Tag Archives: Level crossing accident

Anantapur, India: Six killed in crossing collision, renewed call for elimination

8 Sep

Six people lost their lives when a truck collided with a train on a manned level crossing in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh. The accident which occurred before dawn on August 24th has led to renewed calls for the elimination of all level crossings in India. The accident has also led to the growing impatience of communities with the slow pace of elimination. The removal of level crossings requires funding from other than the railway as the benefits to the wider community are significant. However, state governments and roads authorities are causing progress to be slowed as they do not share the railway view that level crossing elimination is a very high priority use of scarce resources.

United Kingdom: Network Rail targets dog walkers and cyclists in summer-long campaign

31 Jul

Network Rail, the rail infrastructure manager of Great Britain’s railways has launched a public awareness campaign targeting dog walkers and cyclists as components of a wider engagement strategy that is switching the emphasis from paid for television advertising to awareness and education of groups exposed to the greater risk of an accident which also include farm workers and commercial vehicle drivers. The switch is being made as the results from paid-for television advertising have not delivered the expected outcomes.

The harm to dog walkers has been quantified as about one fatality a year with a further 36 near-hit incidents annually as owners try and safeguard their dogs.

A recent survey of dog owners by Dogs Trust revealed:

  • More than two thirds (68%) acknowledged that their dogs do not always come back when called.
  • A further 68% admitted they would go after their dog onto a level crossing when a train was coming to try and rescue them.
  • More than two thirds (68%) admitted they don’t know the locations of level crossings when they are walking their dogs away from home.
  • The majority of people (95%) backed the idea of an awareness campaign.

The campaign will be delivered locally through Network Rail’s 100 dedicated level crossing managers who on average are responsible for 60 level crossings and will link up with dog walking clubs, pet shops, and promote the safety messages at community events, where they can speak directly to dog-owning level crossing users about their experiences.

“I know with my two dogs how easily they can run off and how difficult it is sometimes to call them back, so I always keep them on a lead when I’m somewhere busy like a level crossing or a road. Hundreds of level crossings run through the countryside where it might feel like you’re in a very open area, but you can actually be very close to the railway with trains travelling through at over 100mph. 

“It’s my job to keep people safe at level crossings, and across the country we see far too many near misses with trains and people walking their dogs. I don’t want any of these near misses turning into tragedies and so I urge anyone walking their dog close to a level crossing, to keep them on a lead and keep their pets and themselves safe from harm. “

Chris Williams, Level Crossing Manager, Network Rail

Kitchener, Ontario: Collision leaves motorist with damage to his pocket

31 Jul

A 21-year-old male has found himself with CAD4,000 damage to his vehicle and charged by the police for failing to stops required when the signals protecting the level crossing were flashing red. The incident occurred at about 07.30 on July 28th on the active open level crossing on Riverbank Drive, near the highway intersection with King Street. It has been determined that the lights and bells associated with this level crossing were working correctly when the train collided with the car, hence the charge bought against the motorist.

Ibbenburen, Germany: Collision kills train driver and a passenger

18 May

gtcTwo people were killed – the train driver and a passenger – three people were critically injured and 17 sustained lesser injuries when a passenger train collided with a manure tanker which had detached from the tractor towing it. The reason this occurred is a central part of the investigation of the accident. When the barriers descended for the approaching train, it is reported that the tractor driver ran towards the train to try and draw the train driver’s attention to the obstruction.

The collision occurred at about 11.30am on May 16th, 2015 on a level crossing near Ibbenburen, about midway between Osnabruck and Rheine.

Gopiganj, India: Four killed in unmanned crossing collision

12 May

Four men were killed when the car in which they were travelling was hit by a train on an unmanned level crossing 3 km from the Gyanpur railway station in Gopiganj, near Bhadohi in Sant Ravidas Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh at about 11.00am on May 10th, 2015.

Co Mayo, Ireland: Poor crossing discipline highlighted, ineffective risk control too

1 May

Ireland’s independent Rail Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) has published the report of its investigation of a collision on a level crossing. The circumstances of the accident were that at approximately 09:55 on February 12th, 2014, a postal service van approached Corraun Level Crossing with the Level Crossing gates open and was driven onto the Level Crossing. At the same time an Irish Rail passenger service from Ballina to Manulla Junction was travelling through Corraun Level Crossing and struck the van. On impact, the van was thrown clear of the train and into the adjacent drainage ditch before coming to a stop. The driver of the van was seriously injured

The immediate cause of the accident was that the driver of the van did not stop, as required, at the Level Crossing and drove into the path of the oncoming train. Contributory factors associated with the incident are accident:

  • The gates at the Level Crossing were secured open, allowing the van to enter the Level Crossing without stopping
  • The Level Crossing was regularly misused by the local users, whereby the gates are regularly tied open.

The underlying causes associated with this accident are:

  • There is a history of misuse at the Level Crossing; with local users regularly misusing the Level Crossing;
  • Irish Rail did not take sufficient actions at the Level Crossing to prevent its regular misuse, despite the RAIU making a safety recommendation related to preventing level crossing misuse in 2009 and re-iterating in 2011.

An additional observation in this accident is:

  • The addition and purpose of the decision point line on user worked level crossings is not obvious to users of the Level Crossing and may cause confusion with statutory stop lines still at some level crossings.

As a result of its investigation, the RAIU has made three safety recommendations

  • Irish Rail should consider options to upgrade the crossing to minimise direct action by the users;
  • Irish Rail should carry out a full review of known misused user worked level crossings on public and private roads and either upgrade the level crossing or introduce measures to minimise their misuse;
  • Irish Rail should ensure that where a Decision Line is present at a level crossing, that the purpose of this Decision Line is appropriately conveyed to the level crossing users.

Hoylake, UK: Death of teenager follows alleged murder of her mother

21 Apr

A sixteen-year-old was killed when she intentionally stepped into the path of a train on the Drummond Road level crossing in Hoylake, Merseyside. it is widely reported that the mother of the girl killed at about 21.30 on April 17th was herself allegedly murdered in February.