

The death rate for trespassers dropped noticeably as a result.

See Economist magazine 5 Oct 2019 p83.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Watch a family group (3 generations?) scatter frantically in most directions; thankfully none onto my track, apart from a couple onto a refuge. No point applying brakes, their survival depended entirely on their decisions, ....
I hear your drivers' worse nightmare.

There is of course a solution.
As many people have the need to walk that path, then build a pedestrian bridge to enable that.
The fact it hasn't happened is a shame upon the local council.

@reubstar6 : Demand it, appear at the coroner, write the papers, bang on the MP door, general stink until they listen.
Only the locals can influence this one.

sigh
John
justarider
You will probably find that It's VicTrack's responsibility for building pedestrian pathways / crossing points within railway corridors (unless VicTrack has hanballed It over to Councils)
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Could a left field solution be to put a beeping noise like they do at the crossings every time there's a train about to come? It would surely be a helluva lot cheaper than the sort of complicated fencing they would potentially need.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

So does it provide a footpath or not?  If so, pedestrians should be safe walking there.  If not, providing an audible warning conveys the incorrect message that it's OK to walk along a railway.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Watch a family group (3 generations?) scatter frantically in most directions; thankfully none onto my track, apart from a couple onto a refuge. No point applying brakes, their survival depended entirely on their decisions, ....
I hear your drivers' worse nightmare.

There is of course a solution.
As many people have the need to walk that path, then build a pedestrian bridge to enable that.
The fact it hasn't happened is a shame upon the local council.

@reubstar6 : Demand it, appear at the coroner, write the papers, bang on the MP door, general stink until they listen.
Only the locals can influence this one.

sigh
John
You will probably find that It's VicTrack's responsibility for building pedestrian pathways / crossing points within railway corridors (unless VicTrack has hanballed It over to Councils)
Nightfire
Who said anything about the rail corridor ?

It's public parkland, a narrow strip of which trains occupy.  
There is no need for a path anywhere near the trains, just the A to B where pedestrians traverse.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Does the parkland include the space above the creek, or does it just occupy two pieces of land on two sides, with a railway bridge running through the park and physically (but not legitimately for pedestrians) connecting two banks?  If the latter, trespass at own risk.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
You want an impractical solution (read stupid) guaranteed to disadvantage rail? Just ask a coroner.

Simple keep off the track and the bridge. If you want to cross the creek valley simply walk down the hill on one side and up the other. There are adequate walking paths.

Some of the solutions proposed so far are simply ridiculous.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Could a left field solution be to put a beeping noise like they do at the crossings every time there's a train about to come? It would surely be a helluva lot cheaper than the sort of complicated fencing they would potentially need.
reubstar6
At Wangaratta a lot of the rail corridor beside public pathways has been fenced off by steel picket fence panels (something that would resist attack by wire cutters or bolt cutters)
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

You want an impractical solution (read stupid) guaranteed to disadvantage rail? Just ask a coroner.

Simple keep off the track and the bridge. If you want to cross the creek valley simply walk down the hill on one side and up the other. There are adequate walking paths.

Some of the solutions proposed so far are simply ridiculous.
YM-Mundrabilla
Not familiar with this particular location but, the only time we should hear of a pedestrian being struck by a train is if train has derailed and left the rail corridor.
If you believe you’re more powerful than a locomotive, well, have news for you.
Sympathy for the crews involved both train and clean up.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Could a left field solution be to put a beeping noise like they do at the crossings every time there's a train about to come? It would surely be a helluva lot cheaper than the sort of complicated fencing they would potentially need.
reubstar6
Another unnecessary cost.
Too loud and a noise nuisance to the locals.
Didn't hear it and got run over.
Did it work, did it not work, was it loud enough, was it 3 feet this way or the other, did it play the right tune? Another bucket of money for the lawyers.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Are fences the solution? They could be.
reubstar6
I had 3 geniuses in one shift last week at separate locations all walking in the 5 foot with their backs to my oncoming train. You're never going to be able to stop people accessing the rail corridor where there is a pedestrian or level crossing but adequate fencing would be a deterrent to those that are a just taking a shortcut and making it clear to those that aren't too bright that maybe they shouldn't be there.

Alarms and painted sleepers etc are in my opinion a waste of money, and if they're installed at one location then its highly likely some bureaucrat will want them rolled out network wide at any potential 'risky' location in the name of safety.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Another good and informative post from jakar. I agree entirely about his comments on alarms et al being yet another form of bureaucratic utopia. It is an unfortunate fact that it is impossible to legislate against stupidity.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Could a left field solution be to put a beeping noise like they do at the crossings every time there's a train about to come? It would surely be a helluva lot cheaper than the sort of complicated fencing they would potentially need.
reubstar6
For ARTC to do so would be acknowledgement they knew of the high likelihood of trespass at that location, but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
For ARTC to do so would be acknowledgement they knew of the high likelihood of trespass at that location, but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.
Lockspike
This argument is a bit circular. Surely the danger with the tressle is obvious.

Maybe some warning signs are needed.

Some information might be added to the Road Authority's (RMS in NSW) Driver's (& Pedestrians's) handbook to draw the attention of trespassers to the safety problem. Do this rather than having two separate books.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Are there signs outside every house saying 'do not play on the road'?
Are there signs on every tree saying 'do not run your car into this tree'?

The sign would, of course, need to be in 192 languages and as soon as you miss one the lawyers would have you.

This thread is rapidly returning us to the beginnings of railways around 180 years ago where every train was preceded by a man with a red flag.

You cannot protect people from their own stupidity no matter what.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Signs don’t work for blind people. Sirens don’t work for deaf people. And if the sign is defaced or the siren fails, it becomes positively dangerous.

I maintain my suggestion about armed guards is the best so far.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I maintain my suggestion about armed guards is the best so far.
"hbedriver"
Shoot first, huh? No point in calling out; the person might be deaf.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Signs don’t work for blind people. Sirens don’t work for deaf people. And if the sign is defaced or the siren fails, it becomes positively dangerous.

I maintain my suggestion about armed guards is the best so far.
hbedriver
Have you considered landmines along the would be fence line?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I maintain my suggestion about armed guards is the best so far.
Shoot first, huh? No point in calling out; the person might be deaf.
Valvegear
What! What did you say ............. speak up............... ????
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

No amount of signs, warning bell, whatever else, will prevent people from doing this. Every day people jump on or off the ends of platforms to take a shortcut. Platforms are fenced off and have warning signs. Pedestrian crossings have gates, lights and bells and warning signs. Doesn't stop idiots opening the bypass gate or jumping over the gate to beat the train because they're more important than anyone else.

The only thing I'd change is to prevent train crew getting sued by the trespassers or their relatives. Stress levels would be high enough, they don't need the added pressure of maybe ending up in court answering stupid questions from a money hungry lawyer. You trespass, your problem.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I'd rather see the deceased trespasser's family sued for stress caused to the train driver.

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