Flashing yellow lights on approach to railway level crossing

 
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Or get Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear to do more public service announcements. Or run trains into cars...
*Cough*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql_o6zFENnQ *Cough*

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  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
Why is Rob Mathew's photo in black and white, is it an old one?
"Myrtone"


It looks like colour to me. Try it again. I notice it loads in black and white and then goes to colour.


What a joke & another way to make certain road user's even lazier to take notice of existing sign's & light's etc or even look when it come's to level crossing's.

What next !

Flashing light's etc on the approach to every intersection ???


Id like to see that !
"Highrailer"


Exactly. I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why a level crossing is different from any other road intersection?

Join my campaign for boom gates at every STOP sign.

Bing
"bingley hall"


I've often wondered this too. To me they are the same thing (or rather, they should be treated the same). However, the difference is that most of the time there's nothing coming at a rail intersection. At a road intersection, there is a higher chance of traffic being on the other road. Still, I've seen vehicles speeding past STOP and GIVE WAY signs on quiet rural intersections too.  Rolling Eyes
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania

I did a rough check of an ordinary traffic lights in day time, and they were visible at least about 250m away.

There are no nearby level crossing lights for me to check, so could someone else measure the distance at which the lights can be seen, including these strobe lights.
"awsgc24"


I can tell you, the strobe lights are brighter than the usual red flashing lights. Its a bit like someone using a camera with flash, but with the strobe light, flashes about ever 2 seconds.

I'll try and get a train crossing over the road near me that uses a strobe light.

Where were the two? I've seen this one on the former EBR near Bastyan Dam.
And I can recall seeing photos of another set elsewhere. But don't recall where that was.
"B 67"

Yep Bastyan Dam had a set, was stored in the old EBR top yard for a few years, sent to South Australia to be refurbished and was meant to be put where the road crosses near the old TGR Burnie Station. But that road was stoped for road traffic in the late 90s and i don't know here they are.
The other set were used down Hobart way, i think a rail crossing near Sunderland Street. I don't know what happen to there boom gates either.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I went to Ballarat and back last night. I'm afraid the strobes still flash even at night, should they really? Even better would be for them to stop flashing once the train is at the crossing.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Another German railway crossing

[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7jQcULtVVE[/YouTube]
Both videos have been removed since I posted them.
[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE_3P3Zgj8Y[/YouTube]


Note that there are barriers on both the entrance and exit sides, something quite common in the UK, where they are known as Controlled full barrier crossings. In North America, there are what are called four quadrant gates. And here in Australia, there was once a set of interlocked boom barriers at McKinnon.



Another pneumatically operated set in Newcastle, now replaced by standard electric barriers.



As far as I know, on both crossing all barriers lowered at once. I am ware from a photo in a book I used to have at home, that they have existed at Riversdale road, Camberwell, but now they seem only to have half ones now. I wonder if any full barrier crossing exist here in Australia as of today and if not, why?
  Clyde-GM Chief Commissioner

Location: Remote controlled from Junee.
I wonder if any full barrier crossing exist here in Australia as of today and if not, why?
"Myrtone"
They do exist, Blackshaw Road Level Crossing, Goulburn, NSW.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So should we have flashing amber lights on the approach to every country road intersection with a STOP sign?

Bing
"bingley hall"


Maybe we should have them on exit ramps of freeways where intersections are guarded by traffic lights!
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
So should we have flashing amber lights on the approach to every country road intersection with a STOP sign?

Bing
"bingley hall"


Maybe we should have them on exit ramps of freeways where intersections are guarded by traffic lights!
"Myrtone"


Not EVERY xing, just where the risks are higher.
  wrongroad Deputy Commissioner

Location: Grafton
As late a last Sunday, I witnessed several drivers completely ignoring stop signs on a crossing with no lights.
I 'asked' one driver to take a good look at the freight train only 50 metres or so away.
He shouted back 'So f&%^&*( what, I missed it!'
This time my very foolish 'friend'.
Many years ago I had a front row seat to the most horrific level crossing smash.
I was stopped at the lights, first car in line watching the car coming the other way and watching the freight train approaching.
The road crosses at a slight angle and the loco hit the car behind the passenger side b pillar and cut the car in two, taking the engine and gear box but leaving the driver sitting in his car with broken legs.
His wife, of just a few hours, was tangled up in what remained of her side of the car about two hundred metres down the track.
He was 'trying to beat the train 'cause they were running late on their honeymoon!'
He buried her instead.
Still, they do not seem to listen or care but it always seems to the train driver, or the road, or the conditions that are at fault.
Put cameras like the speed cameras or red light cameras and make the fine several thound dollars or the average cost of a funeral.
Regards and respect
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
And some more videos such as:

[YouTube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=pWCLZZ0xIN8[/YouTube]

Hauxton Road

And a German one in Weißwasser (White-water) - Sprembergerstraße
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
So should we have flashing amber lights on the approach to every country road intersection with a STOP sign?

