A road to nowhere

 
  Comengs Chief Commissioner

Location: Mourningtown Ride
From the Herald Sun, Wednesday, July 26 2006.

Crossing a signal failure. Liam Houlihan

A SET of rail warning signals installed on a road to nowhere has embarrassed the Government's launch of a $500,000 safety campaign.

Transport Minister Peter Batchelor has been accused of stupidity for equipping the derelict, dead-end crossing at Bacchus Marsh with expensive safety lights and bells.

More than 1400 road-rail intersections in Victoria have no flashing lights or boom gates.

Most of the state's 2274 level crossings have no more than a stop sign.

At Bacchus Marsh, a dirt track crosses the rail but instantly ends at a locked gate.

"Victorians have died at level crossings and if nothing is done will continue to die," Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said.

"Yet this newly upgraded crossing is only metres from the road's dead end at a rarely used back entrance to the Bacchus Marsh rifle range."

Mr Mulder said the warning equipment should have gone to Lismore or Trawalla, where there had been deaths.

Grass grows through the rusty gates at the contentious entrance and the road inside the property is little more than a goat track, he said.

The Government yesterday launched a $530,000 level crossing campaign as part of National Rail Safety Week.

The newspaper and radio ad blitz will particularly aim at truck drivers after a crossing crash at Trawalla in April which killed two people.

The new campaign takes the bill for ads telling people to be careful at level crossings to more than $1.5 million.

Mr Batchelor said the campaign was to make drivers understand it takes about 200m for a suburban train to stop and longer for heavier freight trains.

In the last financial year train operator Connex recorded 50 near misses with vehicles at level crossings, 30 near-misses with people and seven vehicles struck by trains.

Camera monitoring has revealed the level crossing at Springvale Rd in Nunawading as one of Melbourne's worst for near-misses and for drivers racing boom gates.

Twenty-one people have died in level crossing accidents in Victoria since 2000.

The Government has ruled out road tunnels or bridges at all level crossings as too costly at an estimated $60 billion.

Mr Batchelor said that $208.7 million had been set aside to upgrade for safer railway crossings, upgrading close to 300 over the next decade.


http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,19913445-2862,00.html

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  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
The Hun?  Yep, shyte journalism.

I think they had to do this as part of RFR?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Duhhh, it's only a rarely used access road. Of COURSE it should have crossing protection! If this was a heavily used road, it should've been grade-separated!
"Bramwellius"
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
Duhhh, it's only a rarely used access road. Of COURSE it should have crossing protection! If this was a heavily used road, it should've been grade-separated!
"Bramwellius"
"michaelgreenhill"
Ol' Spamwells has been awfully quiet of late...
  Byrnesy Minister for Railways

Location: Gone
Just saw a Channel 10 news report on this- they mentioned the accidents at Trawalla and Lismore.......apparently Lismore is on the same line as Bacchus Marsh.. Rolling Eyes
  rbrooker5970 Junior Train Controller

it is
  Byrnesy Minister for Railways

Location: Gone
No it isn't- Lismore is on the SG between Gheringhap and Maroona. Bacchus Marsh is on the BG Melbourne-Ararat line.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
They just can't win, can they...  Rolling Eyes

Now, if that crossing, along with the many "road-to-nowhere" flashing light protected crossings along the line between Melton and Bacchus didn't have the protection and "Farmer Joe" came along on his tractor and was hit, then there'd be something to whinge about.

Sure, there's far more important crossings to upgrade with booms/flashing lights, but, it's better than not upgrading any crossings at all.

Camera monitoring has revealed the level crossing at Springvale Rd in Nunawading as one of Melbourne's worst for near-misses and for drivers racing boom gates.


And another thing, it's pretty pathetic that people are STILL racing to get past/driving around boom gates! What does it take to get it through some people's thick, melon skulls!?  Mad

Wolfpac
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland


And another thing, it's pretty pathetic that people are STILL racing to get past/driving around boom gates! What does it take to get it through some people's thick, melon skulls!?  Mad

Wolfpac
"wolfpac"


The coupler through the driver's side window apparently.  Rolling Eyes
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
The coupler through the driver's side window apparently.  Rolling Eyes
"B 67"


Well, they certainly wouldn't be racing anything ever again in that case...  Rolling EyesLaughing

Permanent, and effective, and something they won't ever forget.

