Another car v Steamranger collision

 
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
I am not sure who here has a truck licence but one of the rules is you can't change gears while any part of the vehicle is within fouling range (which is legally defined as 3 metres from the nearest rail). This can make stop signs very dangerous for heavy vehicles, particularly longer ones.

Why, Because if the truck stops then takes off it will take longer to get across the crossing as it will be at walking pace or less so in this case the truck could check, see the line clear, start entering the crossing and have a train appear when it is fouling the crossing with the inevitable result.  I have almost got caught by this as I was crossing a 3 line crossing in the suburbs and moving off when the bells and lights stopped and the boom gates had lifted with no trains coming my restored 1955 truck in Melbourne Peak Hour when there was twice the space I needed on the other side of the crossing.  As I crossed vehicles in the lane beside me went past and changed into my lane to get the extra car lengths in the traffic taking the gap I was about to fill.  I couldn't go back as the traffic behind me had taken the gap I left.  I stopped with the tail of my truck over the fouling line when the boom gates went down.  Luckily I was not over the rail and the train wasn't on the closest track to me.  All it needed was one or two of the cars to have had a trailer and I would have been in trouble.  Note Everything I had done was safe and legal it was the unthinking actions of others that caused the issue.

There was a freight train hit a road train in the northern territory where the ATSB found that at the speed the train was going it would have been over 2.5km away over a hill and round a bend when the road train started crossing the railway line.  In other words the truck driver did everything right but was caught out by circumstances.  This doesn't mean the train driver was wrong, if anything the engineers that designed and built the crossing stuffed up

Sponsored advertisement

  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Coming from the north, the first signs warning of the level crossing are placed on both sides of the road 330 metres before the crossing.
Coming from the south, the first signs warning of the level crossing are placed on both sides of the road 280 metres before the crossing.

Tons of time for preparing to approach the crossing at a suitable speed allowing you to look both ways and give way to any trains. I speak from experience, as I have successfully driven there and given way to a train.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Ok I'll bite.
Cato56, You make two points which suggest you may suffer from the driver attitude problem I refer to above.
Firstly, there are three warnings before the actual level crossing: yellow signs with pictures of steam trains, a big "rail X' painted on the road, and finally a sign with a picture of railway track with "look for trains" written underneath.
If you have passed all three and are still doing 100km/h it's entirely possible that your own driving technique may need some refinement.
Secondly, why the need to blame someone else (DPTI in this case) for our own actions? Every road user should be doing everything they can to ensure they own safety as well as other road users (and rail users).
Whilst you make valid points regarding visibility at level crossings, don't forget level crossing safety is everyone's responsibility.
Dylan.
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

Cato56, you said in an earlier post that there are no advisory speed signs at this S-bend. There are S-bend/55 kph advisory signs as you approach the S-bend from both directions.
  allan Chief Commissioner


Is the road posted at 100 km/h with a bend that prevents seeing the give way sign until less than 100 m before reaching the intersection?

If so, you sure as hell can blame DPTI for not maintaining acceptible sight lines approaching the intersection, or for not reducing the speed limit to ensure a safe stopping distance.

The total stopping distance including reaction time at 100 km/h in dry conditions is 100 m! In wet conditions it goes up to 120 m!

So if you come around that bend at the speed limit, which is highly like as there are no advisory speed signs approaching the intersection, you have to be a perfect driver to stop before the sign. If it's wet conditions, well too bad you're just smeg out of luck!

Is there zero visibility of the road you're approaching?If so, you sure as hell can blame DPTI for not at least installing a Stop sign as per road design standards.

What don't you people get? There are standards for the minimum level of safety in the design of both road-road and road-rail at grade intersections. If the road authority isn't meeting these minimum standards they are cuplable.
Cato56
The speed limit is a maximum, not a minimum. If your speed is such that you are unable to stop safely within your field of vision you are driving too fast, and without due care. Older drivers need more distance in which to stop safely, and smarter older drivers will drive more slowly.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Was the train driver issued an infringement notice for the collision?Laughing
  loco958 Station Master

Was the train driver issued an infringement notice for the collision?Laughing
michaelgm
Really  ????????
  Cato56 Station Master

Just a heads-up for the numbskulls who didn't see any issue with the current configuration of the Alexandrina Road level crossing:

http://dpti.sa.gov.au/news?a=501160

Level crossing upgrades on the SteamRanger Heritage Railway
11 Oct 2018

Works to upgrade two level crossings on the Mount Barker to Victor Harbor railway line at Currency Creek, operated by SteamRanger, will commence this week.

The existing passive ‘Give Way’ controls on the Goolwa Road (Mt Compass – Goolwa Road) railway level crossing and the Alexandrina Road (Main Goolwa – Strathalbyn Road) level crossing will be replaced with flashing light and bell assemblies to improve safety for all road users.

Due to the curves of the Alexandrina Road on the approaches to the crossing, Active Advance Warning Signs (signs with flashing lights that are activated by approaching trains to alert motorists) will also be installed.

Speed restrictions will be in place during construction, with works expected to be completed in December 2018, weather permitting.