Bing
"bingley hall"


Maybe we should have them on exit ramps of freeways where intersections are guarded by traffic lights!
"Myrtone"


If you have travelled from Belgrave to Ferntree Gully by car you would see a set of advance warning lights for the intersection with Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd.  There is also a set on the (old?) Hume Highway at Craigieburn so yes they do use them on traffic lights where visibility is limited due to the road layout!
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why a level crossing is different from any other road intersection?
"bingley hall"


There are intersections with traffic lights that are also fitted with flashing yellow advance warning lights.

Blind corners, Junee, and Fullers Road Chatswood.

Higher speed and downhill gradients increase braking distances for trucks, Corner Ryde Road and Lady Game Drive, North Ryde.

It has be argued elsewhere that level crossings should be more like traffic lights, with a Green for Clear, rather than no lights for Clear.
  E1109 Minister for Railways

Location: Bright sunny Darwin
One of the interestions in northern Victoria also had red alternating lights on the STOP signs or just prior to them, May of been at either the southern end of the Calder Higway or Sunraysia Highway.
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland


It has be argued elsewhere that level crossings should be more like traffic lights, with a Green for Clear, rather than no lights for Clear.
"awsgc24"


Traffic tends to cope okay when a blackout causes traffic lights to go out at an intersection. However, if this happened with traffic lights at a railway crossing, do you really think everyone would stop and make sure the line was clear?   Rolling Eyes   Sadly, they wouldn't.  I suspect that the fact crossing protection must be able to work from batteries is part of the reason traffic lights won't appear as sole protection for level crossings. Although with today's batteries and LED traffic lights, I suspect it is almost practical to do these days.

One of the interestions in northern Victoria also had red alternating lights on the STOP signs or just prior to them, May of been at either the southern end of the Calder Higway or Sunraysia Highway.
"E1109"


You may be thinking of the Calder Alternative Highway / Calder Highway intersection at Ravenswood. In the past, red flashing lights were relatively common in Victoria at dangerous intersections. Victoria once had a type of intersection with flashing red lights on one road and flashing amber on the other. This sort of thing is common in USA, Taiwan and probably other places where full traffic light protection is not justified.

Sand Rd, Longwarry has permanent flashing amber lights on the approach to the Princes Fwy at Longwarry North (this is a high accident intersection).

I think I may be wandering off topic a bit   Embarassed   Anyway, advance flashing amber lights for traffic lights are becoming common. Certainly in Gippsland there are quite a few along the Princes Hwy - especially near and in Traralgon.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney


It has be argued elsewhere that level crossings should be more like traffic lights, with a Green for Clear, rather than no lights for Clear.
"awsgc24"


Traffic tends to cope okay when a blackout causes traffic lights to go out at an intersection. However, if this happened with traffic lights at a railway crossing, do you really think everyone would stop and make sure the line was clear?   Rolling Eyes   Sadly, they wouldn't.  I suspect that the fact crossing protection must be able to work from batteries is part of the reason traffic lights won't appear as sole protection for level crossings. Although with today's batteries and LED traffic lights, I suspect it is almost practical to do these days.
"B 67"


For the 99.99% of the time in which the Xing Green light works, it has the desirable effect of priming the road driver for the lights to change to yellow and then red. At least this is how I react to traffic light greens. Without the green, the Xing yellow or red can take you by surprise, which is not good as your reactions can be unpredictable.

As for the Xing batteries, the Green light would be powered from the mains and/or a separate battery so that the Green light which might be on most of the time doesn't drain the Red Battery, which is not and cannot be fail safe.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
The 'active warning signs' now being installed around Victoria:

[img]http://images.fotopic.net/yrjuz7.jpg[/img]

They are activated at the same time as the standard railway crossing signals. They are slightly different to the advance warning signals for Victorian traffic lights - these have wooden poles, the traffic light ones used standard traffic light fittings.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Thanks for the photo. Well, were is that crossing? I would love go for a look. Wouldn't it be better if they are activated before. By the way, what do others here think about Australian railroading following boring old American practice. I wish that when we introduced our first automatic crossings, we designed them to differ from other countries, as to differ the Australian way from other parts of the world (particularly English speaking countries North of the Equator, especially the UK and US), and show the world what we really are.
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
There is one on South Western Highway south of Pinjarra Western Australia
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Thanks for the photo. Well, were is that crossing? I would love go for a look.
"Myrtone"
Hamilton Highway, Inverleigh, Victoria. On the main standard gauge line from Melbourne to Adelaide, on the Gheringhap - Maroona stretch.
  E1109 Minister for Railways