Wolfpac
  Mickelaar The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: At the layout, tinkering.
I cant see why camera's cant be installed at hot spot intersections wher people regularly run the gauntlet, take a photó of the offending moron, and under new hoon laws, confiscate the vehicle and charge the driver with 'impropper use of a motor vehicle'. Which will stand in a court of law.


The coupler through the driver's side window apparently.  Rolling Eyes
"B 67"
Post whoring I know, but: ROFL. That is a funny statement.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
I cant see why camera's cant be installed at hot spot intersections wher people regularly run the gauntlet, take a photó of the offending moron, and under new hoon laws, confiscate the vehicle and charge the driver with 'impropper use of a motor vehicle'. Which will stand in a court of law.
"mickelaar"


Exactly, how is that dangerous behaviour any different to someone doing a burn out off the lights? They're both endangering the public, and generally someone crossing the level crossing when a train is approaching is more dangerous to more of the public.

There we go, why not persue this with our local members of parliament?  Smile

Wolfpac
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Hi all,
This protected level crossing, without booms, just bells & flashing lights is located immediately before the points on the up end of Bank Box loop, and though it ends at a gate and is rarely used, it's on the RFR Ballarat line.

I agree with Ninthnotch, all level crossings on RFR track including this little used one & another one under similar circumstances at Llandielo are all protected Exclamation End of story.......

Mike.
  csyjunior Chief Commissioner

They just can't win, can they...  Rolling Eyes

Now, if that crossing, along with the many "road-to-nowhere" flashing light protected crossings along the line between Melton and Bacchus didn't have the protection and "Farmer Joe" came along on his tractor and was hit, then there'd be something to whinge about.

Wolfpac
"wolfpac"

You just hit the nail on  the head SPOT on mate
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
You just hit the nail on  the head SPOT on mate
"csyjunior"


Thanks, glad to see someone else see's this the same way I do...  Smile

I mean, you could imagine how bad that would be, if they weren't there...  Rolling Eyes

Wolfpac
  joffie Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Saw the segment on the news last night.

What was ironically funny was, the opposition was saying to the media 'Clearly this was a waste of money' but behind him was a HUGE poster that said 'Level crossings save lives' with a picture of the red lights Mr. Green
  csyjunior Chief Commissioner

The politicians would have a field day if someone was hurt at that crossing if it did nt have protection, you can never keep them from whinging.
  All Change Locomotive Driver

Location: Lilydale
Saw the follow-up report on 7 News tonight. The Libs have found two more crossings copping the RFR treatment where they lead to padlocked and rusting gates - one to a closed mine and another to a water treatment plant.

Unlike a lot of people here I have to agree that these crossings are a waste of money. I'm not suggesting that they should have remained unprotected - I'm suggesting that they should have been removed entirely!

Why were the land owners not made to justify the retention of their crossing where it was obvious that it received little to no use? To spend that much money on what is essentially a private road is absurd where public roads remain unprotected.

These crossings should have been removed, not upgraded. But it seems that crossings were arbitrarily upgraded.
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
A seemingly cheaper and better option (if closure was impractical) may have been to have electrically locked manual gates at these crossings and a phone with a direct line to request them to be remotely unlocked if safe to do so.
  Chris Oaff Junior Train Controller

Location: Bendigo
I am personally getting sick and tired of the Liberals criticizing every issue to do with RFR.

While there has been a lot crap associated with RFR, but people would carrying on even more if a future accident happened at one of these crossings.

The Liberals have no right right to criticize the upgrade of levels crossings, given they sold of the lines and allowed the crossings and lines to go into disrepair.