The safety of road workers and the travelling public is paramount so please take care when travelling through work zones.


The upgrades are not expected to impact planned train services.

SteamRanger Heritage Railway will be undertaking these works.

$585,200 has been provided by the State Government’s Railway Crossing Safety Improvement Program.

  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

While great that it is happening! I can still for see some idiot running into the train and saying I did not see the flashing lights or the lights were not working or somesuch excuse. Unfortunately it will not stop any fool from still just driving across the track either in front of the train or running into the side of the train. Better to have driving tests done every ten years or something to keep you car license and keep up with current road rules etc. Some road vehicle drivers are extremely bad but would never admit it though. Some most probably do not even have a license anyway.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Actually David I believe the preferred method for driving over rail crossings in SA is to approach the crossing at full speed (up on two wheels is considered efficient, as it saves wear on your other tyres), then notice at the last possible moment that the lights are flashing and come to a screaming halt right on top of the crossing.
Whilst the effectiveness of avoiding collisions has not been proven, this type of driving does have the added benefit of a relaxing leg massage once the ABS kicks in during the sudden braking.
Regards,
Dyl
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Finally they’ve gotten around to upgrading the crossing to a level of safety it should have been afforded 15+ years ago.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

Good to see that something has been done.

As usual it is reactive thinking.

One thing that has been glossed over though is the trees etc in the area.

These type of crossings used to be devoid of any trees and bushes for quite some distance back , even past the start of the curved section.
These S bends were put in to enable vision in both directions by road vehicles.
Another part was a train crew could use the whistle/ horns/ bells to make a driver aware of their presence.


Another thing to consider is the 585,000 dollar project cost. ?
Yes I know things cost money, but is there a possibility that a cheaper method could be found ?

Would a $ 1,000 computer plugged in on day of operations only delivered by a person or local and collected after return movement free up a lot of capital.
Something like the completion of 520 project could be advanced

And the extra funds could be invested to have a working fund to pay somebody to deliver the workings for the crossing.

Is it worthy of consideration.

Purely a simple thought. For say 30 days a year . Employ somebody for $ 100 per day  to activate the computer or act as flag person.
That would cost 3,000 per year  and the associated signage/ hardware would be a lot less than 585,000

In olden days of mainline working with SAR / AN many crew would offer their wages or part thereof back to SteamRanger.
In my days as a volunteer there were uniform programs involving tax deductions.

If a volunteer were to do the work for gratis , would they enjoy a complimentary family ticket.

There is more than 1 way to skin a cat.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thread cleaned up after getting rid of various personal attacks that were not addressing any issue other to  put someone down.

People talk re the issues. If the issue  raised is nt good don't talk. If it has something explain it.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
I was thinking about this for a while before I decided to respond.

I think you'll find much of the issue here is relative to driver attitude, I'll offer an example to reinforce my point.
Say I'm driving on a country road and reach an intersection protected by give way signs. I drive straight through and collide with a school bus.
Can I reasonably blame DPTI for not installing traffic lights?
I think we all know the answer.

The fact is, in my time on railways I have seen so many drivers take risks they would never dream of taking at a standard road intersection, and at times it can be terrifying.
It's easy for us to sit at home and pontificate over who was at fault and what should be happening at level crossings, but the reality is, until society gets serious about level crossing safety, nothing's going to change.
Dylan

Is the road posted at 100 km/h with a bend that prevents seeing the give way sign until less than 100 m before reaching the intersection?

If so, you sure as hell can blame DPTI for not maintaining acceptible sight lines approaching the intersection, or for not reducing the speed limit to ensure a safe stopping distance.

The total stopping distance including reaction time at 100 km/h in dry conditions is 100 m! In wet conditions it goes up to 120 m!

So if you come around that bend at the speed limit, which is highly like as there are no advisory speed signs approaching the intersection, you have to be a perfect driver to stop before the sign. If it's wet conditions, well too bad you're just smeg out of luck!

Is there zero visibility of the road you're approaching?If so, you sure as hell can blame DPTI for not at least installing a Stop sign as per road design standards.

What don't you people get? There are standards for the minimum level of safety in the design of both road-road and road-rail at grade intersections. If the road authority isn't meeting these minimum standards they are cuplable.
Cato56
One of the first rules of driving a motor vehicle is to drive to current road conditions. When you see, say, a sign warning of a bend with possibly an advisory speed, you slow down accordingly. When you see a sign warning of a level crossing ahead, do you plough on regardless that a 200t+ monster could mow straight through you if you don't look for it?
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Finally they’ve gotten around to upgrading the crossing to a level of safety it should have been afforded 15+ years ago.
Aaron
Not really. The level of safety should be a grade separation. Because we have more and more deadheads driving on the roads, we need to cater for even lower common denominators....
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I see my post has been deleted, and yet the most delusional one was left - go figure!

Okay, so I’ll post it again, as politely as I can.

Captain, if you bothered to read the previous thread before replying you would know that there is much prior art in this ‘reactive thinking’ that predates the incident in question. A more accurate explanation may be that the accident was fortold in the upgrade plan.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.