Location: Bright sunny Darwin
By the way, what do others here think about Australian railroading following boring old American practice. I wish that when we introduced our first automatic crossings, we designed them to differ from other countries, as to differ the Australian way from other parts of the world (particularly English speaking countries North of the Equator, especially the UK and US), and show the world what we really are.
"Myrtone"


Do you mean as in the style of level crossing in regards to signage and lighting?

Not all Australian signage and lighting follows the US style for example, Western Australia uses a single large target board behind the two lamps and the Nothern Territory uses the AS 1742.7:2007 W6-25 pattern (single large board with the railway crossing crossbucks on a rectangular board coloured red) sign on active level crossings north of Alice Springs in leiu of the normal AS 1742.7:2007 W6-24 pattern "railway crossing" signs.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
You're right, I was aware of Western Australia, they basically look like British level crossing signals, but without the yellow light found on British level crossing signals, and as far as I know, they still use warning bells, like the rest of Australia, and possibly the Americas, and not yodel alarms. I am falimiar with red rectangular signs with the crossbucks on them, from Queensland, where many crossings do not have bells, although it seems that ones with alot of pedestrian traffic have them, or at least, alarms. Even here in Melbounre, some crossing seem to have pedestrian gate alarms as well as bells, really, if even bells are only for pedestrains, that if the pedestrian gate have those alarms, then you either may as well do away with the bell, or have one that stops once the barriers are lowered (as on German level crossings, and even some in the very country our railrading practices came from).
  C501 Train Controller

If drivers started driving pro actively instead of reactively we most likely wouldn't need discussions on weather to provide greater warning leading up to these situations.  In other words allowing for the possibility of an unknown danger in stead of driving flat on ( or in many cases,  just over) the speed limit 100 percent of the time and then reacting (slowing down etc..) only when a hazard is obvious.  Many drivers seem to have forgotten the difference between the meaning of "speed limit" and " compulsory speed"
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
There is one on South Western Highway south of Pinjarra Western Australia
"Q4004"


Here is the Flashing yellow light sign on South Western Highway just south of Pinjarra Western Australia

Only taken yesterday afternoon
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney


TT idea.

A caller in 3aw radio, and Neil Mitchel's programme on how to improve railway level crossing safety.


A caller said, '' Why not replace wig wags with standard traffic lights.

This means, all the time you have a light going.

The other day, I went through a location with a level crossing, and 'it was so easy to loose the level crossing in the scene of the countryside'

By having a green light as you approach from say 5kms, that green light shall stand out, and say 'this is a a place you may need to stop sometimes'

The train shall still trigger these lights, but they would go through the standard traffic light sequence, of green, then yellow, and then red.

Every other location that a car driver needs to stop at, always have a 'green for safe' light, except for level crossings which have nothing.

Currently, there is nothing whatsoever''



What do railpagers think?

I have always said, wig wags need to have a 'green lamp' to be lit when the level crossing is safe.
"tranzitjim"


Well argued. (Not entirely new on RP)

Slight problem in remote areas where continuous green may drain non-failsafe red for danger battery. Must have separate battery for green light, as green is failsafe.

Complete change to ordinary traffic lights would be expensive so consider partial change: add green light(s); have flashing yellow then flashing red; modified pedestrian lights so that they also have flashing yellow then flashing red. LEDs can be bi-colour. Note that number of railway crossings is small compared to number of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. Yellow might flash slow while red might flash fast.

Cannot speak for motorists in general, but for me a green light prepares me to stop or keep going depend on whether the lights change or stay green which is good psychology.

The green light also indicates that the crossing has flashing lights rather than is a crossing with Stop or Give Way signs. With the first, the motorist needs to look for the lights; with the second the motorist must look out for the train itself. If the motorist fails to identify which type of crossing it is (in spite of all the signs) they may lookout for the wrong thing.

Looking out for the train when you should be looking for the flashing lights is potentially if not actually dangerous. A P-plate driver who is not used to dealing with lots of signs and signal would be particularly likely to get it wrong.

The Green light also helps locate the crossing in fog.

Thus the case for Green lights at level crossings is even stronger than what a caller to 3AW radio, and Neil Mitchel says.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
If you look back through the thread, you will find a video of a German level crosssing (bahnübergang) with the standard traffic light sequence minus the green cycle.

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