Unless they have something constructive to say, such as returning services to regional Victorians of which they removed, don't bother saying anything at all!
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
It is pathetic that we have to spend this much money on crossings at all. Under the Australian Road Rules, it is the responsibility of the motorist to stop and ensure the crossing is safe. But it is the Rail industry who cops the blame for not making the crossing safe. By it's very nature, a level crossing with passive protection is a safe place, except when a train is coming, and as cars are supposed to give way to us, as long as this one simple rule is followed, everything will have a safe and happy ending. How much more do we need to spoon feed brain-dead motorists, truckies and pedestrians that if they race a train, even if they tie, they still lose. This isn't like the speeding rules where if you break it you will get away with it with nothing more than a $135 fine. This is your bloody life you are risking, and by the time you realise you have screwed the pooch, it is too late to do anything except note with detached interest that the Second Person forgot to attach the MRP to the dummy coupling before you become a hood ornament.

I fully agree that all level crossings, with the exception of private driveways to farms,  on RFR, XPT, Xplorer and RTT/CTT lines should be active crossings as with these things doing upwards of 170kph it doesn't take a great deal of time to visually acquire the train, decide if it is a threat and act on that information. A train travelling at 170kph is travelling at nearly 50m/s. Given that many (most?) crossings have visibility in the 200-300m range, that leaves 6 seconds at the most from stopping, assuming you do stop to look. 1.5 seconds reaction time, leaving 4.5 seconds to get your car across the track safely... Not much time when you think about it...

The sooner the Government gets serious about enforcing the road rules relating to crossings, not just mollycoddling to the opposition with pretty billboards, but actively fining pedestrians and motorists who break the law, will we see a significant shift in the attitude of the average motorist.

We had a case up here where 30-odd pedestrians were fined for crossing the road between the boomgate and a moving train Shocked  then crossing the track on the opposite side of the road to the pedestrian crossing. They kicked up a stink and used this argument:"We didn't know the flashing lights, bells and lowered boom gates meant we were not supposed to cross the tracks." The local MP took up their case and RailCorp rescinded the fines. Where is this MP's priorities? Did he say to one of these people, you did the wrong thing? Did he ask where is their sense of personal responsibility for their actions? Of course not. He got stuck into the government at the first opportunity. This is clearly the wrong message, and until this changes, we will continue to see this kind of action occuring regularly.

Cheers,
Rob.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
and by the time you realise you have screwed the pooch, it is too late to do anything except note with detached interest that the Second Person forgot to attach the MRP to the dummy coupling before you become a hood ornament.
"KRviator"


That's pretty funny, in a weird kind of way!  RazzLaughingLaughing

actively fining pedestrians and motorists who break the law, will we see a significant shift in the attitude of the average motorist.
"KRviator"


Yet, even then, it'll just be another "revenue raiser" by the Government, and be spun that it's to pay for the RFR, somehow.

We had a case up here where 30-odd pedestrians were fined for crossing the road between the boomgate and a moving train Shocked  then crossing the track on the opposite side of the road to the pedestrian crossing. They kicked up a stink and used this argument:"We didn't know the flashing lights, bells and lowered boom gates meant we were not supposed to cross the tracks." The local MP took up their case and RailCorp rescinded the fines. Where is this MP's priorities? Did he say to one of these people, you did the wrong thing? Did he ask where is their sense of personal responsibility for their actions? Of course not. He got stuck into the government at the first opportunity. This is clearly the wrong message, and until this changes, we will continue to see this kind of action occuring regularly.
"KRviator"


What an absolute joke!  Shocked What the hell was the MP thinking, that it's the Government's fault that people are missing way too many braincells to think for themselves?!  Shocked People no longer take responsibility for their own actions, f#$%-ups, and sheer stupidity anymore. To make them go back on the fines because rules don't seem to apply to stupid people is a joke. They're in that much of a rush that they're willing to tempt fate and risk their safety in the worst way? Just another case of making a name for yourself and purely going against the Government because you feel that you have to. Sounds like the morons in Opposition at the moment, since Bracksy has been in, whinging about anything that's done, because they should be fundamentally against it. Safety, what's that!? Bang Head

The alternative is to always remove all the saftey devices and what not, and chlorinate the gene pool...  Rolling Eyes Then see who's right and who's wrong! JOKING!  Rolling Eyes

Wolfpac
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
It is pathetic that we have to spend this much money on crossings at all. Under the Australian Road Rules, it is the responsibility of the motorist to stop and ensure the crossing is safe. But it is the Rail industry who cops the blame for not making the crossing safe. By it's very nature, a level crossing with passive protection is a safe place, except when a train is coming, and as cars are supposed to give way to us, as long as this one simple rule is followed, everything will have a safe and happy ending. How much more do we need to spoon feed brain-dead motorists, truckies and pedestrians that if they race a train, even if they tie, they still lose. This isn't like the speeding rules where if you break it you will get away with it with nothing more than a $135 fine.
"KRviator"


Agreed.

I fully agree that all level crossings, with the exception of private driveways to farms,  on RFR, XPT, Xplorer and RTT/CTT lines should be active crossings as with these things doing upwards of 170kph it doesn't take a great deal of time to visually acquire the train, decide if it is a threat and act on that information. A train travelling at 170kph is travelling at nearly 50m/s. Given that many (most?) crossings have visibility in the 200-300m range, that leaves 6 seconds at the most from stopping, assuming you do stop to look. 1.5 seconds reaction time, leaving 4.5 seconds to get your car across the track safely... Not much time when you think about it...
"KRviator"


Especially if you're on a tractor or truck. So, why did you think private crossings could be excepted again?  Wink   As I said in a previous level crossing thread, there is also the problem of using these crossings in poor weather conditions - such as fog. It simply wouldn't be safe to use a passive crossing in those conditions with a train travelling toward it at 160km/h. Although I know it seems wasteful to have full protection on a private crossing, especially one rarely used, I believe that this would be the reason such crossings have been so treated along the RFR routes.

The sooner the Government gets serious about enforcing the road rules relating to crossings, not just mollycoddling to the opposition with pretty billboards, but actively fining pedestrians and motorists who break the law, will we see a significant shift in the attitude of the average motorist.

"KRviator"


Also agreed. Some members of the police also need some educating on the subject too. I once reported a driver who nearly it me at a crossing. I was standing on the side of the road photographing a train expecting the approaching car to stop. But no, it didn't. Drove right over the crossing with an X class missing him by a few metres. The policeman could see that it was wrong, but then told me "Well, an offence hasn't really been committed".   Shocked
  Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.


We had a case up here where 30-odd pedestrians were fined for crossing the road between the boomgate and a moving train Shocked  then crossing the track on the opposite side of the road to the pedestrian crossing. They kicked up a stink and used this argument:"We didn't know the flashing lights, bells and lowered boom gates meant we were not supposed to cross the tracks." The local MP took up their case and RailCorp rescinded the fines. Where is this MP's priorities? Did he say to one of these people, you did the wrong thing? Did he ask where is their sense of personal responsibility for their actions? Of course not. He got stuck into the government at the first opportunity. This is clearly the wrong message, and until this changes, we will continue to see this kind of action occuring regularly.
"KRviator"


What an absolute joke!  Shocked What the hell was the MP thinking,
"wolfpac"


The MP was thinking about the phrase "Marginal seat" and remembered that many of the seats in Australian Parliaments are hung onto by a few hundred votes at most.

The MP remembered that Menzies entire reelection in 1961 was on the strength of a handful of communist votes (no joke).

The MP knew that 30 voters told they are stupid won't vote for that MP again.

A great case study in MP thinking. A report in the 90s into pathology fraud and kickbacks found a doctor in rural town was receiving kickbacks from pathology labs for referrals.

Doctor was threatened with prosecution as was right. Doctor was only doctor in this part of rural electorate. Electorate obviously Coalition. Case dropped. No Lib/Nat MP is going to preside over the loss of their only doctor.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
They just can't win, can they...  Rolling Eyes

Now, if that crossing, along with the many "road-to-nowhere" flashing light protected crossings along the line between Melton and Bacchus didn't have the protection and "Farmer Joe" came along on his tractor and was hit, then there'd be something to whinge about.

Wolfpac
"wolfpac"

You just hit the nail on  the head SPOT on mate
"csyjunior"


It might have been cheaper to buy the farm and close it down.

This is not the first time that level crossing protection has been designed without consideration of the arrangement of the surrounding road.  The recent Lismore level crossing crash has two crossings 300m apart, one with lights and one without.  Why lights weren't fitted to both, OR, the crossings combined into one, GOK.

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